Illustration For Designer: Applied Illustration (Final & Reflection)


On my design I have a little write up that tells people the actual meaning behind this gift, as many people know that these are list of items to prepare for betrothal gift ceremony but not many people know the symbolization behind each gift:) So I thought that it would be nice if it was written on the packaging:) 

Pig trotters Canned ( Gift for mother-in-law )

A little fun fact about this composition is that the little pig foot steps symbolise that the pig scarifies himself for this wedding “cook to become pig trotters canned”

Charcoal ( Symbolize a good life after marriage for the bride )

Teochew Traditional Wedding Cakes ( Also call “五色糖 five color candy” Cakes given to the couple relatives.)

Four Piece Gold Jewelry ( Gift for the bride from the groom parents, to be worn on the wedding day)

Mock Up:


I thought that it would be nice to have a nice packaging to contain all the gifts:)

Do check out my previous post for the work behind these illustration:)



While writing this post I can’t believe 13 weeks have just pass by, it seems like I’m am still struggling with my varoom magazine and now I have completed my final assignment. I came into this class wanted to learn more about graphic design as well as finding a direction on how I could convey whats in my mind into the illustration style I want. But I feel like I’ve learn more than that. through all the activities we have in class from closing our eyes and having black post-it to draw whatever we have really help me to be more creative. Whatever comes into your mind draw it out! even if its just a simple or something that might not really link to the theme but whatever idea you have draw it out because you never know!!:):):) Instead of just conveying what I have to illustration to graphics, I learn how I could further expand my creativeness, how I think out of the box to represent certain message or theme. 

For the technical aspect, Since being in product design I knew that I might not have much chance to try adobe software, and in year one I really enjoy all my 2D lesson from creating zine, to infographics as well as putting my interest and stories into my design:)  and I would really like to have a chance to continue trying and also to learn more. Coming to this class, I am so grateful to Ms Lisa, she never say no to any of the question we have regarding Illustrator and Photoshop, even if its just simple question like how to fill color in parts of my illustration she would be so happy to teach:) and also always sharing whatever new method and tricks we could use to improve our illustrations and sharing with us all the new Illustrator that she though could be our artist reference:) so touch and warm:( 

Overall, I really love this class especially the new friends I’ve made through this class, coming from different background and different interest, it is always so exciting to see what everyone have for the assignment during our critique sessions. I would definitely miss the exchange students when they go back:( and always grateful to all the classmate I have:):) Thank you Ms Lisa:) <3 

Illustration For Designer: Applied Illustration (Research – 4) Constructing Final

How I constructed my final design:)

So after having all the stamp I tried out using different paper and I realised by stamping on different paper the effect that the stamp gave out would be very different due to the absorbent of the paper towards the ink.

I tried using my own note book which have a much rougher grain size paper and the I really love the effect it gave out!!:) I show it to Ms Lisa she also really love the effect too!!:)

After stamping I scan the image in so I could do out my packaging in illustrator:

Some of the graphic created using illustrator. I have really alot of trouble when thinking about the placement of the clouds, no matter where I placed it there is always seems like a weirdness to the composition feedback I got from Ms Lisa was that it would be really nice if I could also carved and stamp out the clouds so that the the whole composition would look more “whole” and that it would tied the main design with the background images. Which I thought “AHHHHHH THATS WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY” 







Illustration For Designer: Applied Illustration (Research – 3) Moodboard

While researching for style I want to try I create a few mooodboard base on the different style I categories them 

Style in Color:

Style in Minimal Color:

Illustration Style:

THEN I COME ACROSS THIS THIS THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I fall in love with the packaging style on the left the stamp effect and simplicity color attracted me:) On the right I really love how the designer work with the colors and the illustration. I am not really sure that the color would work with the stamp effect on the left as it might make the whole composition a little too messy. 

After consulting Ms Lisa, she say that it would be really nice if I could cut out the design and create the stamp effect than to create the effect using photoshop or illustrator:) 

I went to do some research on artist who created illustration with stamp effect:)

Some nice artist:






An interesting stamp design:):):) 

I love the flexibility! These are only available in Japan I think, but I bet with a little ingenuity you could carve/mould your own.

Next post for my creation of my design:):)

Illustration For Designer: Applied Illustration (Research – 2) Target Audience

For this project in order to find the correct illustration and well as to set my direction, I have created and list out a few user persona that I thought would be appropriate for my illustrations:


Also while discussing my topic with Ms Lisa, I told her that I am worry how do I simplify all the complicated pattern and design on the usual traditional chinese design for my illustration. And she suggested that I could take a look at this artist:

Sanna Annukka

I personally really love her use of geometric shapes to create the illustration, it reminded me of the illustrator tutorial that Ms Lisa taught us in class of using geometric lines and shape to create the animal patterns. I also love how she play with colours, personally I am afraid to use such striking color as I could not really find a way to balance out, but from her I could learn the way I could place my colour to neutralized it to that one does not over power one, and how colors that are opposite could blend well together.   

Do check out my next post for my moodboard and style I would like to try:)

Illustration For Designer: Applied Illustration (Research – 1) Ideas & Research


For our new assignment 3, our brief would be  to choose a happy occasion or sad event and create a series of illustration based on that event.
Brainstorming on what event I should go with, Since I wanted to try some traditional chinese event. I immediately thought about the upcoming happy occasion that is happening in my family! and that would be my uncle’s upcoming wedding! YAYY!!!
Pretty quickly I decided to go with the event of “Betrothal Gift Ceremony” “过大礼” “guo da li”
Betrothal Gift Ceremony is a event that is performed by almost all the chinese dialect in Singapore as a compulsory custom whereby the groom would bring a set of “Gift” to the bride house for her, her parents and relatives. In return, the bride family would also prepare a set of “Gift” for the groom to bring back. 

Even though my uncle is hokkien (one of the chinese dialect group) but as a teochew myself I would really like to create a set of illustration that best reflect my traditional culture (as different dialect prepare different gifts). Based on my mother, in teochew culture the groom would have quite a number of items which part of it includes: (see the list on the right)

Since there are so many items that the teochew groom would have to prepare, I thought that it would really be fun to play around with the possibilities of these traditional items. After looking through the list, I have selected some unique items that differentiate the gifts from a teochew groom to groom from other dialects (see green words)

So some of the items I choose would be; 

Pig trotters Canned ( Gift for mother-in-law )

Charcoal ( Symbolize a good life after marriage for the bride )

Teochew Traditional Wedding Cakes ( Also call “五色糖 five color candy” Cakes given to the couple relatives.)

Four Piece Gold Jewelry ( Gift for the bride from the groom parents, to be worn on the wedding day)

Looking through at all these interesting items I decided that it would be fun to see what kind of new illustration style I could bring into these traditional gift, but at the same time I find it challenging because having to retain that unique traditional style without being too modern. as well as how I simplify the traditional pattern on the gifts boxes without making it too similar to the old pattern just without the “red”

Please take a look at my next post on my target audience and artist reference:):)

Illustration For Designer: Editorial (Final)


“Empathy For Designer”

So after trying for many many many times, I decided that sticking to colors that are near match to the pills would be the best choice. My Concept is telling the audience to have a empathy on designer, to tell you the fact about designer. What stereotypes thoughts you have to the professional VS the actual facts of the people in this profession.Inside the pills (medicine designer eat) shows the truth of a designer life.

Assume we designer for free.
“It’s a simple job, make it nice, so do it at a low price or in fact for free.”

Assume we designer can fixed everything, light bulb, laptop, spectacles or even
“where to buy markers? Freaking popular lah!”

Assume we designer wear designer cloths and in fashion trend everyday, actual fact – Flip Flops.
“Come on! we work hours in front of our computers, let me be comfortable!”

Assume we designer have colored hair,
“I don’t even have time to cut my hair!”

Assume we designer have an easy job,
“Just come closer… Look at my dark eyes circle…!”

Illustration For Designer: Editorial (Research – 4) Finalizing Composition

Rough Sketch

Color Research
I look into some color concept that I could follow or have a guide because as I roughly created a background using the reference from my mood board I realized that the color are too down, it is too boring and gives a sad, moody feeling and I don’t want that as a magazine cover. Also it might not match my user persona, and having empathy for designer should have a color scheme that draws attention to convey the message but also a balance color that is not too cheerful nor too moody looking.
However, the color scheme that I chose does not match my design and artist reference that I choose, the color are too pop art and unrealistic looking, and the rest are too “normal” looking.

What I then decided to do since I could not foresee my composition would be to craft out the composition and then plan my color base on it. As there would be a lot of elements and items on the composition planning color ahead might not be the best solution to see the overall balance of the tones.

Drawing the Items

Adding Colors

Before Selecting colors I thought about designer working until morning, so I went over to colourlovers and search “morning” and I’ve selected two sets of colors


Unfortunately, this two sets of color is way too bright and too pop looking that it is not relevant to my theme and also it makes the whole composition slightly heavy and messy looking. 

What I decided to do since I am not really good with colors is that I went to simple search color palette and would be colors set that are group nicely together for me and i tried by placing it beside my composition and edit little at a time to find the fight balance and match

I came out with three “colors” that I am not fully convinced of so I am still trying to find the right color that balance the background as well as the items on the composition so that it does not attract the attention away.

Next Post (Illustration For Designer: Editorial (Final))

Illustration For Designer: Editorial (Research – 3) Composition Sketches

This is my Thumbnail Sketch on post-it for my composition:)

1-3, 5-7: I want to bring out the two side of of perspective in this composition, one side is the designer thoughts and another side is the stereotype thoughts people have towards designer.

4, This is one of my weakest composition i feel, personally I wanted to try out the style of my moodboard by putting random items on a desk but each items actually have a meaning to one stereotypes

8-9: So I have this idea of  making a PHD cert with small illustration to represent each stereotypes designer receives.

10-11, 13-14: This four composition is more of having a stereotypes as a whole composition, for example a designer on how he/she dress, But in the middle it have a Polaroid, x-ray or a magnifying glass to zoom in the and within the Polaroids, x-ray and magnifying glass are illustration of what the truth facts about designer.

12: This is a style that combines the idea of composition 4 and with a different meaning to the items place on. For example the medicine symbolizes the empathy for designer and each medicine pill represent the different stereotypes receives

15: This composition is using the point of view of the designer working as the whole layout, on the desk it would have items and truth about what a designer life is about and the things the could be seen (the actual fact) not stereotypes things like Starbucks, sunglasses etc. 

16: This is idea of the dollar twist ball game where each individual ball contains illustration that would represent the idea. But for this I felt that it would be a little weak and the twist ball might not be a good representative to show my concept.


Next Post (Illustration For Designer: Editorial (Research – 4) Finalizing Composition)

Illustration For Designer: Editorial (Research – 2) Inspiration & Moodboard

The first composition that caught my eyes were actually these little matt looking color pencil style like composition, but looking back at my theme there are alot of individual items and “stereotypes” that I wanted to in cooperate into the composition, this style to me seems more like creating a scenario/ situation so I thought that it might be hard to convey various elements into one composition.
Then I thought that why not looking into similar design but in a more simplistic and more tone down version of it. But I still find it looking like a scenario.

Since I’m a big fan of the use of simple and big shapes to bring out the composition. I look into vector and how people make use of simple line and solid colors to bring out the composition. And I realized quite a number of freelance Japanese artist love to use simple line work and shape and color to bring out the 3D effect in their composition and depth. 

As I research I saw other artist who make use of the similar vector (Simple line and big shape) to craft out their composition. Also rather than crafting out a scenario, some of the composition actually means something more than just a situation:) For example the top second from the right, it is actually a cover that talk about surgery or plastic surgery. Using simple line but different tone to complete the composition. 

After consulting, I decided to use Coen Pohl  as my artist reference. He bring out the object easily and also using lines and tone he showed how the object are places. Most importantly how he work with colour and have the background one similar tone but the objects in vibrant colour so it doesn’t loose its focus and identity in the composition. 

The initial layout composition I have would be this series of work by Christopher Reath but after consulting with Ms Lisa. We both agree that by referencing these style as layout, we might not be able to add in the vibrant colour from our artist reference, as it make uses of heavy shadow and minimal colour (more as highlight) to bring out the composition. So stuck as how I want the composition to be, I would be trying out the post it method Ms Lisa taught in class, Bring out brain back to blank (zero) and draw how we could craft our composition for out theme, than to search for reference layout options:) 

Next Post (Illustration For Designer: Editorial (Research – 3) Composition Sketches)

Illustration For Designer: Editorial (Research – 1) Theme & User Persona


I started this project by simply creating a blank page and write down the three topics:  Obsessions, Empathy and Style. Following, I wrote down events, situations that happen around me that are inspired by these three words. E.g, What people are obsess about (traditions, cheese, neatness),

Then I realized as i write, the is one common situation that occur on me personally and with the designer friends I have. Such situation seems to happen to us at least once, which is “Designer Stereotypes” .
“Designer Stereotypes” are situations or stereotypes designer receive that and being determine by others.

So i went and did a mini survey by asking my classmates and friends who are working in the current design field what are some stereotypes the receive:) Those highlighted one are the more common ones. So I decided to go with the concept “Having Empathy on us Designer”

Anti (People who might not be interested by the cover)

Reader (People who are interested by the cover)

Reader (People who are interested by the cover)

Next Post (Illustration For Designer: Editorial (Research – 2) Inspiration & Moodboard:)