Neighbourhood Explorer Part II – Zine

Before I document the FINAL part of the FINAL PROJECT for this sem, here is a recap of the part 1 of the project. My research and infographic for the project can be found here.

Moving on from the first part of the project, I was thinking about how much I noticed the colours, the people in AMK and how they interact with spaces. So, for the last part of the project, I wanted to push myself and do something that was different from what I would usually do, which is illustrations, and instead, do a photography zine. I felt that with photography, it would give a more true depiction of what I wanted to present.

So starting off the project, I decided to make another trip down just to see take it all in and take more photos. But before I could do that, I sat down and started writing down what were some things that I wanted to photograph in my zine. The process of this is in my visual journal, but basically I narrowed it down to : HOME, OLD AND YOUTH, and lastly, FOOD. I felt like these were the major themes that resonated with me in this project and with that, I had a clearer idea of the photos I wanted to take.


Hence, I went down and went back to some of the HDB blocks I visited and just roamed around. My initial idea for home, was to photograph families interacting with space, however, I decided to scrap that and go down to AMK and see what I can take.

With these pictures, I decided to focus on how the residents interact with the space around them, places that will be familiar to them, calling it home.



Another unique part of AMK that I’ve come to realize is the duality, of Old and Youth, the youth interacting in old spaces and there is this overlap in generation which I found super charming. I wanted to capture them in a way that is candid and unplanned.


I was thinking about how AMK seems to be famous for their hawker food and so to further emphasis this duality, I decided to visit some of the cafes that are in AMK:”) They were mostly located and surrounded by the old buildings and it felt really kewl.

Because I had to eat so much, I got the help of my friend here, big thanks to her:) And this was definitely one of the fun parts of the research, I felt like a food blogger, though I was really really full after all the eating. 


Moving forward from this, I started doing some research on what kind of zine designs there are. Here are some of them:

Initially, I was thinking of doing an illustrated children’s book like this, however, for the last project, I wanted to try something different like a photography project, and I felt like photos would capture the essence of AMK I wanted to portray. Hence, I started looking at various kinds of magazines/ zines designs.

Moving from here, I did some sketches in my visual journal and decided with the concept of portraying AMK with the idea of PANTONE – since one of my focus was on colours.

Working on my zine, this was my first version of the zine.

However, after the group consultation, these were some of the comments/feedback:

  1. The cover page design seems really different from the ones inside
  2. The patterns are distracting from the words
  3. Words overlapping the chinese words are making it difficult to read
  4. The middle spread has alot of things going on
  5. Pantone bars seem to be floating around, should align it to something
  6. Page numbers are not aligned
  7. Back page Pantone should be brought forward to the cover page

So true! So many things that I didn’t notice so thanks to the classmates and Joy for the feedback. Moving on from that consulatation, I realized that there were actually alot of things to change, so I decided to just restart the project. I created a new document in indesign:”) This made it easier to move things around and I could do it in a more systematic manner.

It already started to look much neater hahah.

Started playing around with the front and back cover. Tried out placing an image for the back page but found that the words colour and the image wasn’t really working.

I was thinking about what Joy said about how am I going to make each spread seem related to each other, and decided that one way could be placing my patterns at the outside of the solid colours, so that the patterns will be the common thing on both pages and that it will not be distracting from the words like my first draft.



Also taking into consideration of what my classmates feedback were, I changed the pantone idea and decided that instead of having it floating in the first draft, every page could have a different way of expressing the pantone idea. Starting with the colour bar that is on the outside, the colour bar in the center of the pictures and finally the pantone frame in the pictures.


In my opinion, this was the most difficult spread because there were many photos that I wanted to include (which was also my messiest spead.) However, after much consideration, I decided to narrow down to 2 main pictures, decluttering this.

Something else that was bothering me was the use of chinese words, because I was unsure if I should use a type face, that was similar to the pantone word, or I should personalize it to make it more fun and contrasting that with the pantone typeface.  However, I wasn’t really satisfied with the first draft chinese words, because I felt like it was a little messy, so i decided to continue experimenting

However, I felt like something was still missing.

So I started trying to do something different and found that this worked better and it was something that was fun. So with that, I tried to do that with all the chinese words.

Moving on, I decided to add the prints in the background.

With that, I came up with my FINAL ZINE. Zine_for print_1 (here is the link)


I think definitely one of the challenges faced was printing. I had so much problem with that because of the colours that turned out during the printing. It was either my pictures turned out too dark, or the prints didn’t turn out right. And when I finally got the both colours, the backcover had some colour smudge when it was printed (the test prints are all in my visual journal). I think i spent more than $20 on printing and even though the zine that I submitted still had some colouration problems, it was the best among the worst.

Another problem I did face was doing layouts. I think I realized that it wasn’t my strength and something I wasn’t really used to paying attention to, especially since I’ve always done illustrations. But it was a good challenge because it got me thinking about how well it reads and sometimes I was tempted to squeeze as many photos in a spread as possible but sometimes that doesn’t work out. So even though it was truly difficult (and it didn’t help that I’m usually quite messy), it was definitely a great learning experience and I’ve learnt so much from this. I’ve learnt how important it is to pay attention to details too, especially in a publication because one small alignment that goes off is easy to catch on when its printed out and people can tell when something is not right.

With that, this is the end of my final project and it has been a real cool experience:). It has been truly enriching and inspiring to see everybody’s hardwork and incredibly creative minds over the past semester :’) Thanks to Joy too for being so nice and helpful throughout this journey too! Yey

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