When I first started on this project, I was quite worried as I had no idea what I should do and I am also quite bad at visual communication. I started out with a sketch of the layout of the zine.
I really like this photo that I took so I wanted it to be on the cover page.
I received feedback that it fitted the brief but didn’t really show my own interpretation of my neighbourhood. I tried looking on pinterest to see what else I could attempt and also to get inspiration for they layout.
I liked those with simple/minimalistic layouts so I decided to try them and also changed my cover to fit the theme. I also liked the engraved words on the nanyang community club rock so I used that as well.
I didn’t really like the layout after I tried so I didn’t continue with the 3rd spread. Instead, I went back to the original cover page and redrew it in illustrator. I liked the vector drawing so I did it for another photo of a HDB that I took.
After the second consultation, I learnt that the layout should contain images of different sizes — dominant, subdominant, subordinate. Shirley also helped me with the layout by showing me how to do it. The text and images should follow the grid lines. As there was a bird on the cover page, I thought I could make it into a story of the bird/the perspective of the bird.
I felt like the cover was still quite plain so I added textures to it and changed the title. I also change my layout of the spreads so that they follow the grid lines. I was still unsure about my 3rd spread at this point.
After receiving feedback that I should add the nanyang rock to the back page, I decided to make it such that the map and artist contact are “engraved” in the rock. I also added ‘Jurong West’ in the title on the front page
In the end, I was unsatisfied with the layout of my spread and it didn’t really fit the mood of the cover page so I decided to redo all of them. I wanted the spreads to fit the “chinese” them like the front and back cover so I tried to do some research on chinese paintings. I found some artworks that were really interesting and I felt that I could use that idea for my spreads.
I tried the idea using the HDB vector illustration that I did. I used the font from the front cover but It looked weird so I changed the font to something that looked like calligraphy writing. I tried the change the colours of the drop shadows of the buildings to make it more vibrant but it didn’t fit the mood so I changed it back.
I also added a tree, a bird (the idea of making this the perspective of the bird) and a stamp to make it resemble a chinese painting. The tree was painted in illustrator an the bird was done using image trace. The stamp was also made using illustrator.
For the 2nd and 3rd spread, I tried to replicate the same style but I didn’t want all of them to be HDB buildings since it could be quite boring. For the second spread, I tried mimicking other simpler chinese paintings.
Using the textures in my neighbourhood as the background, I added the the bird, tree and stamp again to follow the theme. I added leaves on the branch to make it less plain and a fruit so it ties in with the title. The layout of the textures follow the grid lines (what I learnt from the previous consultations).
For the last spread, I decided to use patterns to form the mountains and the leaves of the tree. Like the first spread, I varied the sizes and opacity of the pattern to show depth and replicated the look of mountains in a chinese painting. I added a feather instead of a bird to give off a playful feeling, which fits the title.
For the back cover, the background colour was to similar to the rock so I changed it into the pattern used on the third spread. I also changed the colour out the words and made it look more like it was engraved on the rock.
Through this project, I really learnt a lot about design and also how to use photoshop, illustrator and indesign. (It was the first time I used illustrator for all my illustrations.) I also experimented a lot and was really satisfied with my final work. I was very stressed about the project at first but I enjoyed it in the end when I started playing with my layout instead of following everything strictly. I think the cover page is very important as it sets the tone for the zine and I only came up with my final idea because of the cover page.
Progress in pictures