In this zine, I had a few concepts which I wanted to work on:

  1. The good and the bad of Political figures.
  2. Larger than life.
  3. Preserved buildings in Singapore.
  4. ‘Infographic’ on Wakeboarding.

Some initial sketches:


A positive light on Trump..?

giant hermit crab 1

Larger than life hermit crab.


preserved building 2

Preserved peranakan buildings in Joo Chiat.

wakeboard shark 1

Wakeboarding like you’re Poseidon.


I ultimately decided to go with Wakeboarding, as I had a passion for the sport and I feel that not enough people know or have tried the sport. While I initially planned to create the zine in an infographic style, it morphed into an introductory booklet which served as an informative starter kit.

With that in mind, I chose my target audience to be the young crowds who walk around aimlessly in CCA booths in schools and universities, looking for a CCA that might interest them.

While it was no longer a 100% infographic zine any more, I still picked out relevant material in crafting one. Based on my research, infographics had to:

  • be eye-catching.
  • be easy for readers to engage in.
  • include more visuals and less text.This was important as the target audience I had in mind would have a limited attention span, and would probably move on if something didn’t catch their attention within the next 10 seconds or so.



Given this knowledge, I attempted to steer my zine in those guiding concepts. In my earlier projects, I lacked a strong art direction, which caused my artworks to carry little cohesion. This time, I made sure to follow a particular artistic style, which was to be done via digitally drawing on photographs.

I studied some of David Carson’s typographic works to get a general idea of the types of font I would want to use. It was an added bonus that many of his works fused two of his passions: design and surfing. This made it easy to emulate some of his works onto mine. Other artists I studied include Joe Pytka (Director of Space Jam), Richard Williams (Director of Who framed Roger Rabbit) and Guila Pex.

After much contemplation, I also decided on a Landscape format as opposed to a more convential portrait-oriented zine, reason being the photographs I took while wakeboarding were more fitting of landscape formats.

Some initial cover pages:

cover page wakeboard

This cover had a plain coloured sky. I received feedback that a picture of a photographed sky could be used instead to maintain a strong thematic style.

cover page wakeboard newsky

Too many clouds in this one, so i took another photograph with fewer clouds and ultimately changed to a landscape orientation.


Cover page

Cover. A much clearer sky. Saturation was increased to make the zine more bold and eye-catching.

zback cover

Back. Played with the concept of front and back (The back page shows the back of the cover picture.).


Page 1

Starting off with a familiar sight:  This hopefully provides a fun familiarity to the reader. Note the added definitions 2 & 3.

page 2

The major colour theme of this project is blue, given the subject of the water sport. Created my own font here to keep up the fun, quirky mood of this zine. (Thank God I didn’t use Comic Sans)



Using acetate paper brought me a lot of fun working on this zine. What I had in mind was drawing cartoons on the acetate, such that it could interact with a photograph when placed over it. I then had the idea of placing the transparent sheet between two different figures, so that there was a concept of duality where the acetate could interact with both the left and the right pages.

This idea was worked upon as I wanted something to capture the attention of the reader more, so that he or she would be entertained enough to read more, instead of losing interest in plain text halfway. The use of acetate this way was easy to play with and added to the fun element of the zine.



Left Page.


Right page. Low quality photograph because OSS has a max file upload size-.-

In these pages I chose to deviate from the blue colour theme as I wanted to evoke the mood of adrenaline, excitement and power. Besides, a stark colour change on a new page would add variation to the monotonous colours. In the context of the next page, I therefore chose green to be the main colour, so each section would come together to produce the RGB effect.



Used nessie to portray the idea of a myth.

(NOTE: In between the above and below pages is an additional transparency, where the sentence “Create your own scene here!” is written at a corner. While readers may not necessarily be inclined to do so, they are nonetheless prompted to get creative and be more observant of the scene that can be viewed when one is wakeboarding, to give a better idea of how wakeboarding feels like.)


Refer to bottom of post for better quality photographs.




Back to a blue theme.


Refer to bottom of post for better quality pictures.



Page 12


Choice of paper:

Fabric paper for the covers provided a nice texture, and complimented the whole surf n’ sweat vibe. The rest (apart from the acetate) were printed on semi-gloss 190gsm paper (not too thick for the acetate alignment).

I had initially wanted to print the whole zine using the transparent acetate such that the zine is completely waterproof and I could present it in a clear rectangular container while tied to a string, just like a wakeboarder. However, the acetate pages would stick together when wet, and the zine would be very difficult to bind due to the resistivity of acetate.


Nonetheless, I am satisfied with the way my zine turned out:)


wakehero w cape copymyth2 wakeshark2

To be honest, this project started out as almost ridiculous to me. “Hello, my name is blah and I am blah.” I was cynical about this kindergartener’s art homework. I guess this is why I still am in school, because boy, did I have much to learn.

Sure, even a 4 year old could do this project, but as I researched on various typefaces and fonts, I realised how much sophistication and depth this project called for. By working on this project, I learned to really appreciate the art of typography and all the meaning and connotations it can carry, simply through different representations of words.

I decided to present these 5 compositions as they represent things that affect me very considerably, or have made a lasting impact.

Please click the link here to view all the final images (not in order for some reason) in higher resolution:

-Hello I am project 1.compressed


Front cover: featuring my signature and all the supportive feedback I received via post-its:)

In the presentation, I chose to display my works in a flip-book format. This was simply to allow each work to stand on its own, as they are meant to be viewed individually and I wouldn’t want them to have to fight for attention. It becomes more crucial given the fact that each piece was intentionally made simple; viewing them individually would then become more visually powerful. There is also the added bonus of it being able to stand like a desk calendar, which was a nice aesthetic.

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 3.32.50 amThis was the first piece I decided to present. Personally, I liked this one the most as I found it to be simple and clean, yet evoking a strong message. I hope I would be able to improve in such works in the future.

I would say that I used the idea of appropriation to create this piece. The design of my name here is a take on the very common household brand, Durex. Initially I wanted to make it more similar by creating the letter ‘b’ in my name to look like how durex portrayed their letter x, which extended to the border. However, after several attempts, I figured that it looked better the way it was, and that the whole durex thing going on was already similar enough for people to get it.

Just in case it wasn’t clear enough, I decided to replace the letter ‘o’ to an actual condom. I then gave the inner part of the condom a tinge of blue in Photoshop to make it seem realistically translucent in front of the blue background.

Initially, this piece did not include the crayon drawing of a suffocated boy. I thought that the idea of a condom was evident enough to give the message that I did not like kids, or wanted one now for that matter. Obviously I thought wrong, as many individuals claimed that I was trying to portray something provocative and nothing else. I’m glad consultations went the way it did, as I received a great deal of constructive feedback from my peers (thanks guys) and my prof (thanks Joy) to give my audience a stronger direction towards my intended message.

I chose orange to depict the crayon kid as firstly, it was a good contrast to the blue branding, and secondly, it was a friendlier colour as opposed to red, which was important when trying to depict something that related more to a child.

The encircled ‘R’ was a clear but subtle hint to show that this was taken after a brand (another reason highlighting the importance of consultations).

FullSizeRender 5

This piece is sort of a cry of misery. Being allergic to dust, in my opinion, is one of the worst things you can wish on anyone. On average, I sneeze off about 2 days in a week, because of my very sensitive nose. My eyes water, I get headaches, and I’m always stuck in the moment just before a sneeze. You can imagine how that can greatly affect productivity. If the room is dusty, I would wake up several times to sneeze and have to (attempt to) clear my nose. Tissue papers would be my best friend, and my enemy when it comes to the point where the skin around my nose gets really dry and red after all that wiping. You can see how I would be very vocal about this affliction to choose it as one of my works.

Anyway, enough of garnering pity points. I decided to create artificial dust using felt, with graphite grazed all over it to simulate the colour of dust, and then pulling at the felt to give the texture of dust bunnies. I then cut my name out from the felt (note to self: felt is pretty resistant to pen-knives), modelled a nose from plasticine and stuck a wad of tissue in a nostril.


pulling at the felt to give it the dust bunny texture


the cut out letters (and nose)


using a toothpick to dig out nostrils for the nose was a rather awkward experience.


Putting it all together and stuffing a wad of tissue in, before digital editing.

While I felt (haha) that this composition would fare better as a 3d piece because of the dusty texture and the tissue dangling from the nose, I decided to keep it 2D in order to fit it into my method of presentation. The advantage of keeping it 2D was that I could paint the nose digitally, and increase the highlights and contrasts of the dusty background so that the letters would appear more clearly and the higher contrasts would make everything more visually appealing. I also gave the tissue a slightly blue colour to have it stand out from the black and white background.

FullSizeRender 4

This next piece is like a visual ode to the now outdated Microsoft word on windows 95-98. I’m sure many of us in this era would be very familiar to this font: Times New Roman. I enjoyed using this font. It made me feel like I was a newspaper editor back when I was in Primary school. Whether anyone shares this sentiment with me or not, I believe that everyone who used Microsoft word then would recognize this soon-to-be forgotten font, the Calibri (Body) of the 90s.

I first screenshot my name typed out on Microsoft word, making sure the timing was right to capture the blinking | (< no idea what it’s called) as well. It was important to create the effect of what one would see when he or she was typing away on Microsoft word. I then photoshopped in the cursor one would see on Microsoft word. Funny thing about this. On a MacBook when you do a screen capture, the cursor disappears entirely, hence the need to photoshop it in. Small issue, but I like to think how only last year, before I learned how to use Photoshop, this would have posed a real problem to me!

As a nice touch, I then added in Mr. Clippy, the unhelpful paperclip. Good to see he got phased out, but still an icon of nostalgia nonetheless. Finally, as a finishing touch, I added a ‘screen’ to overlay the whole image. This screen was not easy to make, and luckily I found a tutorial online which showed exactly how to do it. The screen serves to be reminiscent of the old convex screens that those blocky computers had in the past.

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 3.33.37 am

This composition is a little bold, even for my standards. I initally wanted to caption this as “…and I am unnecessarily childish.”. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been entirely inaccurate to label it as such. However, it was how I strongly felt about modern art these days. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate all modern artworks, just those that I find not deserving of the credit they receive. Maybe I’m just jealous, and I probably am, but I simply cannot fathom how a friggin red square painted on a huge canvas can be worth almost $2 million. I mean, whatever happened to the likes of Raphael and Da Vinci?

I prepared a little game where I asked my audience which work of art was worth millions of dollars, and which one took me just 3 minutes to photoshop in the morning without any thought.

Every piece is worth millions of dollars save one

Every piece is worth millions of dollars save one.

This small exercise was not to belittle my peers, who most, if not all of them are far more intelligent and creative than I am. I simply wanted to prove my point that these works of modern art are simply not worth their priced value, at least in my opinion. Sure, they may carry some deep meaning, but so do many other art works that look like they have some skill or effort included in it as well.

As a result, I decided to make a parody of Piet Mondrian’s work, not because I particularly dislike him, but because he was one of the more notable modern artists that I have come across time and again. I do not have anything against the artists themselves, though I definitely do not share their sentiments in artistic perspective. The final outcome serves as a message for the direction that modern art is heading towards.

Maybe in time, I will come to learn and understand the rich meaning of such works of abstract art, but until then, I won’t be in the least bit inclined to pay and see them in museums.

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 3.33.23 am

While this piece was initially one of the final 4 compositions, it became a bonus piece as I realised that I might be straying from the objective of converting one’s name to a typographic art work. This piece is a wordy collage of various descriptions that make me, such that when compiled together they create a typographic self portrait. I decided to add this as a bonus piece anyway because I felt it was a nice summary to my presentation where I end with “…and I am Jacob.” It just felt like an appropriate ‘closure’.


Rejected works:


Jacob mahjong 1 copy

“…and I am a mahjong addict.” Tried to force my name out of the tiles that make up the “Thirteen Wonders”. You can see here that I failed very miserably indeed.

jacob mahjong 2

“…and I am a mahjong addict.” once again. This was a more successful attempt, and I really like it (you can tell I do because I made it the featured image for this post haha), but many of my friends couldn’t tell that it was an attempt to spell my name. I also didn’t want to digitally manipulate the tiles because I felt that it wouldn’t be a creative enough method to carry out this project.

typography i screwed up

“…and I screwed up.”. This piece just felt like it needed more. That, and the caption doesn’t give off a very strong message.



I found that those works that I have chosen to include more sensitive imagery caught the attention of many during the presentation, to the extent that it dulled out other pieces of my work.

All that being said, I feel that using things that are more ‘taboo’ in nature in art, such as expletives or sexually related objects seem to attract more attention, but at the same time it should not be used solely for that purpose in my opinion, but serve to enforce the intended message of the artist. I hope I have utilized my works in this manner and did not stray too far in simply using them for cheap shock value.

This project was a fun one to work on: We had to spell our names out with a relation to whatever it is we decided to describe ourselves with.

The premise of this project gave me many ideas I wanted to work on.


After consultations, I was given an important piece of advice, which was to create a theme, or a collective mood, of the series of typographic compositions I was to create.

I decided to go with the idea of being simple, yet witty.


As such, these are the captions I decided to work on:

  1. I am allergic to dust.
  2. I was born during the dawn of the computer age.
  3. I find kids annoying.
  4. I am Jacob.


“I am allergic to dust.”

For this composition, I will attempt to create my name with a runny nose; said nose will represent the letter ‘A’ in my name. The nose will be made from clay. To make things more relevant, I will place a layer of grey ‘dust’ (probably felt wool) as the background of this composition. To keep things 2D, I will take a photo of the final piece to print out. I am hoping this will turn out well during the presentation.


“I was born during the computer age.”

I felt that this piece should represent the thing that we 90s kids would be very familiar with. Therefore, I chose to emulate the past Microsoft word document font. Back then, Times New Roman was the default font, and was also the most accepted font in school.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 11.25.11 pm

This small but important Microsoft word cursor was added as well.Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 11.24.52 pm

After consultations, however, I was inspired to push the already familiar text a step further. I took the advice of adding an old school ‘screen’ effect to the composition.


Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 5.19.01 am

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 5.18.24 am

Notice the hazy, faint RGB blanket that new flat-screen laptops today do not produce.


This was actually pretty fun to do as the process, though long, turned out fruitful. Here are some process shots:

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 9.46.19 pmScreen Shot 2016-02-11 at 10.27.13 pmScreen Shot 2016-02-11 at 10.28.09 pm

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.32.22 am

Looks really complicated, and it is! Thankfully the online guide was very easy to follow:)


The tutorial for this effect can be found online here:

And finally, the icing on the cake:


Clippy, the nostalgic paperclip. I personally never really liked him.

I remember how he was always there to aid, but was never really much help. #Aforeffort


“I find kids annoying.”

To tackle this piece, I decided to tackle to root cause of the problem. We all know what causes kids, and we all know the preventive measures. So I decided to do a little research on a particular household brand.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 8.56.21 amScreen Shot 2016-02-12 at 8.57.16 am

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 8.57.46 am

Their ads were so witty and entertaining that I almost got carried away with my research.

Subtle as it was, the logo itself was distinguishable enough. There was little I had to do for others to see the relation in this, even without the product replacing the letter ‘O’ in my name:

Typography i find kids annoying

Again, I was encouraged to push this even further, by including the Ⓡ symbol in this piece.

Wiki time:

“The enclosed R or circled Latin R (Ⓡ or ⓡ) is a typographical symbol. As one of many enclosed alphanumerics, the symbol is an “R” within a circle. Its most notable usage is as the registered trademark symbol.”

However I was told, with good reason, that I may not be sending the message I intend to, which was that I do not want kids (at least not now). I had to include something to show my audience that message.

This led me to download some Photoshop crayon brush presets:) There’s something about kids being almost synonymous to whimsical crayon doodles, and I hope I can use this to bring forth the right message this time.

crayon doodle kids

cute, but also kinda creepy.


“I am Jacob.”

For this final piece, I wanted to do a reversal of the project. Instead of introducing my name first in the typographic artwork, I decided to introduce the adjectives and things that make me into the composition, and end it off with my name as the caption.  Since there were so many things I wanted to include in this piece, I decided to employ the concept of a typographic portrait.

Some super cool examples:

typortrait batman typortrait heisenberg


Portraits like these are fairly common. However, I felt that since this was a multiple item project, I wanted to give the whole thing a bit of a narrative, where this wraps everything up on a nice note. After all, pictures of one’s self comes to mind when one says “This is me.”.

Some process shots:

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 9.31.11 am

gaussian blur because i’m not a selfie kinda guy lol

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 9.28.47 amScreen Shot 2016-02-12 at 9.29.42 amScreen Shot 2016-02-12 at 9.35.03 am





This project is an aim to understand the consciousness of our own identity (hence the title “EGO”) through simple mathematical equations, which were:

__________ + __________ = ME

__________ – __________ = A BETTER ME

__________ x __________ = AN IDEAL ME

__________ +/- __________ = ME IN 5 YEARS

In this project, my main focus was on colour; to create aesthetic value via colour harmonies, and more importantly, using the right colours to convey the intended characteristic or mood.

__________ + __________ = ME




In this photographic image, my objective was to show a more serious side of myself. Many of us experience inexplicable bouts of melancholy and disheartenment, and I feel that these moments, as much as I dislike them, are what gives me the time and mood to think deeper and to reflect on myself. I often end up pondering on the raison d’etre of my very being, and this is not a side that I usually show others because it is hardly called for.

For this photograph, I chose to keep it black and white. Many pictures with serious notes tend to be monochromatic in nature, and with good reason. Humans see the world in colour, and a rendition of the world in monochrome makes us pause and look closely. Removing colour from a picture helps viewers to focus on the emotional state of the photograph, as black and white portraiture lets the audience see faces and read eyes without distraction. The colour black also encourages us to look at the negative side of life, which is the essence of this picture that I am attempting to convey.


RESIZE slothlike

While some people see this as being very ‘zen’, my parents perceive it as me being sluggish and unproductive. Either way, I portrayed a sloth to define my slow and unhurried nature.

I did not want to use any bold or striking colours in this digital painting, nor did I want too fancy a background. From my past research, analogous colours should be used to create a serene and comfortable design. Simplicity and Peacefulness were my targets for this composition, which led me to use colours which are in said harmony.


sad sloth

This was an attempt of a humorous combination of the previous 2 pictures. The pose of this sloth is almost identical to the pose of myself in the first picture.

In this case, the monochromatic colour is used firstly to bear heavy semblance to the first picture, and secondly to create a stark contrast between ‘comical’ and ‘sombre’, especially when viewing the equation as a whole piece.

__________ – __________ = A BETTER ME




During the idle time I had before the semester began, I experimented with landscape digital painting and I decided to have a go at it for this project. I wanted to represent hope in this painting, very much like my ambition to one day be able to create compelling stories through animated films for both young and old. For this composition, I drew a lone figure ready to scale a mountain to convey ambition.

I used primarily warm colours here to evoke energy, optimism and confidence. I was worried that the lack of colour contrast would cause this image to appear dull, so I played with a wide range of tonal value to avoid too much subtlety.


absent minded

This digital painting is left deliberately dark all over, very much like a failing effort to remember something. Casting a black vignette around the image is an attempt to show that the hiking bag has been forgotten on the seats.

Despite the overall dull piece, I decided to choose colours for the bag to have it still stand out despite having similar tonal values to the rest of the image. I therefore used an RGB triadic harmony for the bag.

An Earlier attempt which did not work out too well:

left bag copy
Looks kind of like a cheap flash game


RESIZE a better me

This is one of my favourite pieces which turned out well for me. The subject in question (who remembered his equipment bag this time) is now perched at the top of the mountain, a signifier of success. This is complimented by warm sun-rays greeting him, seemingly congratulating his achievement.

Again, varying tonal range is used conscientiously to create a more impactful digital painting. Here I used both warm and cool colours to create an aesthetically pleasing contrast.

__________ x __________ = AN IDEAL ME




What better way to convey a talkative character than with multiple open mouths? In this piece, I drew inspiration from pop art, which usually use bright, contrasting colours to create a pop-out effect. For this piece, I drew a single mouth with a Wacom tablet and duplicated it 4 times (hooray photoshop) before filling each quarter with solid colours.

While the whole composition is in tetradic harmony, within each quarter, split complementary colours were used. This is to evoke a whimsical and lighthearted disposition; i.e; loud and ‘outspoken’ colours with hardly any depth. All the colours are fighting for attention since they are all a variation of direct harmony. The result is colourful and cheerful, yet messy at the same time.

(Note: For some reason the colour appears a little off when uploaded on this site. E.g; the top left quarter background colour is supposed to have a much more discernible purple tint to it. Here it looks almost bluish.)


RESIZE speaking with depth

Rather than creating a literal image, I drew abstract lines to express the idea of depth. This reminded me of our First 2D project (a line is a dot that went for a walk) for obvious reasons.

Using Gold lines against a black background gave the lines a 3D effect. I also added subtle blue-purple shadow lines (direct harmony of gold, which is yellow-orange) beneath the gold lines to further accentuate the depth of the gold lines.


RESIZE speaking with depth copy

This piece was rather fun to experiment with. Drawing ideas from greeting cards I came across, I attempted to make a ‘3D’ paper card mouth of my own.

I interpreted the multiplication of the previous 2 images as speaking with depth, so I set the “Depth” image as a background and attached the 3D mouth on it. The mouth carries literal depth of its own as a result of being folded at calculated edges.

To me, speaking with depth means that sometimes it is better to imply than to state the obvious. The result is an implied mouth that carries the right colours for a mouth, but does not entirely look like one either. For example, teeth are not drawn on the white strips, but the placement of the strips alone would imply that they represent teeth.

Earlier experimentations and process shots:

  IMG_0982 IMG_0980


__________ +/- __________ = ME IN 5 YEARS



RESIZE work hard

I painted a cartoon image of myself attempting to create a life-sized replica of a stone henge, on a hot day, with a wooden mallet. This is my portrayal of working hard (not smart). The colours are highly saturated with the intention to show that it is a hot and sunny day.

In this composition, I made use of split complementary colour harmony; Blue and green, with a hint of red to stand out. A red shirt is used also to express the uncomfortable heat that this cartoon self is feeling under the sun.


Image (1)

Scanning a pen-drawn image to edit digitally.


work smart

In this drawing I tried to visualise the conditions that Thomas Edison tirelessly worked under in finding the right material for a light bulb filament. Instead of inventing the light bulb (which has already been invented as depicted), this cartoon self is working on inventing a robot drone.Image (2) (1)                      Another pen drawn scan.

Tonal value is played with here to create depth via emitted light and cast shadows. Blueprints are masking taped to a yellow wall to create direct harmony, and the central subject is wearing red to be at the centre of attention.


RESIZE success

The cartoon self here is only shown in a silhouette, gazing out at the drones carving out an endless line of easter heads complete with full bodies. This is to illustrate success from combining the two ideas of working hard and working smart. In 5 years I will most probably have graduated from ADM and I hope that by then I will have found a career doing what I like to do, which is helping to create impactful stories, and hopefully go on to create stories of my own eventually.

Image (3) (1)

                      More scanning.

In this piece, I select colours to subliminally convey emotional values and characteristics. A large portion of this composition are painted with cool colours; Blue represents idealism and order, authority and contemplation. Green evokes growth and rejuvenation. A black silhouette is used here to embody deep strength and sophistication, as well as power and control. The drones are kept white while emitting transient blue light trails to accentuate futurism.

Some initial sketches:


Rendered calculator buttons to attach to the mounting board:

math symbols

Presenting “EGO” 🙂



A colour scheme is the choice of colours used in design for a range of media, and these choices tend to work well in various kinds of colour harmony. Monochrome colours can also be used.


Monochromatic colours are all the colours (tints, tones, and shades) of a single hue. Monochromatic color schemes are derived from a single base hue, and extended using its shades, tones and tints (that is, a hue modified by the addition of black, gray (black + white) and white. As a result, the energy is more subtle and peaceful due to a lack of contrast of hue.



Colour Harmony


There are 5 types of colour harmony:


1)  Direct Harmony: This is the most basic harmony. It is a point opposite to the key colour on the wheel.  This “opposite” colour is referred to as the complementary colour and thus the direct harmony can also be called the complementary harmony. Virtually all colour harmonies (except Analogous) are a variation of the direct harmony.

The high contrast of complementary colours creates a vibrant look especially when used at full saturation but can be jarring if not managed properly. This is the most common colour scheme and is easy to find in all sorts of designs.

Complementary colour schemes are tricky to use in large doses, but work well when you want something to stand out. Complementary colours are really bad for text as both colors have a similar “strength” and will fight for attention.


2) Split Complementary: Rather than the point opposite the key colour on the wheel, the split complementary takes the two colours directly on either side of the complementary colour. This allows for a nicer range of colours while still not deviating from the basic harmony between the key colour and the complementary colour.

This colour scheme has the same strong visual contrast as the complementary colour scheme, but has less tension.  The split complimentary colour scheme is a safe choice for virtually any design as it is near impossible to mess up and always looks good.


3) Triadic Harmony: This refers to the colour two spaces to either side of the key colour’s complement. Essentially, with the triadic harmony, you are using three equally distanced colours on the colour wheel. This harmony is best used with only touches of colour.

Too much of each colour and a design will appear to have too many colours and can be too vibrant.

To use a triadic harmony successfully, the colours should be carefully balanced—let one colour dominate and use the two others for accent. Or, desaturate all colours and only use the triadic colours in small spots or touches.

4) Analogous Harmony: Also referred to as related colours, these are the colours directly on the left and right of your key colour. They usually match up quite well and create a serene and comfortable design. While this colour harmony can be pleasing to the eye, it can also come across as monotone. If  going for a design that’s primarily one colour, this is a good choice.


5) Tetradic Harmony: Similar to the Triadic, except that there are four points, all equally distanced on the colour wheel. It is a design simply using two sets of complementary colours.This harmony is good when you have numerous elements that all need to stand out on their own—such as a poster that features 4 or more characters. By using colours equally distant on the colour wheel, each character gets equal attention.



Visual Examples:



Direct Harmony

direct harmony2

Split Harmony

split harmony7

Triadic Harmony

triadic harmony3

Analogous Harmony

analogous harmony4

Tetradic Harmony

tetradic harmony5

Colour is British, Color is American, but their meaning is universal.

Colour is important because it adds meaning to a design.

Colour carries emotional resonance with it- in that, when we see a colour, we have an emotional response towards that colour. Blue can be sad, calm, and confident while yellow is happy, light, and cautionary. We naturally associate colours with emotions because it is hard to put words to what we are feeling.

Colours connect to our feelings in a unique and memorable way, which make them a powerful marketing tool. Colour is helpful in communicating your message because it draws attention, sets the tone of the message, and guides the eye where it needs to go. It presents a sense of direction and recognition that people can identify and relate to.

Colour is a form of non verbal communication. It is not a static energy and its meaning can change from one day to the next with any individual – it all depends on what energy they are expressing at that point in time.

inside out colour chart



Positive keywords include: action, energy and speed, attention-getting, assertive and confident, energizing, stimulating, exciting, powerful, passionate, stimulating and driven, courageous and strong, spontaneous and determined.

Negative keywords include: aggressive and domineering, over-bearing, tiring, angry and quick-tempered, ruthless, fearful and intolerant, rebellious and obstinate, resentful, violent and brutal.

Effects of Red:

Stimulating: to the physical senses- the sexual and physical appetite. It stimulates the deeper passions within us, such as sex, love, courage, hatred or revenge. If you have a flagging sex life and would like to introduce more passion into it, introduce some red into the bedroom – the more red, the more passion, but don’t overdo it or it will have the opposite effect.

Exciting and Motivating: it excites our emotions and inspires us to take action.

Attention-getting: it demands you to take notice, alerting you to danger. This is why we have red traffic lights and stop signs – it is the universal colour for danger.

Assertive and Aggressive: drivers of red cars should take note! A small survey I did a few years ago showed that drivers of red cars, including females, said they felt quite aggressive behind the wheel of their red car.



Positive keywords include: growth and vitality, renewal and restoration, self-reliance, reliability and dependability, being tactful, emotionally balanced and calm, nature lover and family oriented, practical and down to earth, sympathetic, compassionate and nurturing, generous, kind and loyal with a high moral sense, adaptable, encourages ‘social joining’ of clubs and other groups, a need to belong.

Negative keywords include: being possessive and materialistic, indifferent and over-cautious, envious, selfish, greedy and miserly, devious with money, inconsiderate, inexperienced, a hypochondriac and a do-gooder.

Effects of Green:

Rejuvenating: The colour green revitalizes us when we are physically, mentally or emotionally exhausted.

Nurturing: Because of its link with the heart, green urges us to nurture others. Green is also nurturing to us – another reason why it is the most predominant colour on earth.

Dependable, agreeable and diplomatic: The colour green helps us to see situations clearly from all sides.

Possessiveness: Green is a colour that encourages us to want to own things and people, to collect and possess. Green encourages materialism.

Envy: Green with envy’ is a common phrase and a negative reaction to the colour green.



Positive keywords include: loyalty, trust and integrity, tactful, reliability and responsibility, conservatism and perseverance, caring and concern, idealistic and orderly, authority, devotion and contemplation, peaceful and calm.

Negative keywords include: being rigid, deceitful and spiteful, depressed and sad, too passive, self-righteous, superstitious and emotionally unstable, too conservative and old-fashioned, predictable and weak, unforgiving, aloof and frigid. It can also indicate manipulation, unfaithfulness and being untrustworthy.

Effects of Blue

Conservative: The colour blue is a safe colour – the most universally liked colour of all.

Predictable: Blue is not impulsive or spontaneous and it doesn’t like to be rushed – blue needs to analyse and think things through, and to work to a plan.

Orderly: Blue needs to have direction & order- untidiness and unpredictability overwhelms it.

Rigid: Blue likes familiarity. It doesn’t like change and will stubbornly do things its own way, even if there is a better way.





Positive keywords include: optimism, cheerfulness, enthusiasm, fun, good-humored, confidence, originality, creativity, challenging, academic and analytical, wisdom and logic.

Negative keywords include: being critical and judgmental, being overly analytical, being impatient and impulsive, being egotistical, pessimistic, an inferiority complex, spiteful, cowardly, deceitful, non-emotional and lacking compassion.

Effects of Yellow:

Creative: The color of new ideas, yellow helps us find new ways of doing things.

Quick decisions: Yellow helps with clear thinking and quick decision-making but it can also be impulsive.

Anxiety producing: Yellow is fast moving so too much time in its presence can agitate and lead to nervousness and emotional instability.

Critical: Yellow makes people more mentally analytical and self critical of both themselves and others.

Non-emotional: Yellow relates to the head not the heart.



Positive keywords include: universal harmony and love, emotional balance, helps our spirit soar, spiritual yet practical, encourages common sense, loving, compassionate, supportive and kind, imaginative, innovative, creative and artistic, non-conformist, negotiator.

Negative keywords include: impulsive, domineering, impatient, intolerant, avoids challenges, too relaxing, feeling disconnected to others, can be bossy and demanding.

Effects of Magenta:

Emotional Balance: spiritual yet practical, it helps to create emotional, physical and spiritual balance.

Compassion: gentle and caring in its approach, it generates acceptance, tolerance, support and patience.

Inspiration: inspires cheerfulness and optimism, creativity and innovation, dream activity, positive change and negotiating skills.




Positive keywords include communication, clarity of thought, balance and harmony, idealism, calmness, creativity, compassion, healing and self-sufficiency.

Negative keywords include boastfulness, secrecy, unreliability and reticence, fence-sitting, aloofness, deception and off-handedness.

Effects of Cyan:

Clarity of Thought: It enhances the ability to focus and concentrate, assisting with clear thinking and decision-making, and the development of good organizational skills.

Calming: It is calming yet invigorating, restoring depleted energies.

Non-emotional: A negative effect of turquoise is that it can cause people to be too aloof and to hide their emotional reactions.





Positive keywords include: sociable, optimistic, enthusiastic, cheerful, self-confident, independent, flamboyant, extroverted and uninhibited, adventurous, the risk-taker, creative flair, warm-hearted, agreeable and informal.

Negative keywords include: superficial and insincere, dependent, over-bearing, self-indulgent, the exhibitionist, pessimistic, inexpensive, unsociable, and overly proud.

Effects of Orange

Enthusiasm: Orange is optimistic and extroverted – the color of the uninhibited.

Rejuvenation: Orange helps to restore balance to our physical energies.

Stimulation: Orange is not as passionate or as excitable as red, but it is stimulating, particularly to the appetite – the worst color to have in the kitchen if you want to lose weight.

Courage: Orange helps us to take account of our lives, to face the consequences, to take action and make appropriate changes, and then to move onward and upward.

Vitality: Orange has a more balanced energy than red, not as passionate and aggressive, but full of vitality.



Positive keywords include: unusual and individual, creative and inventive, psychic and intuitive, humanitarian, selfless and unlimited, mystery, fantasy and the future.

Negative keywords include:immaturity, being impractical, cynical and aloof, pompous and arrogant, fraudulent and corrupt, delusions of grandeur and the social climber.

Effects of Purple/Violet:

Empathy: Compassion, kindness and a love of humanity are positive qualities of Violet.

Controlled emotion: Violet is passionate, like red, but inclined to display it in private only.

Respectable & distinguished: The darker shades of violet particularly are linked to the origins of purple where it was only available to royalty and the wealthy.

Impractical: Violet can be impractical, with its head in the clouds rather than having its feet on the ground. It tends to see life as it imagines it, rather than how it is.

Immature: Violet can be immature, encouraging fantasy and an idealism that is often difficult to achieve in real life.

Dignity: Violet exudes a quiet modest form of dignity which is often appealing to others.

Cynical: This is a negative side of violet.



Positive keywords include integrity and sincerity, structure and regulations, highly responsible, idealism, obedience, highly intuitive, practical visionary, faithful, devotion to the truth and selflessness.

Negative keywords include being fanatical, judgmental, impractical, intolerant and inconsiderate, depressed, fearful, self-righteous, a conformist, addictive, bigoted and avoiding conflict.

Effects of The Color Indigo:

Introspection: promotes deep concentration during times of introspection and meditation – can lead to feelings of being spaced out.

Idealistic: an ability to plan for the future.

Addiction: can support an addictive personality into maintaining their addictions – don’t use it if you are trying to overcome an addiction – it is associated with the religious fanatic – the colour of the workaholic who thinks they are indispensable – can also be related to those who are addicted to getting qualifications.

The Dramatist: relates to the acting profession – can cause people to ‘make a mountain out of a molehill’.

Conformity: a love of ritual – conformity to the things that have worked in the past, not just for the sake of conforming.




Positive keywords include: unconditional and romantic love, compassion and understanding, nurturing, romance, warmth, hope, calming, sweetness, naiveté, feminine and intuitive energy.

Negative keywords include: being physically weak, over-emotional and over-cautious, having emotional neediness or unrealistic expectations, being naive, immature and girlish, lack of will power and lack of self worth.

Effects of the Color Pink:

Calming: Pink calms our emotional energies.

Non-threatening: Pink lacks any aggression or anger, although the deeper pinks can be more assertive and confident.

Affectionate: Pink offers warmth and tenderness to friends and family.

Caring: Sensitivity and tender loving care relate to pink’s feminine and intuitive energies.

Immature: Pink is the color of the sweet young girl, before life’s experiences take over.



Positive keywords include: down-to-earth, wholesome, practical, approachable, friendly, stable, structured, supportive, comforting, reliable, protective, strength, quietly confident, sensual, sensitive, warm, reassured, honest, sincere, quality.

Negative keywords include: dull, boring, frugal, materialistic, lack of humour, lack of sophistication, predictable, cheap and stingy.

Effects of Brown:

Comforting: Sensual and warm, friendly and approachable, brown engulfs one in a feeling of calm and safety

Protective: creates a safe haven of support for family and friends

Materialistic: it encourages material security and the accumulation of possessions




Positive keywords include: reliable, conservative, dignified, neutral, impartial, professional, mature, intelligent, classic, solid, stable, calming, subdued, reserved, elegant, formal and dependable.

Negative keywords include:indecisive, non-emotional, indifferent, boring, sad, depressed, lifeless, lonely, isolated

Effects of Grey:

Indecision: Grey prefers to sit in the middle, not making a decision either way, sitting on the fence.

Detached: being non-emotional, grey can appear indifferent, uncaring, cold and aloof.

Depression: grey can stifle and depress energy but it is also the stable base from which the new and positive can come.

Unemotional: grey can appear neutral, disinterested, objective or impartial.



Positive keywords include: illumination, reflection, feminine power, balancing, calming, soothing, dignity, glamour, self control, responsibility, organization, insight, wisdom, modern, sleek, hi-tech and scientific.

Negative keywords include:dull, melancholy, lonely, lifeless and colorless, rigid, negative, neutral, indecisive, insincere, deceptive.

Effects of Silver:

Calming and soothing: its gentle and comforting qualities relate to the sensitivity of the moon’s cycle of ebb and flow.

Lifeless: the colourless energy of silver can lead to negative feelings of coldness, indecision and being non-committal.

Dignified and responsible: silver is respectable and courteous, mature and determined, wise and organised.



Positive keywords include: Success, abundance, wealth, understanding, self-worth, wisdom, compassion, love, passion, charisma, winning, optimistic, positive, and masculine.

Negative keywords: Fear of success, fear of wealth, self-centred, demanding, mean spirited, lack of trust, falseness.

Effects of Gold:

Enlightenment: gold, at its highest level, inspires knowledge, spirituality and a deep understanding of the self and the soul.

Compassion: caring, loving, generous and giving, gold is the benefactor or patron.

Generosity: gold loves to share its wisdom, knowledge and wealth with others.


WHITE (hahaha)

Positive keywords include: innocence, purity, cleanliness, equality, complete and whole, simplicity, immaculate and neat, self-sufficient, pristine and open, new beginnings.

Negative keywords include: sterile, stark, fastidious, empty, isolated, cautious, plain, distant, unimaginative, critical and boring.



Effects of White:

Impartial: White suggests fairness and neutrality because of the balance and equality of all the colors contained within it.

Rescuer: White rescues us from the dark. It is the white knight, rescuing the damsel in distress.

Futuristic: Symbolizing a clean slate, we can envisage anything with white.

Efficient: White is clean and clinical, giving an impression of efficiency and organization.




Positive keywords include protection and comfort, strong, contained, formal, sophisticated, seductive, mysterious, endings & beginnings.

Negative keywords include aloof, depressing and pessimistic, secretive and withholding, conservative and serious, power & control, sadness and negativity.

Effects of Black:

Formal, dignified and sophisticated: As in the little black dress and the formal dinner suit.

Aloof: Black sets itself aside from others with its heavy and intense energy. It keeps others at arm’s length.

Depressing: Black can close us to the positive aspects of life, forcing us to look at our disappointments and the black or negative aspects of our life. It can create a fear of the future.

Pessimistic: Too much black encourages us to look at the negative side of life.




Colour is a complex subject with many strands and it has the power to subliminally convey values and stories.

By stopping to consider what each colour represents and is linked to in the ‘real world’ we can make informed design decisions that ensure we appeal to our target audience.
















For this project, we were tasked to create designs with our personal interpretations on Nursery Rhymes, namely: Hey Diddle Diddle, Humpty Dumpty & The Old Woman who lived in a Shoe. This project was introduced to us after we did our research on the Elements and Principles of Design to give us an opportunity to apply what we have learnt.

I chose to go with Hey Diddle Diddle, primarily because I was in a group tasked to create image compositions for Hey Diddle Diddle. While creating the compositions, I developed some ideas for the Rhyme and chose to go along with them. The rhyme goes as follows:


Hey Diddle Diddle

Hey diddle diddle,

The cat and the fiddle,

The cow jumped over the moon.

The little dog laughed to see such sport,

And the Dish ran away with the spoon.


Editing Stock Images

For the first part of our research, we were taught how to use Photoshop to edit stock images, firstly to convert them into halftone images, and then to recreate them to become more visually unique compositions. Here are some experimentations:

IMG_0360IMG_0361rsz_img_0363      IMG_0365IMG_0366

IMG_0367 IMG_0369      rsz_img_0371rsz_1img_0377

rsz_img_0381rsz_img_0383      rsz_img_0386rsz_img_0387



Playing around for compositional ideas

This is the part where it gets fun. Applying what I have understood on the Principles of Design, I began on creating a compositional image for each verse of “Hey Diddle Diddle”.


Hey Diddle Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle

Referencing from a dictionary, the word ‘ Diddle’ can be a verb – to swindle or hoax. The mood of my composition is therefore interpreted as such; with themes of untrustworthiness and illusion.

This composition is a combination of various images related to the whole rhyme (eg; whiskers are cows’ skulls, the face of the cat is a dish, it’s mouth is a moon, and it’s eyes are dog paw prints.) It can be seen as the cat actually being tucked away within every part of the rhyme, just like any preying swindler would naturally be behind the scenes of his target/s.

I tried to create a background themed to the stanza “the Cat and the Fiddle”, so I constructed a background wallpaper with negative hello kitty images and the Er Hu (a Chinese variant for a fiddle). However, the use of repetition did not work well for this composition, and the Hello Kitty images served little purpose except to distract the viewer from the main cat image. The only redeeming factor was the black ‘X’ that allows the eyes to be guided back to the main cat face.


        The use of Hello Kitties is questionable.



I therefore chose to keep the main cat face image as it carried the sinister feel that I intended, but scrapped the background. Multiple cat images are counteractive.


rsz_the_cat_and_the_fiddle                     Final Composition
         Avoid prolonged eye contact  @.@


The above image is my final composition for the first stanza of the rhyme. This background, in my opinion, reflected my newly acquired knowledge of applying the Principles of Design much more than the previous version. By placing concentric circles centred on the cat face, as well as adding more straight negative lines merging towards the centre of the image, it becomes easier for a viewer to see the emphasis on the cat face. As an added bonus, there is a heavier sinister impact. The various types of fiddles are placed along the circumference of the concentric circles, very much like a clock. This is reminiscent of how hypnotists employ the use of watches to hypnotise their subjects.

This was a deliberate attempt to ignore the rule of thirds by placing the primary subject in the centre of the composition, to allow everything else to revolve around and be directed towards it.




The Cow Jumped Over the Moon

My first interpretation of this stanza was that of a literal translation. I tried to replicate the zodiac of Taurus, jumping through the night sky and out of the sky via the cow patches. While this was an interesting perspective, the composition seemed extremely detached, and didn’t flow well despite attempting to incorporate certain design principles (i.e; repetition, movement). The use of movement in the moons drew attention away from the cow, which already had some difficulty being the dominant image due to it’s camouflage with the cow patches background. There was also a lack of balance and unity. I decided to discard this piece altogether.


cowpeh draft 0

   Unnecessary crescents streak across the sky.


My further research to create a new composition led me to themes of asian culture. The cow in this sense was conveyed with the Chinese character ‘niu’, which means cow in Mandarin. The yin yang symbol is also synonymous with the moon in some asian cultures. The use of repetition worked really well in this image. I attempted to make it seem like the characters were jumping out from behind the photoshopped ‘moon’ towards the viewer. The additional skewing of the characters gave the composition a greater depth and harmony as well. The Chinese characters were given a difference clouds effect to resonate with the fact that the moon is seen in the sky. However, it still seemed a bit plain.

Cowpeh draft 1

Moon’s central placement seems boring

The final piece was then created by displacing the dominant object (the yin yang moon) from the centre and adding the concentric hexagons. The hexagons were inspired by oriental pagodas and as a result, the theme for this composition is clear and harmonious. It also becomes very easy on the eyes.


                           Final Composition                                    Rule of Thirds: Much more visual appeal.


With only 3 types of images, the composition becomes far more sophisticated and that allowed me to appreciate the importance of the various principles of design. There is also an air of mysticism about this image that I like.




The Little Dog Laughed to see such Sport

For this interpretation, I revolved my idea around the literal meaning of Sport. The dog in this image is a assembly of various types of sporting equipment (The ears are tennis rackets, the torso is a rugby ball, the head is a baseball helmet, and the eye is a tennis ball, just to name a few.)  I then constructed a collage wallpaper from a multitude of sports-related logos before slightly skewing it to add depth and place as a background.


The Little dog draft 1


I found that there was a lack of movement (not that it was completely necessary) in this composition, so I added a curved track bearing semblance to a 400m olympic race track. The stars signified the dog’s laughter. This came about when my friend and I were amused with eating popping candy that crackled and popped upon contact with the tongue.  Besides, the stars used in such a manner would hardly be associated with any negative emotions, so it was a safe bet to relate it to ‘Laughed’.

The Little dog draft 2

                A rather messy composition.

This would have been my final composition if I didn’t have the niggling feeling that the high amount of detail in the sports logos background constantly drew some attention away from the primary subject (the dog). The whole frame seemed rather messy and a little difficult to follow. I therefore simplified the background.



             Final Composition: Much cleaner.


The final composition has a faded raceflag as the background. It was much less convoluted as opposed to the previous composition. A raceflag also bears heavy connotations to sports, especially in F1 and Grand Prix events. In fact, it can almost be seen as a visual synonym of ‘racing’. Because it is much more visually subtle as well, attention is not driven (pun unintended) away from the intended dominant dog construction. The dog and track are kept in the foreground easily also because dark objects appear to have more weight when placed with lighter images. The race track is kept because it adds movement to the composition.



And the Dish ran away with the Spoon.

A common visualisation would be to display a personification of both dish and spoon running off together. I therefore decided to keep the dish and spoon simply as what they are: a dish and a spoon. However, I depicted the dish being used as a wheel for a unicycle.  I thought it was an interesting composition on its own. I really loved the sophistication of this image in all its simplicity. However, it did not address the stanza of having the dish RUN off with the spoon. It merely resembled a balancing act.

dish draft 0

Plus it looked like a minimal effort kind of work.


Adding diagonal movement lines of varying tonal value gave a better visual effect of hurrying off quickly.

dish draft 1

Now it looks like they are indeed speeding off .

I felt that it wasn’t enough still. I tried to displace it from the centre again and added more movement lines.

dish draft 2

Decentralised unicyclist is more visually                                           comfortable.

However, I still wanted to give it a much greater sense of movement to really capture the idea of the word ‘run’.



     Final Composition: The Flash on a unicycle

Adding the alternating wedges as a background gave the varied tonal lines a more pronounced 3 dimensional effect. The residual apparitions of the unicyclist also added emphasis on the speed of the unicyclist. Playing around with this composition really value-added my experience of working with compositing images for design.

Balance, unity, scale, dominance, movement, repetition and contrast. These methods in a designer’s arsenal can make or break a composition. When used correctly, the collective use of these methods can give an image far more visual depth and interest.