Typographic portrait- Process


Mathematics- All about Geometry

In post, I’ll be focusing on just one of the pieces that I will be doing for the project. I have decided to use mathematics as my inspiration, more specifically geometry and maybe incorporating the attribute of logical.

I started off by identifying certain geometric shapes including triangles, squares and polygons.

ShapesPrecision and uniformity was what I was going for so I created a 6×6 square grid and used that as my guide to form the letters to my name. Each letter would then be made of the squares and triangles of the exact measurements. I only added diagonal lines within the appropriate squares to create the triangles. The relevant shapes are then filled in and the grids removed (see images below).

K shape 4.1

PrintShape AShape YShape SShape E I


I did like the outcome when I removed the grid, what was left were only the diagonal lines. Somehow, it became a minimalistic form of the letter, which I thought was quite interesting to note.

K shape
Progression of ‘K’

But of course, to just leave the letters as they are would be too mundane so I’m going to tessellate the letters as best as I can.

Name shape 1Should my calculations be correct, there are a total of 14 complete squares and 32 triangles (converts to 16 squares) to work with. In a 6×6 grid, there should be six squares remaining (left blank) if all 6 letters are arranged properly. Taking into account that the letters ‘e’ and ‘a’ already have a blank square incorporated into itself, there will then be four squares outside the tessellations.

Name shape 3
Tessellation in progress

For a matter of convenience, I decided to print out the letters to try and tessellate them. But of course, I am also considering working the pieces like a tangram.

Some possible arrangements:

IMAG1232 IMAG1233 IMAG1229 IMAG1231 IMAG1230

In terms of execution, I will either be leaving it digital, I might also try my hand at linocut or paper cut (still keeping options open). And maybe a splash of colour should be added into the work, I think it would make the work more exciting and visually appealing. It would also show how I actually feel about maths as a subject, that I don’t think it’s boring in the least.

Chapter one: Plan B

Today was ‘stock-taking’ day whereby all living in The Outskirts were to be recorded and accounted for by the residing guard at the designated area. The number of people living there was certainly not a small one and roll call took usually over half a day. Everyone was required to stand in line to have his or her details recorded, with the oldest in front. When it came to the end of the line, only the names of six children were called out. There were ten children at the last count. Most of the children were orphans, for some strange reason their parents were taken away by orders of Spector and they never returned. So, no one raised the alarm of anyone missing because no one noticed.

When the sixth child was accounted for, the guards left the outer dome. The crowd stirred and a sense of distress filled the air. One could tell people were uncomfortable with the realization of missing children. Slowly, the crowd dispersed from the area. The community was by no means a close knitted one but it was clear as day that missing children was a sign of danger. When people were taken away, they were taken in full view but this time, there was no sign of movement, no guards, no struggle, no one witnessed anything.

“Bill, something’s not right. They don’t just take children away. They never do,” said Harold, the eldest member of The Outskirts who was now standing next to Bill, waiting for the crowd to move out.

“Harold, you know very well there’s nothing I can do. We just need to sit tight and wait for Spector to return them.” Bill walked away swiftly, increasing his pace with every step. He knew exactly what Harold was hinting at but had not the slightest intention of getting involved. Harold followed Bill’s pace and walked quickly beside him and grabbed him by the arm and said “Bill. Find them. Or we’ll all regret it.” Harold’s voice went cold.

“It’s too risky. We don’t have authorization to enter the inner domes. And even if I wanted to, which I don’t, there’s no way I can do this alone.”

“I’ll find people, form a search party and then will you go? Something just doesn’t feel right. Spector never does anything for no reason. This is our chance to fight back. We’ve been cooped up here long enough; someone needs to take the first step. I’ll go too but you have to lead. You’re younger and filled with fire,” pleaded Harold.

“Fine. You have until midnight to find everyone or we’re not going. Now leave me alone old man.” Bill said as he walked away from Harold.


By the evening, Harold came back with three other individuals, two men and a woman. Bill was sitting in the far end of the canteen, eating, alone. Thee four individuals sat down at the table, sitting opposite Bill. Harold introduced them one-by-one. All were unfamiliar faces to Bill. Crescent was one of them. One of the men was said to be chosen because he was one of the engineers for the Voitheia and he may know the workings of the dome, including the door mechanisms a lot better than anyone present there. His name was Ian, of average height but rather scrawny. The other was the exact opposite from Ian. He was tall and towered over everyone even while seated. He was well built almost three times the size of Ian. After the introductions, the five began to devise a plan for the big move.

“Well Harold, this was your big plan, what do you propose we do first? You’ve brought me a group of strangers, what other brilliant ideas do you have?” said Bill sarcastically.

“We’ll need to arm ourselves or we won’t even make it pass that door. Head out now and find whatever you can. Try to keep it small. The last thing we need is to draw attention from the patrol guards before we even make a move,” snapped Crescent before Harold could answer. She was clearly annoyed at Bill’s tone.

“Alright fine. If we’re going to do this then make sure all of you are committed, we’ve got one shot at this. There is no plan B. Meet back here tomorrow night and we’ll see what you’ve got.”


Make your first move

Your first order of business is to arm yourself. You can of course choose to carry none and go with physical combat but this is not without consequence. Not only will you be risking your own life but also the lives of the others in the group. It is not recommended. Carrying capacity: You may carry up to a maximum of two weapons for now. One in hand and another in your pocket. As of now weapons have to be kept small especially if you have any disabilities to begin with.

You can discard weapons in exchange for better ones when you find them throughout the mission.


The guards in The Outskirts are not heavily armed (no guns or firearms at this point) but they are well built and can take you down easily just by pure strength. The door to the second dome is guarded by three guards during the day and four during the night. Should you choose to take down the guards in the daytime, you might run the risk of alarming everyone, including the guards that may (or may not) be in the second dome. If you choose to move in the night, there are more guards to fight but it is less likely that others will notice you.

There are a couple of ways you can find potential weapons.

There are as follows: the canteen (has the usual set of cutlery. Cooking utensils are speculated to be kept in the kitchen of the canteen which is usually locked. The only time it is open is during the day but there will definitely be guards inside.

Sleeping quarters (all bunk beds are made of solid steel rods that was falling apart, most of which is held together with rope)

You can also choose to make your own weapons from materials you find.

Checking and asking for items from other people around The Outskirts may also work. People often had a secret stash of items that they kept hidden from the guards during spot-checks to avoid confiscation. (You might find a set of Swiss army knives or a derivative of, if you play your cards right) But of course, giving you an item would mean they have become a partner in crime and that thought itself would make borrowing any item challenging. You will need to convince and persuade them.


In Summary

Give a description of how you obtained your weapon and include the reasons for your choice. You may go on this search (for weapons) on your own.

As to whether the group makes a move in during the day or night, both of you will be required to roll the dice. The person with the lowest number will decide when to go.

Lore 3- Authority

The Man in Charge


The Voitheia was designed according to the plans of a man named Charles Williams who had the aim of providing a new home for all living matter with a habitable environment. William naturally would have been the man to take charge of governing the Voitheia, because he owned it. However the poor soul never did live to see the completion of his work. On the day he passed, a man by the name of Spector became his successor. Little is known about Spector, except that he worked closely with Williams on the Voitheia project. Spector was supposedly William’s protégé.

On the 22nd of January 2083, the Voitheia opened its doors to the people. At that time only those who could afford the hefty entry fee could enter so needless to say, only the rich and affluent had access. Before entering the Voitheia, it is necessary for one to declare the following: Their name, gender, age, height and blood type. A blood sample is also drawn for analysis.

In that year, the Earth was close to approaching its death but the environment was still bearable for the majority of people, so most just carried on with their daily lives as per usual, making small changes to accommodate the drop in temperature and change in climate. But of course, a time came when it became too cold and suffocating to remain out in the open and people began considering the importance and necessity of the new building. However, not everyone could afford to enter. People without money were denied entry; they became desperate, frantic and afraid of their impending doom. Things became increasingly chaotic. On the 3rd of March of that same year, the doors of the Voitheia were to be closed and sealed for good, it was the last chance for anyone to enter. There was a stampede and an influx of people who forced their way in. This very group of people now form The Outskirts.

None of the residents in The Outskirts have ever seen Spector. The people living in The Outskirts were seen as the scum of the Voitheia, most wanted to have nothing to do with them and strongly believed they did not deserve to be inside. Spector was thought to be no different from the rest with regard to this matter. He wanted to have nothing to do with this particular group of people. He never once stepped into The Outskirts, there was no reason for him to do so anyway.

There are rules that govern the area. Rules that were made by Spector to maintain, as his guards would say, ‘order’, ‘to keep people in their place’. Spector ruled with an iron fist, compliance goes without saying. Going against his wishes would be suicide. There have been stories about people who once went against him and they were taken away and have not been seen since.

Thursdays were termed as ‘stock-taking’ days by those living in The Outskirts. Every man, woman and child was to be accounted for and the total number recorded by a guard. They had to ensure population numbers were in check. Everyone’s health status was noted as well. The sick and old would be removed from the area, no one knows where to, but the term ‘removed’ may be taken more seriously than expected.

A new perspective

The plan for now…


After consultation and sharing on Monday, I have decided to leave the petri dish idea and put it on hold for another time. I was concerned that the idea was too three-dimensional for this assignment and it was deviating from the assignment brief a little more than I would have liked too. I did consider (and was told) that I could take photographs of the petri dishes instead to make more of a two-dimensional piece of work, however I felt that it would not be as impactful to have photos instead of the actual dish itself. It would have been more visually interesting to have the item there for others to view. Perhaps I might still give this idea a go for the sake of my curiosity, I am quite curious to if I would have any success with it.

I was told to look into how science is communicated to others. My understanding of this would include what the components are in say a laboratory report (what font is used, the layout, etc.). What makes science, science? I will talk more about this later on in this post.

Besides that I now want to look into the things that are associated with science. Why not put to good use what I’ve learnt in the last few years and incorporate that into my artworks. This was the same thought process I had when I decided with the petri dish idea, however, I have realized I have been unknowingly limiting and restricting myself to just biology, more specifically the study of bacteria. It somehow slipped my mind that science also includes other branches, chemistry, physics and even mathematics. So, why not use all of them? Even though I was a biology student for the most part, I have no prejudices against any of the others, I enjoy all of them the same and you can’t study one science and ignore the rest because they interlink, that’s just the beauty of it all. No one subject stands alone.

A new plan

As of now I have the plan of using one of the sciences for each piece of work, so four works in total, each inspired by one of the sciences to represent an attribute. I have also made the decision to pick a new set of attributes. Each attribute will be related to the science, it will most likely be an attribute that I have found to be useful and necessary to mastering that science.

My plan for now involves researching for components that are iconic and special to that particular science. For example, if I think biology, I associate it with DNA and its structure (e.g. the double helix, base-pairing) and enzymes. If it was mathematics, I think the Fibonacci sequence, geometry, vectors, ratios. In the next half of this post, I will be exploring what makes up the sciences.

Earlier on I wrote something about finding out what makes science the way it is or what makes it different from say art. For starters, from my experience, the information that is presented is detailed but always presented in a simple way (nothing fancy) because the main objective is to relay information accurately and in a way that makes sense to other parties. Ease of reading is crucial, a fancy, elaborate font would never be used because it just makes reading difficult and distracts the reader from what is really important-the content. To aid the reader, graphs and charts are also used for illustration purposes. I might actually do some exploring with respect to graphs and charts. To sum up how science is communicated, I would say that it is simplicity in presentation.

The image below includes some examples of graphs and what not, of the four graphs, three are actual graphs that were plotted as part of my lab sessions while I was still studying biology about a year ago. Graphs aren’t just limited to the common pie chart, others such as bar graphs, histograms, scatter plots and regression lines are also included. There is definitely quite a variety to choose from, each with its own unique look and presentation.


Artist Reference

Since I have decided to take a new approach and plan for this project, I figured it would be appropriate to present a new artist reference. While looking for interesting typography examples the other day, I came across something that really made a deep impression on me. It was called Hexagonetica typeface by KAIWA (see image below).

Hexagonetica typface

The entire post showed the breakdown and progression of how the typeface was created from one simple shape that was then given a sense of perspective through the addition of a few lines. A hexagon became a cube and then finally into a cube with squares cut out from it. A grid was obtained from the overlapping lines of the cube and the alphabet was derived from that. I really like this process, a step-by-step approach of creating the alphabet from the basic hexagon. I’d also like to talk about the use of colour. Only three colours were used for this typeface and yet a strong sense of depth is created for each letter. It is really nothing too elaborate or fancy but the outcome is more than impressive in my eyes. It brings me back to my point about simplicity, there is nothing in this typeface that I would consider excessive, everything is in the right amount and it delivers.


Link: https://www.behance.net/gallery/12400337/HEXAGONETICA-Typeface


MOving on

I thought it would be appropriate for me to list out some of the ideas that i have for now. I may not use some of them but I guess it will help me to see what options I have as of now. They might seem a little random but they were the first things that popped into my head.


List out attributes required for the sciences (general)


Attention to detail






Identifiable components

Biology: DNA, RNA, skeletons, organs, structure of vitamin, carbohydrates, fatty acids, proteins

Chemistry: transition metals, periodic table, organic chemistry (benzene, structural), atoms

Physics: Quantum physics (Schrödinger’s cat), gravity, three laws of motion, force

Mathematics: Geometry, graphs, Fibonacci (-golden ratio), binary, vectors