2D: Streets

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As soon as I heard that we would be doing a magazine about anything, I immediately sprung at this opportunity to showcase some of my street photography works, hence the title: streets (I know lah, super original). I’ve always wanted to do something like this ever since I started dabbling in street photography.

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It’s all about perspective.

For this project, I decided to stray out of my comfort zone and try out some digitally-formed compositions.

1. A headphone in the perspective of a shoe, is  a perfect shoelace


Don’t you hate it when your earphones tangle up in your bag? I’ve always felt that earphones would make the perfect shoelaces due to the fact that they’re very hard to untangle, and so I decided to depict this literally. I had a tough time lacing the earphones through the small holes of the shoe, but the end result was worth it.


2. Headphones in the perspective of a musician, are his eyes to the world


I decided to put my newly learnt watercolour-painting skills to use my applying them to this composition. I got the idea for this piece when I was looking at sunset photos on Instagram; I thought that some of the silhouettes of trees kind of resembled sound waves, and I wanted to show that comparison.


3. A headphone in the perspective of an introvert, is an invisibility cloak


When an introvert puts on their headphones to listen to music, he/she shuts off the world and effectively becomes invisible. This is the one that I am most proud of, because I had to use Photoshop to manipulate 2 images together to form the illusion of a floating pair of headphones.

I took photos of the headphones inside the train, and cut them using the pen tool.

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It is the combination of these 2 “headphones” that formed the believable image, and because I took the photos of the headphones in the train, the lighting matches that of the train. I literally jumped for joy when I was done with this.


4. A headphone in the perspective of a kid, is a mutant weapon


As a kid, I found that if I wore my headphones in a certain way, I could pretend to be the character “Cyclops” from the X-men comic book series, and I decided to depict this as a comic book cover featuring myself. I used the “posterise” effect to make the image of myself blend together better with the cartoon background.

5. Headphones in the perspective of a DJ, are his tools 


A DJ would not be able to do his work without headphones, and he would most definitely have a few more pairs as backups. I placed the headphones in a toolbox that would normally be filled with hammers, screws etc. I thought that the juxtaposition of the 2 elements would be cool.

6. A headphone in the perspective of a balloon, is pop music


Puns! Everyone loves puns! I used photoshop for this too!

Portraits of the Typographic variety

I actually came up with 6 designs before they changed the final submission to 4 designs. I will start with my final designs first and then show off the two other unused designs.

“I am short-sighted”


Anyone who wears glasses will find this eyesight chart familiar. I actually find that I look really weird without my glasses now, so in a way my short sightedness has become my identity.


Instead of random letters, I used my full name (Leon Tai Cheng Hao), repeating it over and over. I also used a grey background instead of white to not make the text pop out too much.

“I love coffee”


Coffee is every design student’s saving grace, myself include. Many nights have been kept awake by this beverage. My initial idea was to physically create the coffee stains on paper using a cup, but that did not turn out so well. The colours were solid, blocky, and had no character to them. I then decided to search the internet to find coffee stains to manipulate.


I then used and manipulated the many different coffee stains to make up my name. I also decided to add some random stains at the corners to fill up the negative space.

“I love soup”


I love drinking soups. Be it cream of mushroom, bah kut teh, minestrone, I’ll drink any soup. For this, I cooked up some alphabet soup and took out the letters of my name. Fun fact: the “N” is actually a sideways “Z” as I could not find the letter “N”.

“I love cardistry”


Cardistry – the art of shuffling playing cards, is a cool little hobby that I partake in. My first thought was to spell out my name by laying out many different playing cards, but I eventually found that idea to be really bland. So, I decided to think out of the box and uses the indices of the playing cards to spell out my name.

One problem I faced was the letter “N”. There’s no number from 1-10, or any alphabet in the deck of cards that can pass off as an “N”. I decided to use the “K” to form a lower case “n”. If I were to do this again, I’d probably photoshop in the “N”.

Now, here are my two other designs.

“I love streetwear”


I wanted to imitate the “Supreme” brand, but instead of just the logo, I decided to imitate their “Harajuku box logo” design.


To give some variety, I decided to surround the logo with a denim material. However, in retrospect, the two materials sort of make everything look very cluttered. I think I would have gone with a plain white background instead.

“I love music”


This was done using my personal music collection. Okay lah, this was pretty uninspired, and I’m glad I didn’t use this for my final designs.