Project 2(II): Zine Process


As a continuation from part 1 of our neighbourhood infographic research, my zine would consists of the “firsts of Queenstown” and here’s the break down of my work process!

Due to space constraint, I had to narrow it down to the places that were bolded and they were places that I felt best embodied the spirit of Queenstown as the pioneer of many firsts.



box of books from los angeles art book fair / sfgirlbybay

Risograph work -

2015 Isometric Risograph Calendar:


EntrePicos / by Coco Roto:

Lookbook Template InDesign INDD #design Download:

My initial layout followed a simple 4 column grid and 2 places in each column. However, after my first consultation Joy advised me to experiment with different placements given the freedom of space I had with the middle spread.

My friend suggested why not I put 4 places in a spread instead to make it less cramp and gives more room for the text and illustrations to breathe. However, after trying it out, I felt like 4 places in a spread were too little and given the constraint of 8 pages, I had to maximise my space more and it also defeated the purpose of making a zine about the firsts of Queenstown if there were only 4 places mentioned.

Typeface & Text

Initially as you can see above, I used a total of 2 different fonts for the header and body text. My header text was more cursive and the body text was simpler and sans serif. However, after consulting friends, I also agreed that maybe sticking to one font was better and I could play around with the different weight, (heavy, medium, light etc.) to make the texts look neater and readable.

After the first consultation, Joy also suggested that I cut down on the description of each place to just the essential contents as it was coming off too wordy and cramp.


As seen above, my initial illustrations had blobs of pink overlaid with my line illustrations. I actually had the idea of doing this from some risograph illustrations I saw on pinterest and I thought that after printing the pink would be lighter and just provides a backdrop for my illustrations. However, my friends did mention that it looked like I was just “covering up a bad illustration”. Hence, I decided to continue with what I did with the illustrations for my infographic. 

Highlighted shades of pink in Queenstown shopping centre
Poster - P.H Chang More:
initial inspiration for the pink blobs

Revised Layout and Typeface

Spread 1

My contents page had elements of geometric shapes and patterns because I wanted it to be more fun and I thought it went well with my illustrations. To differentiate between the “former” and “present”, I used 2 different colour schemes. I also standardised the entire zine to just one font, Avenir in all its glory.

Spread 2

My middle spread layout was now placed in sort of a semi-circle instead of the previous more structured grid. How I came up with this layout was really just moving the objects around and just figuring out which layout worked the best with the limited amount of space I had. I had to consider factors like heading placement, body texts and the illustration. Do I centralise them? Or is the heading off centre for places at the side and centralised as it goes to the middle? Is there enough space at the sides for the text to breathe? 

Spread 3

This spread was more of a “tribute” page. The left was a recount of the memories of old residences living in the estate after interviewing some of the residences during my site visit. The right was a tribute to the old Queenstown bowling alley, ktv and cinema with a short description of each. Initially during consult, Joy suggested that I change up the polaroid frame to a drawn one to match the rest of the pages. However, I had this idea in mind that the reason why a real picture was used was because much like the old bowling alley, it was a thing of the past and no longer fits in anymore. Hence, it was meant to look out of place amongst the rest. The illustration style of the bowling alley was also drawn differently in comparison to the rest of the spreads. Also, if we had the chance to explore more printing or layout options, I would have liked to print the polaroid out separately and slot it into the zine, making it detachable like a real polaroid. 

Cover + back page

The idea behind the cover page was using the traditional peranakan tiles. Given that it was a historical recount of old places in Queenstown, I thought it would evoke a feeling of nostalgia with the use of a familiar pattern that is uniquely Singapore. The back page includes a short description of the history of Queenstown as sort of a introduction to the zine and the significance of the “firsts” in Queenstown.

Next posts will feature the final printed zine and reflections 🙂


Project 2(I): Neighbourhood Explorer

Before I embarked on my exploration of Queenstown, this was pretty much all I knew about the neighbourhood:

  • old
  • IKEA
  • Queensway shopping centre has chio and cheap sport shoes with nice laksa and muah chee
  • Anchorpoint shopping centre, one of the best place for outlet shopping

YEP. Soooo I asked my friend whose boyfriend stays there and this was what she suggested:

” you can go visit the 2 new HDB blocks damn nice, skyville and skyterrace. Or queenstown library, that place freaking old sia. All those historical sites tear down to build condo already. Queenstown not much to see but the new hdb damn nice.”

Actually prior to visiting, I considered doing a heritage trail sort of thing considering how Queenstown was famous for being one of the oldest estates in Singapore. However, most of the old heritage sites were gone and doing a infographic on nice condos in Queenstown wasn’t exactly that appealing.

I also had my consultation with Joy before going down to Queenstown and these were a few of her suggestions of areas I should look into:

  •  old amenities in the area
  • new buildings vs old buildings – what was previously in the area and what is there now

After which, I decided on doing a map of amenities, food and entertainment in the area, sort of like a guide for newcomers who may be planning on moving into Queenstown. With a rough idea of what to look out for, I set off to explore Queenstown!

I wanted to get an idea of the neighbourhood from residences so I did a list of survey questions.

  1. How long have you been living here?
  2. What are some of the places you usually go to eat, shop or for entertainment?
  3. What do you like about these area?
  4. What are some places that have been around for a long time? (old amenities, etc.)

Here are a few videos of interviews I did with a few of the residences. Disclaimer: Pardon my awkwardness and HORRIBLE mandarin thanks!

Resident 1 ( stayed here for 40 years) 


Key takeaways:

  • 50-60 years old
  • Good food at Mei Ling Street Market ( only wet market here)
  • Tanglin Hock Market( not in the zone tho)
  • ” Da Zhong” market for groceries
  • not much entertainment in the area
  • most of the old shops have moved away
  • used to go to the swimming complex when she was younger
  • Pasar Malam in the 1960s/1970s were popular
  • There used to be a prison behind the library and a bowling alley which were both demolished

Resident 2 ( stayed here for 2-3 years) 

Key takeaways:

  • 20-30 years old, from Mauritius
  • Shopping at Queensway Centre
  • Queenstown has 2 McDonalds (lol)
  • IKEA
  • Dawson Food Court
  • Alexandra Food Court
  • Suggested a Salute Cafe behind Alexandra food court

Resident 3 ( stayed here for 3-4 years )

Key takeaways:

  • 18 years old, PR
  • Mei Ling Street – nice dessert, chicken rice, char kway Teow, Lor Mee
  • Queensway Shopping Centre
  • ABC market
  • AnchorPoint Shopping Centre

Resident 4 ( stayed here for 40 over years )

Key takeaways:

  • 70 years old
  • ABC market at Alexandra- nice fish soup and herbal soup
  • Queensway Shopping Centre
  • not much entertainment

After interviewing the residences, I got pretty much the same responses and decided to check some of these places out.

Queenstown Sports Complex

Singapore’s first neighbourhood sports complex. It comprises of 5 swimming pools and one of which is a 50-metre Olympic-size pool. The first thing I noticed about the stadium would be how retro the colours and infrastructure were. It was different from the typical stadiums we see in other neighbourhoods with its pastel paint and vibrate striking red, blue and yellow. I really love the colour scheme of the entire area. I wanted to take more pictures of the old swimming pool but got caught by the life guard for invasion of privacy.



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I also found these “Heritage Trail” boards put at certain sites in Queenstown.

Mei Ling Market& Food Centre

This was another common suggested place for the best food and the only(?) wet market left in Queenstown. The most suggested food to try was the duck noodle/rice, dessert, chicken rice, char kway Teow, Lor Mee. However, sadly the chicken rice stall as well as a few others have moved to Holland V and other places.



Queensway Shopping Centre

I have been to Queensway shopping centre on several occasions to buy shoes so this wasn’t anything new to me. But it surprised me to find out this mall was one of the first multi-purpose complex in Singapore alongside Golden Mile and Katong. Fun fact, Singapore’s first public escalators were also installed in this very mall! I know Queensway is famous for their Katong Laksa and really nice muah chee as well as other Pasar Malam food. This mall is definitely filled with a lot of history and not just a place to get great bargains.


Alexandra Village Food Centre

I have eaten here a couple of times but never really took the time to explore this part of the neighbourhood. Asides from the food centre, I also found many interesting old shops.dsc02450


Queenstown sure love their duck rice haha


Also found some really old school bakeries and confectionery stalls in the area. They sell traditional cakes, egg tarts, pastries etc.

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I also found a really interesting shop that sells rattan furniture. The kind that my grandparents used to use.

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While exploring, I also chanced upon this handmade Ang Ku Kway stall that one of my interviewees mentioned as well. I went to take a look and was surprised at the variety of flavours they offered asides from just the traditional ones. Judging from the long queues it must be really good.




Princess House

Princess house was one of the few lasting historical sites. It was previously used as the headquarters for HDB. Many renowned dignitaries such as Prince Philip and Duke of Edinburg have visited Princess house to learn more about Singapore’s housing programmes. Even though the exterior of Princess house doesn’t look like much, the conservation of the building serves as a lasting reminder of Queenstown’s history.

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Former Venus and Golden City theatres

I also chanced upon the place that used to be the former venus and golden city theatres which were Queenstown’s first two cinemas. However, they have both been demolished and they are now building some condo in it’s place.


Former Queenstown Polyclinic

There is also the former Queenstown polyclinic, which was Singapore’s first polyclinic to provide subsidised healthcare to residences.  However, it has since been converted into a dormitory.


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Queenstown Public Library

Queenstown public library is Singapore’s first public library. Lee Kuan Yew saw it as a step towards improving our standard of living by providing access to books which most people could not afford to buy. It has now become an identity marker of Queenstown which holds fond memories for past and present residences.


The “Butterfly” block

Block 168A is Queensway’s first curved HBD block and it’s unique facade was what earned it it’s name. Back then, HDBs were mainly built for function with simple slab blocks and point blocks. With its aesthetic facade, the “butterfly” block was an effort to encourage more innovative designs and character in public housing. The curves and colours of the buildings were definitely a sight to look at.




This pretty much concludes my visit at queenstown!

Post Exploration Thoughts

After visiting, I realise that my initial idea of a guide of Queenstown may not be that great. Firstly, most of the old amenities have shifted, most of the food places have shifted as well to commonwealth and Holland V area and to be honest, there isn’t much in terms of entertainment asides from shopping at Queensway, IKEA or anchorpoint. Furthermore, these are all pretty common and truth be told, you don’t need a guide for it when many people already know of these places. Therefore, I decided to play on the heritage and history of Queenstown. I scrapped the idea of a heritage trail since it has already been done. Throughout my research, I realise that Queenstown was actually the first for loads of things. The first polyclinic was built here, the first technical school, first library etc. Hence, I thought why not do an infographic for the lists of things that Queenstown was first for?

And this concludes my post!! Took me forever but thanks for reading!! 🙂

Project 2(I) : Pre-exploration Research

Sooo it’s time to get started on the second project of the semester! We were each given a neighbourhood to explore and find out about what makes that neighbourhood unique as well as interesting features in that area.

The place that i got was QUEENSTOWN! But before I went down to explore the neighbourhood, here are some secondary research I did on the neighbourhood as well as some research into infographics.

Your site/neighbourhood – some history/background/what is it known for?

Queenstown old cinema&bowling alleyqueenstown-cinema1
“butterfly block” unique curvature of the first curved HDB
Queensway shopping centre- one of the first multi-purpose shopping centre
  • first Satellite new town to be proposed in Singapore
  • named in commemoration of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953.
  • pioneer of many firsts in public housing history in Singapore
  • underwent major development from 1960 to 1965 as part of HDB’s first Five Year Building Programme.
  • first estate to Launch “Home Ownership Scheme” in 1964
  • First 14-storey (Forfar house) and 16-storey public housing blocks (Block 81, Commonwealth Close)
  • First Blocks by Housing and Development Board (HDB) 45, 48 and 49 Stirling Road.
  • Block 168A, Stirling Road was the First aesthetic Block constructed in the year 1973. This block is also known as butterfly block
  • remains as one of the 2 HDB estates to have double storey terrace flats at was built by SIT in the 1950s to attract the well to do.
  • total of 5 neighbourhoods were initially planned for Queenstown, namely Princess Estate (present day Dawson & Strathmore estates), Duchess Estate (where Blk 6C and the Terrace Typology HDB flats are located), Tanglin Halt Estate (next to Commonwealth MRT Station), Commonwealth Estate and Queens’ Close Estate (comprising of present day Alexandra hospital)
  • place where many social institutions were established
  • 1956, Queenstown Secondary Technical School was the first technical school
  • 1963, Singapore’s first polyclinic was built along Margaret Drive
  • 1970, Queenstown Community Library, the first branch library in Singapore
  • 1980s, Queenstown estate was becoming stagnant without much new developments.
  • 1994, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) issued a Development Guide Plan for Queenstown
  • proposals for a new sub-regional centre in Buona Vista, new infrastructure to link tertiary educational institutions and business parks, and good, high-density housing.
  • rejuvenated in the form of the Selective Enbloc Redevelopment Scheme, whereby older flats were demolished to make way for new ones
  • construction of new private residential housing, the opening of Swiss furniture giant IKEA’s flagship store, and the launch of The Anchorage, a condominium-cum-shopping complex.


  • formally a swampy valley with two hills named Hong Lim and Hong Yin.
  • Hong Lim hill was a cemetery for over 100,000 Chinese graves,
  • Hong Yin hill was covered with orchards and rubber plantations.
  • was formerly a A village called Bo Beh Kang, literally “No Tail River” in Hokkien, was settled by mainly Hokkien, Teochew and Hakka dialect groups.
  • area also housed a British military camp, known as Buller Camp
  • swamp, cemeteries, farm land and camp site were eventually cleared to make way for the development of Queenstown housing estate

In the 1990s and 2000s, many iconic landmarks in Queenstown, such as Tah Chung Emporium, Queenstown Remand Prison and Margaret Drive Hawker Centre, were torn down to make way for re-development.10 In 2013, three buildings in Queenstown, namely Queenstown Library, the former Commonwealth Avenue Wet Market and Alexandra Hospital, were announced to be gazetted for conservation under the URA 2014 Master Plan.11

What is ethnography and participant-observation? What are some ways collecting data?

Ethnography – the systematic study of people and cultures.

Participant-observation – one type of data collection method typically used in qualitative research such as interviewing, observation, and document analysis. Or the process of learning through exposure to or involvement in the day-to-day or routine activities of participants in the researcher setting

Data collection can involve active looking, improving memory, informal interviewing, writing detailed field notes, checklists, questionnaires

What is qualitative and quantitative data? What is the difference between primary and secondary sources of data? How would you go about collecting the two?

Qualitative Research

gathers information that is not in numerical form.  For example, diary accounts, open-ended questionnaires, unstructured interviews and unstructured observations. Qualitative data is typically descriptive data and as such is harder to analyze than quantitative data.

Quantitative research

gathers data in numerical form which can be put into categories, or in rank order, or measured in units of measurement.  This type of data can be used to construct graphs and tables of raw data.

Primary data is collected by the researcher him/herself in response to a specific question with a specific objective whereas secondary data is not collected by the researcher him/herself  but rather reliant on the survey results, interview recordings or experimental outcomes collected by others.

Primary data would be more tailored to the study, easier to control and accurate compared to secondary data that can be vague or outdated.

Primary data- observation, interview, questionnaire,

Secondary data – letters, diaries, biographies, historical journals, internet

What are infographics and how are they used to effectively communicate data? What other ways can we visually represent data?

  • An infographic is data-rich visualisation of a story or thesis, a tool to educate and inform.
  • are more likely to be read compared to text articles.
  • express complex messages to viewers in a way that enhances their comprehension.
  • convey a self-contained message or principle.
  • compress and display this information in a visually pleasing way so that drivers don’t miss the message.
  • communicate complex data quickly and clearly

ways to visually represent data:

  • indicators
  • line chart
  • column chart
  • bar chart
  • pie chart
  • area chart
  • pivot table
  • scatter chart
  • area map
  • tree map

Project 1 “Que Sera” – Research

Typography, our first project of the semester! We have to create typographic projects using part of our names to describe our future jobs and we are free to explore different techniques and materials. Conceptually driven solutions and letter forms are combined with literal or abstract images to express our future jobs.

Name: “Cass”, “Cassy” or “Xin Yi”

Possible Jobs:  Designer, marine biologist, architect, journalist, tattoo artist


Artist research- HandmadeFont

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I found this design company known as handmadefont. They specialise in developing unique, untraditional fonts and they take inspiration from almost anything. I love their idea of using the unconventional and literal sense of the word to incorporate it into their typography which is something i might want to look further into.

Alex Trochut

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Alex Trochut is known for his experimental style with a philosophy of ‘more is more,’ his array of work is a perfect example of embracing the endless spectrum of font formats.

Nina Gregier

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She is known for combining typography with craft and one such example above would be embroidery on paper using different shapes and forms. My friends would know how much i love the use of geometric shapes and forms which is something i might want to use later on.

Other inspiration- Kate Jackling

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I absolutely love love the play of shadows and colors from this series by kate jackling. Using acrylic pieces and creating that water reflective effect and incorporating the use of light and shadow. I was thinking of using this technique into my typography since one of my jobs is water related.

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installation by Inès Esna
installation by Inès Esna


Work by Sophia Collier
Work by Sophia Collier

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I started looking up acrylic installations and came across some interesting pieces, Love the colors, shadow and light play. However possible challenges imposed would be cutting the acrylic pieces into their desired shapes without it looking too crude and messy but im really excited to try them out!

Overall after researching, I think I’m leaning more towards the use of 2D-3D-2D like installation typographic which is an area I am more inclined towards at the moment but we’ll see!