Image Making through Type: Research and Process

Image Making through Type

The jobs I have decided to work on are: hat designer, art curator, sumo wrestler and children’s book illustrator. I chose them because they are linked to my interests.

Inspirations from Graphic Designers


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Designed by Mizushima Yoshinari. The use of negative space and colours makes this work dynamic yet simple.

A graphic design on a mint box. The flat and muted colours with simple lines and shapes creates a pleasing design. I like that there are many elements but the design is not over-complicated.

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Also by Mizushima Yoshinari, this design has a monochromatic colour scheme, which makes it simple yet beautiful. The simple colour scheme is balanced by dynamic lines and shapes. I would like to try working with a simple colour scheme in my works.

  1. Hat Designer
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Designing a hat is a complicated process that I feel is often overlooked as more focus is placed on designing clothes. Hats are also a personal favourite accessory, thus I decided upon this job.

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From Missoni SS18
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Fashion Illustration by Jacky Blue







Hat Inspirations from Bessarion SS18


While looking through the process of creating hats, I chanced upon fashion illustrations, which is key to designing as it is the initial stage of creation where the designer brainstorms various possibilities. I like the expressiveness and somewhat haphazard strokes. I then thought to portray designing hats through fashion illustration for my work.

I experimented with different shapes for the alphabets and colours to form a hat. A more colourful palette would be suitable to contrast the simple facial features.






Finally, I added lines to define the face and the hat as the hat looked ambiguous, almost like it could be a hairstyle, just to make the design clearer.


2. Sumo Wrestler

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Sumo Wrestling is a Japanese sport that originated in ancient times to entertain deities. It is  regarded as a prestigious national sport. I have always found the sport unique due to the size of the wrestlers as well as the uniform they wear.




Some poses which could be used as alphabets



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Sketches of the sumo wrestlers poses as alphabets, inspired by the photos above

I chose to use the whole sumo body to portray alphabets because the body is the main tool in this sport and the form is what makes this sport interesting to me.

I was contemplating between using oil pastels and colour pencils or digital media to draw the sumo, and went with digital as it has a cleaner finish, making the alphabets clearer.

3. Art Curator

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Art Curating, taken from Sotheby Institute of Art

Art curators are employed by museums and galleries to develop a collection. They interpret artworks and arrange them into a collection to educate and inspire the viewers. The role of a curator has changed, as currently there are independent curators unattached to museums who make their own exhibitions. There are also artist-curators.

Chichu Art Museum

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A personal favourite is the curation of works at Chichu Art Museum in Japan. The works of Monet and James Turell is displayed with the architecture of Takao Ando, and includes paintings, sculptures and installations. The curation deals with the way in which we experience nature, and the artworks are mostly lit using natural sunlight. There is a contrast of serenity and intensity in the way these works interact with the environment due to its curation, and I love the simplicity of it all, which I wish to incorporate in this design.


Various designs for the letter ‘M’. The final design is chosen such that it is most easily recognized as ‘M’



A still life is mimicked as I believe in the importance of traditional mediums and drawing
Sculpture made of wood, a personal favourite material.








I created some pseudo artworks to mimic the shape of the alphabets in my name. I chose to work with simple forms for the artworks to reflect my preference of artworks.







These are 2 possible layouts for the gallery. To better depict it, it is done with perspective, unlike my usual flat works. I chose the first design as the coloured panels take the attention away from the works depicting my name.


4. Children’s Book Illustrator

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Oliver Jeffers Studio, taken from

I like children’s books due to the creativity in the storylines as well as the illustrations. There is no need to adhere to logic and no restriction with what the illustrator wants to do.

Illustration by Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers is an illustrator whose works have a sense of humour and unique usage of traditional mediums. I personally like how he uses them to give a personal touch and texture to the characters. His process in creating characters and stories is spontaneous and fun, and I admire his playful spirit very much.

Playing with textures: scratching oil pastels, using colour pencils etc to create shadows

I made characters that I would feature in my own illustration book. The raccoon would be a cunning character because of their sly personality, the tau gheys are side characters that witness the story without taking any action or voicing their opinions, and the amoebas are fun-loving with retractable legs.