See Tiong Bahru through my eyes:
Hi guys! This post will be featuring my design process for the cover page.
For the cover, I was aiming to create something that is wholly simplistic, one that can perfectly speak to my target audience – The Millennials. I was looking through Behance & Pinterest for an interesting looking design, the kind of design that is worth stopping by and picking up while we’re on the go.
Since my zine primarily consists of blue as one of the main colour, the best possible way for the book cover to translate the idea/theme is for it to be blue too. I came across a few interesting typeface arrangements which are unlike the typical layout >
A quick draft of how my overall layout should look like –
Making use of Pattern and Repetition to create a sense of rhythm across all 6 pages (excluding cover and back page)
Moodboard: Layout, Typeface, Color palette
An overview of the sense of design direction I am heading towards > Monochromatic (blue), Sans Serif Typeface, an old-school yet modern layout
Notice how the type arrangement gave the layout so much more character? I love it! I decided to give it a shot and see how it will progress and these are my attempts:
Overall, I want to keep the cover’s type and colour design to a minimum as the content of my magazine are pretty visual heavy, so a simple cover (front and back) can better balance out the visual weight!
Not forgetting to mention, the magazine series (top typography) is read as Zhou Chu, which means ‘In the Initial’ and ‘Picturesquesly, Tiong Bahru’ is the volume’s title (with it still being Volume 1 at this point).
I imagine having a series of location documentation in the ‘Zhou Chu’ series, with the exact format of a magazine series like 8 Days & Teenage magazine. So there will be Vol.2, Vol.3 and so on in future – This is the possible prospect for my Zine series.
Logo Design & Exploration for my Zine series:
Here are a few of my tries on the creation of a logo for my zine series. These Chinese characters represent my publication’s name. The different character shows my experimentation with different shapes and forms and how they look when they are pieced together.
Then off to RJ Paper!!!!
Got a couple of samples and variety for my print, might want to keep a couple of booklets for myself! The type of textures I have in mind is – Munken Pure Rough, Wudii, and a few others I can’t recall. I love that natural off-white colour and speckled dust effect from some of the 160gsm paper.
These are some of the A3 sized papers I got. Ranging from pure white to yellowish white – That is to see how it will turn out in print! The pure white one didn’t really work out eventually, so I stuck with the off-white coloured ones. Per print was $4 and it was the colour payoff was on point too! Really recommend ‘Colour De Something’… I really cannot recall at this moment!!! Will get back to it later.
Up next: Content Design Process
See you there!
In the ‘Zine’ – Tiong Bahru edition, I will be dividing the 8 pages into 3 main sections
1 – On birds singing tradition
2 – What’s a must try in Tiong Bahru
3 – Wall of fame for CATS
I will now present my research on the above 3 topics I have narrowed down to focus on.
Tiong Bahru Bird Singing
Yes, there are indeed many places locally where you can find bird singing corners. Some examples are Serangoon North Avenue 1, Tanglin Halt, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 and Bukit Purmei. Lo and behold, Tiong Bahru is the OG (original gangster) of this trade. It is the oldest and the first ever “Bird Arena” in Singapore.
In the past couple of years, many bird-lovers would gather at this spot bright and early, to admire all the exotic, beautiful birds sitting in their antique cages. One interesting fact is that it all started from an owner of a Kopitiam (coffee shop), with all intention to attract more business. But it led to more than just a business antic, it becomes a tradition worth preserving.
Tiong Bahru bird corner was noticed by a Dutch reporter, who wrote about it in the late eighties. It was when this corner gained recognition, attracting even more tourists and reporters far and wide! Eventually, Dutch sponsor numbered hooks to facilitate more birds singing competition in the area. I find it relatively interesting since these are areas I would never have noticed even if I happen to pass by. The failure to realise its significance would truly be a waste! So glad I managed to dig out some of the forgotten treasures of Tiong Bahru.
Interesting Food Finds (TOP 3)
What’s good in Tiong Bahru, you ask? Come, let me show you!
Pastries and Coffees? They have Tiong Bahru Bakery.
I was a huge sceptic of this place initially. I thought it would just be another cafe that is totally overhyped since it is always buzzing with people and the cafe always seem to be on full house. I had my first try on their original croissant, accompanied by a warm cup cappuccino – Boy was I wrong to assume it would just taste like flour and sugar. It was on a whole new level of mind-blowingness!
I knew I had to feature this in my Eatbook spread! Light, buttery crisp on the outside, warm and soft on the inside – An excellent balance of sweet and savoury.
For a main, if you’re tight on a budget, fret not for there is Tiong Bahru Food Centre. For this section, there are a couple of recommendations –
Like Jian Bo Chwee Kueh, 238 Coffee, Ru Yi Vegetarian Bee Hoon and Tiong Bahru Teochew Kuehs. I’ll insert some pictures below!
Wall of Fame for Cats –
YES! You heard it right, its Cats we’re talking about. Hmm, what about stray cats right? They are everywhere, isn’t it? Well, let me introduce you to the hidden gems of Tiong Bahru – It’s their cats.
The name star of today’s research is Bob the stray. He even has his very own Facebook page! (Click to find out more okay! I promise he is super chubby and cute) The page is still very much active now, and the latest update was made on March 25, 2018! You can see how much love he is showered with.
And this is the backstory of Bob: Click Here
Besides Bob the star, there are a couple of extraordinary places where we find traces of cats. One example is Books Actually. This is a local bookshop WITH FELINES.
How often do you come across bookstores with cats? Here’s the funny thing. Sometimes when the shopkeepers are out, they leave their cats to tend the store. How amusing. I bet they keep out little mousey thieves!
Read their interview Here!
Another super funky fact: They even did casting calls for the cutest cats in Singapore, and one of our fellow Tiong Bahru residence made it! Here’s a video I found:
It's not just people that paint the colours of Singapore, but also our many neighbourhood felines. Which kitty will emerge as the most legendary of them all? #YourSingapore #Cat
Posted by VisitSingapore on Wednesday, 13 January 2016
These will be my area of focus for the content of Zine, bringing very relatable and closer to hearts topics to you as a producer of my first location magazine spread! Thank you for reading!
Next up: Research on Layout Style 😉