Link to Process and Reflection: https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/swong041/zine-progress/
From the last post, i think it was really quite beneficial to have the art direction quite set from the start. So i full out went for the sketchy look and referred quite a bit to Megan Nicole Dong.
Sketches, hardcopies and test prints are all in the Visual Journal.
Methodology wise, I started off with a few options, the ones on sketchbook being: draw traditionally > scan in. But I thought that that wouldn’t work out very well because of the troubles I foresee when it comes to cropping and trying various layouts and arrangements.
So I made the decision to draw and colour on the iPad, then export them onto Photoshop to try various arrangements. Later on, after coming up with a suitable arrangement, I save the file as jpeg and then export them it into procreate to make additional drawings.
The above are various variations i tried for the digital method. The last two i tried with scans of handmade papers but they didn’t really work out probably because of the clash in colors and it doesn’t look clean either.
I started off with drawing elements for each of the pages. I also drew some characters separately but unfortunately, i didn’t get to include most of them in the zine because of the limited space ):
I was quite excited to do this spread hahaha
I started off with finding sexy legs and did some preliminary sketches to fit the anatomy of the tree.
Also tried some background colors but I think the full white one was the simplest and conveys the look and feel best. Having the page white also helped the other colors stand out – also a reason why the entire tree was not colored. An accident happened but i thought it looked quite interesting. But it probably doesn’t go that well with the light hearted concept of my book. It looks more spacey while Kranji is more… Grounded.
Also tried different placement for Kranji because the title didn’t stand out very well as a title. Decided to go against the placement below anyway because I wanted it to be more like a parody of magazines and all magazines seem to have their titles on the top of the page. Though readers may not notice, but I’m sure subconsciously the placement of the title is a convention that can trigger a certain sort of familiarity to interest readers. I also noticed that their variations of the titles are mostly using colors so that’s what i tried next.
What would stand out better than neon colors? Neon colors! As inspired by the highlighter part of my Part 1 infographic. CMYK is not able to print neon but still, the title would stand out better as one single color that is different from the other colors from the page – after seeing it in CMYK mode instead of RGB mode. As seen in the visual journal, I also thought of printing blank pages and highlighting them but unfortunately this is a digital project.
Also attempted increasing the saturation for the colors to make them brighter but the colors didn’t fit very well.
Yellow highlighter anyone? Not me. Though yellow is really a bright color, green stood out more and using green is also in relation to Kranji’s grassy grounds and jungles. Green fit better both looks and concept wise.
Started off my content page like this, wanted it to look more like a map that has the elements of Kranji in a more circular manner. But eventually I was struggling really hard with this layout ^Test print, which was pretty much fine, but I adjusted the size of certain elements and also changed the text “Thirsty Kranji Tree” to something that is easier to understand. ^Final print
So I came up with something else. Instead of being stuck with a spread, I thought of experimenting layouts in pages and breaking the elements up. This can help with readability and hierarchy and it will overall also look neater. The next few pictures shows the process of how i tried different layouts:
Experimenting with different placements: I varied the background for each of the page to separate them more so they won’t look like they’re coming out together all at once. The left page is basically writing a repetition of the word ‘KRANJI’. Initially, the images were on their own without any background and I thought it looked quite messy. I referred back to Megan Nicole Dong’s comic strips and tried out color blocking each element and I thought it worked out nicely. It’s neater, segregates each element and it enforces some sort of grid system in the zine. Overall readability is improved.
^ Test printed spread for consultation
The focal point is clearly the Kranji MRT – emphasised by the circular shape and orangey color that stands out from the other design elements from the page. I have also experimented with different copywriting to go with the Kranji MRT page.
However, on the right spread, it was apparently confusing to the viewers because there were too many things going on and the text also didn’t seemed to have made much of a difference, so I simplified it much more in the next variations.
Eventually, I decided to remove the bus and walking time from this spread as it was getting too cluttered and the organisation of information is quite messy. I explored putting them in their respective spreads instead so this page gives a nice overview of the stuff that can be found in Kranji.
Had the title of this spread more related to the front cover’s “COOL SHIT IN” text – the same yellow highlight and words.
Added some lines around the Kranji MRT circle to fill up negative space and further emphasising it as the focal point and at the same time tying the colors with the rest of the page. Halfway through, I also changed the colors of the text from black to white as I felt white was less harsh and I liked how it goes with the turquoise. Having the text a different color from the line art perhaps also helped it stand out.
The very initial spread for the war memorial spread, but i figure this meant that i didn’t have space to include anything much at all so i changed it. There’s also too much going on in the page – too much big words that is in the reader’s face and confuses the reader on where to look / what is the title of this page.
So I revised my method a bit and instead drew the war memorial (the focus of this spread) out first and trying different types and placement instead of diving into the rest of the page layout first. I removed the blue in the right side background so the entire spread will fit in better together.
Eventually managed to fill up the whole page but after printing it, the text was just all too overwhelming and I removed some content, came up with better jokes and rearranged it. Also remove the “This is the next page” to reduce confusion.
For the last page, it was quite set from the start. I knew I wanted a comic strip to help fill up one of the pages and also have it as one of the jokes instead of just having text content. I had another variation for the comic (in the sketchbook) but I came up with another that was more related to Kranji. More specifically the crocodile sightings in Kranji, which I found surprising and amusing. I used the same method of blocking out squares using colors – which maintains consistency and it works. Also shifted the bus information to fill the farm page.
During consultation, it was suggested that i swapped the pages because in the previous layout, it was illustration heavy page after illustration heavy page. This layout also worked much better content wise as the farm was stated in the content page while the crocodile was just something more like a surprise fun fact inserted at the end. ^Final Print
Same process, putting in the main elements, and then filling up with title and text. Also tried to make the title stand out a bit more and with a different type. Credit to the jokes for the first paragraph goes to http://www.jokes4us.com/peoplejokes/farmerjokes.html. I tried to include the experiences that was most interesting to me from the site visit into the rest of the text.
Last but not least, this zine was inspired by Clara’s quote of “Good but not sexy” as mentioned in one of my previous OSS posts. Also, a special mention of my friend Haoran who sort of contributed to the jokes. I went to him for his bad one liners, and ended up coming with better ones myself in the process.
Soooo that’s it for the digital process! Test prints, sketches and more weird jokes can be found in the visual journal.
The color for the school printer at NorthSpine was quite bad. It made my yellow man turn greenish yellow and the background stood out too much. Though the ink and paper combi came out not glossy at all. The printer at Out de Box was much better, color wise. It took one additional go of test printing as I had to adjust some background colors to make them stand out a bit more. I would have actually preferred a more matte look for the whole zine to go along with the texture that i printed out, but unfortunately that isn’t open in the specifications of this project and the printer ink was quite glossy. But I am fine with that!
After printing, there was also feedback about the texture that I used – people kept trying to brush away the ‘hair’ that was part of the dust and scratches texture. Which.. I thought was quite an interesting unintended interaction that came with my zine. It was another layer of interaction on top of the reading and laughing. It also adds to the whole sleaziness – well, what hair could that be, may readers wonder.
All in all, this was quite a fun project that I feel was really quite flexible and it was fully up to us to make the decisions on what we want to do, as long as there was concept, art direction and content. Which thankfully, I had most of it nailed from the start and knowing what direction I was going towards was really helpful. I knew I wanted a sketchy look, I had a main reference artist, I wanted it to be a quirky / parodical tone, and my content was about Kranji. In the other projects, I probably struggled more because they felt more abstract to me as they were a lot about transferring ideas and concept into visuals. Perhaps along the way I’ve grown to become better at that so dealing with the zine seemed to be easier. Overall, I believe that I grew in conceptualisation – thumb nailing more, coming up with more compositions, as well as exploration.
I think my biggest struggle for this zine is with the content. It was a little bit of a barrier because I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to include / what i can include in eight pages. I knew how it was going to look like, but I did not know exactly what was going to be in it. Plus, I intended for a quirky tone so I needed to have jokes. It was quite difficult to find a balance between jokes / offensive jokes (especially for the war memorial one. There was so many undocumented offensive jokes.) and jokes / information. There had to be a balance because I didn’t want to just come up with wisecracks and throw away the topic of Kranji totally. I wanted it to be somewhat informative but still interesting and weird, to read. I think i probably really needed to curate the content a bit more from the start, perhaps by coming up with a ranked list of points I wanted to include, then making the jokes from there instead of having super broad topics like war memorial / farm that I wanted to address.
For instance, it was helpful when it was suggested that i should base the war memorial information on the target audience and the whole idea of ‘horny youths’ I was mentioning a few times in the same spread initially. And eventually, i am quite happy with the subtle innuendos on that page. (Not that my mom sent me to school to make sexual innuendos.)
It was interesting to see everyone’s zine. I thought that everyone else’s zine is a little piece of themselves and it’s somewhat reflective of their personalities (not that i should be associated with sexual innuendos). It may not be the perfect work, but I am happy to have achieved what I started out to achieve, especially as the final project of foundation year. It was most wonderful when my friends specifically told me that they really liked my zine in terms of both content and look. It’s a good satisfaction to know that I’ve hit my target audiences and that people were interested to read on as they found the jokes funny and that I’ve made them smile. The most feedback I have received was probably regarding the entire messiness of the zine and text hierarchy. I agree that these things could be improved on and it was probably because of my persistence in consistency that I probably could have explored more if I knew what titles / subheaders I wanted to include – again, going back to the content. But only because of this imperfection, I was able to receive extra nice comments as people were backing me up by telling me that they thought the messiness went well with the art direction in spite of other feedback.
It’s been a joyful journey the past semester and I’m glad to have ended up in this class. I believe I found a bit more of myself through each project, especially with the help of my friends and teachers. Hopefully, all the inspiration I’ve gathered from the people around me were transferred well into the final project and that my own improvement is reflected. Looking back, my previous projects seemed to be really controlled, in contrast with the final project, and I feel that this ties in with my objective of this semester to ‘let it go’. It’s always nice to be able to come up with something that I’m happy with, and I am happiest with the final project as compared with the previous ones, which I always felt have something lacking.
So, we’re done. All is cool and all is well. It’s a good ending to foundation 2D. This letting go feels like a good start to animation life and I hope it’ll bring forth even better things. (:
Researching on Zine, Layouts, and Typography.
So a zine is…
And apparently are low costs production, about anything under the sun, so it can be made by anybody.
Pictures will tell us more on what a zine is:
I will just note that I love how sketchy most of them look, perhaps because they’re fan zine, and low cost.
Last last project, I reflected that I wanted to work on researching more on one artist. But from the last project, I figure that perhaps what I intended was to research more on a certain style instead of a certain artist. So more like, how many different artists create a certain kind of style. I guess this is what an art direction is and perhaps this was what I was lacking for my previous projects?
But this time, I am thinking of adapting a more sketchy style and I think I have a clearer art direction in mind for research and development as compared to the previous projects.
So lo and behold, all the sketchiness……… Love!
I also quite enjoy these color schemes where images are in black and white and a single color makes the design pop / more eye catching. Where the color was placed is probably important to ensure the whole design is balanced and the color is not overwhelming.
I also quite dig the white + single color, two toned designs. Along with the sketches, they are simple but still eye catching.
Little comics that I could perhaps consider?
^ This reminds me of church windows and Art Nouveau…? Which could be a possible style to explore as well.
Which is super pretty, like how modern art and vintage art are combined to come up with something so beautiful. I also love their use of colors. It also reminds me of works of some artist that I have been following:
But anyway, to be real, first of all, I don’t think I have the capacity to be able to illustrate this well. Second of all, I will probably need a bit of time even if I could. Third of all, if a zine is supposedly produced low cost, then I would much rather not do anything like that.
Perhaps I could explore some sketches with elements of Art Noveau? Like the thick lines and colors.
But okay, back to sketchy zines I’ve sieved out…
A simple flap.
I like the colors, the weirdness, the distressed look, and overlaying.
Interesting way of using different paper and sizes to overlap. It’s almost as if saying, Berlin is made out of these things, together.
Perhaps I could do something similar that conveys, Kranji is made out of all these things. And have each of this thing color coded. For some reason the Windows logo came to mind.
I like this thing which i call ‘color offset’ where the color doesn’t go right into the lines but instead leave white shadows and exceed the line. It seems to give a more loose and sketchy effect and the whites convey highlights
That wasn’t sketchy, but I liked the color scheme.
Very sketchy like a kid’s drawing, and I love how there are still patterns involved. The sketchiness also seems to invoke a very textured feel even though the background is solid in color. The color scheme used is also quite outstanding.
Love this hole.
The following design is clearly graphical, but I really like the color schemes and the patterns. The colors explode and combine well together, is eye catching but not starking. The designs are also very readable and outstanding from far and I would imagine this to be important for a zine. Perhaps they are something I can explore doing in a sketchy style – which seems to be quite popular nowadays.
Another white + color two toned design. But I feel like this one is much bolder and in your face. Whereas the designs above are gentler.
With this, I think I can break out to research on other things. The stuff with the same sketchy vibes, but in different mediums and not just on zines.
Concluding, these are some ideas that I could perhaps try exploring:
Black & White + 1 Color
Sketchy Style – related to the rural vibes of Kranji
Print out texture / patterns on paper and draw over
Paint acrylic wash (Graham Smith?? – To be researched)
Rural + Industrial Vibes:
Rusty + Vegetation?
Rust colors + Green?
Moving on to research on Layout:
Useful infographics that probably everyone else saw:
There is still much to be done but that is all for now!
– Find other sketchy styles that’s not zines.
– Start experimenting and sketching
– Perhaps can try and sketch on different printed textures
– Come up with a plan for layout
28 September 2062
Are birthdays worth celebrating?
In John’s world, things seem to be pretty rigid, most people kept to themselves and mostly lived a routine life. There were still festivals and nation wide celebrations, but John was never really sure what they were celebrating.
“Ah,” John sighed as he picked up a polaroid picture of himself with a birthday cake. A wry smile was imprinted on his face. He didn’t seem happy then. Neither does he seem happy now, he would much rather find a picture of the company he was celebrating the birthday with.
Why would he be happy during his birthday anyway? Why were birthdays even a thing to celebrate?
To everybody’s understanding, memory spans go with the amount of years you have left to live. If you had 40 years of life span left, you’d have a 40 day long memory span. People may grow older everyday, but birthdays really counted. They are the obvious days you’d be reminded that you’d have one day less in your new memory span.
Who do people celebrate birthdays with anyway? Heck, do people even remember their own birthdays? It didn’t make sense, especially when you didn’t remember the people who gifted you the gift of life, albeit not a very memorable one.
The old polaroid tugged at John’s heartstrings as a wave of emotions somehow overcame him.
Now he’s eager to investigate.
Tone: Solemn but not sad
Target Audience: Millennials
Message: Information on the Kranji War Cemetery
Concept: Reminiscent to the neon highlighter, war is something that we’ve mostly learnt in secondary school, but something that we never really remember. With this infographic, I bring information as reminders of the war, reminders of the lesser known war memorial and soldiers who fought for us.
Other than the information found online, I wanted to include my on site thoughts and observations as well. Being:
Hopefully, the information I presented was good enough and conveyed well enough.
Reflection on this project is found on the Process post. (:
It’s been an interesting journey from site visit to jumping back into illustrator and creating my first infographic, something I never thought I’d do. On top of that, it’s slightly stats based and numbers are just never my thing.
Firstly, it was about sieving out the subject that I wanted to present, and eventually I settled on the war memorial which I had the most feels and observations from the trip there. I think in my end presentation, I was able to present my thoughts and feels gathered from the trip and I’m happy with that!
But, I also feel like my work is kinda basic. I mean I like it, I am happy with it, but just basic in the sense that it just looks like a common infographic. As mentioned in my research post, it seemed to me like infographics all look kinda the same, so it was difficult to do something outstanding. The most special part of my infographic was probably the highlighter, which I thought was slightly genius (concept wise) but unfortunately could be executed better hahaha.
Initially, I was going to opt for a more sketchy look by drawing out the whole infographic. Going for the whole Megan Nicole Dong feel + the sketchy infographic look as written in my research post. However, as I set out to experiment on how I was going to do it, I felt that it wouldn’t work out because of the various structures and different aspects of the cemeteries, and it just wasn’t the look I envisioned.
Some miserable attempts that I almost forgot about:
So, I settled for Illustrator. The moment I decided this, I knew it was going to look some sort of basic. But good thing is, I also knew the kind of look I was going for.
Much of my infographic was created in references to these:
The simple, thin, clean lines on a subtle greyish background. In reference to the first and second image, I had also planned to do a splash of colour in my infographic which didn’t turn out that well (shown later).
I set off to drawing out the memorial in illustrator, with the use of some reference images such as
Really not sure what I was doing with life with the indecision on perspective. My 4D teacher coincidentally saw this and commented on it and I came to epiphany that everything should be in isometric perspective and it all made sense.
Slowly started populating the graphic, which made it look way better. I’m glad I trusted myself as I told myself that it’s going to look okay when it’s finished despite how plain it looked at the beginning.
Tried adding the splashes of color I wanted to do initially. I wanted the cemetery to remain colorless, with a splash of the blue sky to bring across the ‘solemn but not sad’ feel I was going for. A beautiful blue sky with some birds was gonna do the job, I thought. But apparently not. I also wanted to try like a more saturated, cyan kind of color in reference to the river map image posted above, but it was too bright in this context.
Because of the way I drew it, there were gaps across all the memorial columns… But hey that kinda looks like shadow / sun thing let’s try if it would work if I added some orange. After all, I was quite for the blue/orange/pink color scheme (as posted in research post) even if they looked quite common. So I tried it out and, “No,” I thought, after rearranging some of the lines and colors and stuff. It also didn’t feel right because I felt like in between the columns should show the blue sky for clarity in visuals instead of the whole block being yellow. It was also getting too bright and happy. Initially, the idea was to include some background knowledge of how the Japanese came from the North instead the South in a whatsapp / text format.
But eventually I decided to scrape it and focus on the graves and memorials. On hindsight, I felt it is quite helpful.
Even after deciding on the war cemetery, I had to sieve out what exactly of the war cemetery as there was quite a bit of information. I wanted to present a little about the war as background/context, the other aspects of Kranji that I had visited, or focus the whole thing on the cemetery manager (which I decided not to as it wasn’t data I collected from my site visit) – and maybe that was just too much.
Anyway, I continued with what I had and eventually also stuck to one type of labelling that would stick better with icons which would make majority of the infographic work, as advised by Joy, “to ensure that the text and imagery are integrated well such that the imagery provides information as well. [T]he last thing we want is information in text and just a “background” image of the memorial – making it look like a PowerPoint presentation slide. A good tip would be to imagine if one didn’t understand the language of your text (in this case, English) would he/she be able to tell some, if not most, of the information you are conveying?” rather than just point and put words. The advise was super helpful.
A big part of this project was the information that I wanted to convey. I ended up with stats eventually and was grateful that I found easier ways to calculate them and that there were sufficient information available online (albeit the discrepancies). Data and numbers are dry information and I hope in my end product, I was able to convey them more visually.
Oh yes, I also stuck with three of my go-to fonts, Courier, Helvetica, and Avenir light. With a wee bit of reference to
All in all, I think the eventual outcome was not bad, I’m happy with it, but maybe I could experiment with colors more. Quoting, it is
“Good but not sexy” – Clara Lim, 2017
More importantly, I think I have somewhat achieved the goals I set for myself from the last project – to sketch more / come up with more compositions / layouts – as seen in my visual journal. (Yay small improvement steps).
So from this project to the next, I aim to push the boundaries, explore with colors more, let loose, and get sexy.
Neo Tiew Estate
Kranji Army Barracks
WWII Landing Site
Hellooooo so I went and visit the Kranji farms today!
It was a nice and nostalgic visit as I’ve always went to the farms when I was a kid.
And maybe because it was a weekday, I wasn’t on any tours, and I’ve been to the farms quite a bit, the farm trip wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. Most of the farms were opened, but empty, it was a lot of just alighting, talking a walk and then on to the next stop. It was quite repetitive, especially since the produce of some farms were the same.
seconds before shit got real
To summarise this visit anyway:
There was a young goat’in that escaped it’s cages and was so happily prancing around. A girl was crying so hard in her boyfriend’s arms when the goat jumped on her. Apparently this goat figured out how to escape and always does it.
It was really nothing much but a cute experience! The owner of Hay dairies was really friendly too and even suggested a route for us to visit the farms!
Not sure issit my eyes blur or, part of the Arapaima’s bodies are pink?! Color combi on point even though it looks dull at first glance.
Also never really saw koi fishes this big and fat. They legit are big.
Grow-your-own-‘shrooms. They sell this. It’s cool. Also, the uncle at this Kin Yan Agrotech is hiring full time promoters so hit him up if there’s anybody interested.
Went to a total of seven farms today and it took lesser time than i expected!
Since there’s already such an informative pamphlet and websites and from a short survey with friends, I thought I would work on the War Series instead, focusing on the War Memorial and sthuff.
I feel like I have a better takeaway from the war memorial visit and it’s quite a shame that I didn’t get to visit the abandoned army barracks and Neo Tiew estates to complete my war series.
Since i’m doing it on war, it is probably less probable that I will be embarking on the sketchy comic style as mentioned in the last post.
Perhaps, I will be taking reference to this old design that I have done before:
Will start with compiling the information that I want to present and start drafting some compositions for the infographic!
Here’s my ongoing Pinterest board for infographic styles / helpful guides: https://www.pinterest.com/awkwardst/2d2-project-2/
I am also thinking about the possibility to do a sketchy styled infographic, as inspired by Megan Nicole Dong‘s comical sketches:
Also came across this on one of my Pinterest boards and I kinda liked it. It is also a possibility to refer to the color scheme.
This is just a preliminary research, will do more as I venture into doing some draft compositions after my farm visit!
But as I scroll through these countless infographics with my tired mind, I found that though most of them were visually attractive, it’s hard for me to focus / find something I was interested in to click and read. Perhaps it was because I was tired, or perhaps it’s because of the information overload. Because it’s such an in thing now, there’s so many of them and everything somehow looks the similar (flat graphics, similar fonts?). Maybe it’s like David Carson said, since resources are so readily available on the net, a lot of designs look similar. Then again, things just seem to go with the trend nowadays.
Currently, I’m think it’s an idea to do accompanying short derpy comics to tell a story of the information I want to convey, in hopes that it will be more memorable and stand out from all the data and infographic that are being presented.
This infographic below might be a good guide for a more comic-layout
Also, love the look on this one:
Overall, I think I quite enjoy the Blue / Orange / Pink color scheme. As well as the Japanese earthquake infographic’s Yellow and dark blue color scheme.