Month: September 2018

Artist: Cuppetelli and Mendoza

Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza are two artists that began to work in collaboration since 2010. They make experiential installations that combine physical structures with computational media, from interactive projections to algorithmic design.

Patterns, repetition and interaction are aspects relevant to both fiber/fashion and computer programming, and they took this communalities to create work that reflects the intersection of their two different disciplines.


Work References


Moodboards & Visual Research

Visual research
1) what is the poster communicating?
‘Living Under the Arcade’ is established to boost public interest in Guangzhou’s arcades. As a shop the initiative invites locals and tourists to contemplate the architecture as they visit the place for local and arcade-themed products. 
The use of typeface as well as the signage / architecture design, gives an overall  message that it is something fun, traditional, has Chinese influence and this kind of vibes can be seen in town/city area.
Only 2 main colors are used (green and red), this poster manage to create an impactful message and design visuals.
Moodboard – digital imaging
Moodboard – illustrations

Field Trip: National Design Centre

1. Various types of design practices  in Singapore

Product design, graphics and communication design, fashion/ textile design, interior and building design practice.

Back then, it was about acquiring vocational skills. But as Singapore evolved, the late Minister Tay Eng Soon foresaw the importance of creative professions in the new economy. He introduced a new notion of design education and awareness. Baharuddin Vocational Institute (BVI) was the only place in Singapore that provided training in manual and applied arts, when it began operations in 1968.  The school had a printing school, woodwork department, fashion department, handicrafts department, and a graphic design program — then known as commercial art.

For the next two decades, BVI was the main institution that helped give birth to Singapore’s graphic design scene.

2. What are some of the observations/trends of the design scene/practice in Singapore over the years?

The era of tailors and dressmakers emerged in 1960s. While there existed boutiques like Flair Salon which stoked foreign labels, popular fashion for the masses was largely supplied by local tailors, seamstresses and shoemakers. At this time, Singapore emerged as a regional supplier of well-cut dresses and suits and growing into a regional textile hub.

The development of tourist infrastructure in the 1970s and 1980s created a spin-off market for design work. The late 1960s and early 1970s ushered in a new era of mass commercial aviation, making transcontinental travel faster and cheaper for the tourist.

In the design environment of the early 1980s, independent product designers operated as multidisciplinary consultancies that offered services across brand,graphic and product packaging design. This is because design awareness among the general public was still low, and the reception of design as mainly in the work of packing and corporate identity.

The IT revolution of the 1980s precipitated a high-tech market and saw the local industrial designers hopping on board the bandwagon. New technologies expand Singapore’s high tech industry and created a niche market for industrial designer. as well as local technology companies too.

In 2005-2015, Singapore design scene has flourished into a vibrant and dynamic creative culture.


3. What are some of the future goals or key thrust for design in Singapore?

Singapore must remain open and connected to the world in order to help its people acquire skills for jobs of the future and remain relevant with the design trends. There is a need to ensure our local design companies scale up for a challenging climate through innovation and transformation. By deepen and diversify our international connections, design practitioners in Singapore are able to stay ahead and acquire skills from others internationally. This can develop a vibrant and connected city of opportunities, making way for design growth in Singapore.

Hence, more design practitioners in Singapore able to create a name and succeed in Asia and internationally. And this will create a good image and branding of Singapore in terms of design sector.


4. What implications(conclusion) might these goals have on current perception and practice of design?

The implications these goals have on the current perception and practice of design is that Singapore is still in the growing stage (in creative industries). This is because previously, Singapore concentrates on boosting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education to stay globally competitive. While in doing so, it is important not to overlook the role of the creative industry here in Singapore.


Mobile of Hope – The story of Koi

Brainstorming & Moodboards

Hope is….

  • Sun
  • Rainbow
  • Praying
  • Peace
  • Bright
  • Joy
  • Seaweed
  • Water
  • Waves
  • Dolphin
  • Dream
  • Trust
  • Freedom
  • Gentle
  • Koi
  • Religion
  • Dove
  • Mountain


Initial sketches/drawings

I struggled with knocking out the negative spaces from the positive spaces. Hence, most of my initial sketches consists of line drawings and more towards illustrations.

Based on peers’ feedbacks, I realized that the designs above are too complicated and it should be simplify as one could not see the tiny details from afar. 

Above is the first few drafts of the designs. Some of the designs are not ‘balance’ and should be simplify further. Especially the dragon and koi design. The design intent was to make the koi transforms into a dragon. However, it gives off the wrong concept and it looks like as if the dragon was chasing the koi instead.  Also the designs need a ‘closure’ so that it could be cut out efficiently.

Below are the final designs.


Koi are a legendary fish. They are well-loved and respected. Often associated with Japan, koi actually originated from Central Asia in China.

One particular legend of an ancient tale which tells of a huge school of golden koi swimming upstream the Yellow River in China. Gaining strength by fighting against the current, the school glimmered as they swam together through the river. They reached a waterfall at the end of the river but they refused to give up.

Leaping from the depths of the river, they attempted to reach the top of the waterfall to no avail. One lone koi finally reached the top of the waterfall. Since then, koi was recognized for its perseverance and determination. They turned into a dragon — the image of power and strength — when faced obstacles in their path.

Based on the above legendary, I decided to portray hope through the visuals of this story. And I also used colors that are symbolic to hope as well as incorporating gestalt shapes.

Symbolism and meaning

Black koi – Represent masculinity. It also signifies a patriarchal role.

Gold koi – Symbolize prosperity and wellbeing in business.

Blue koi – Often associated with the role of the son, represents tranquility.

Red koi Represent hope, strength and power.

Koi fish are associated with positive imagery. Because of the dragon legend, they are known as symbols of strength and perseverance, as seen in their determinative struggle upstream.

Since the theme of the hanging mobile is hope, I decided to use complementary colors of orange and light blue and their respective analogous color scheme.  The warm and cool colors mixed well together to hold a balance in the design.

“Gestalt shapes

Yin Yang

YIN YANG – The idea of incorporating yin yang came about when I tried to portray a school of koi fish swims in a circular motion. Hence, I looked up for the meaning of Yin Yang to make sure that the design makes sense. Yin Yang is perhaps the most known and documented concept used within Taoism.

Definition: Two halves that together complete wholeness. Yin and yang are also the starting point for change. They are inseparable.

The element of water with koi are inseparable, in which, koi displays its utmost competency in its element – water. This is the most important point of my design. I wanted to portray the perfect balance and harmony of koi & water. The circular movement of the koi fish also represents the belief that all things in life are connected.


Related imageINFINITY  –  For this symbol, I wanted to integrate the body of the koi tranforming into the “Dragon Koi” in its battle against the current. Again, the element of water is present. Hence, I decided to combine the infinity symbol within the transformation of the koi fish.

Definition: It symbolizes eternity, empowerment and duality.

This duality between koi and the element of water encompasses the idea of being ‘together forever’, – with the two circles inter-connecting, each representing a side of the relationship.

Final Outcome

Comic Sans trial

Group members: Kee Yong, Bala, Felicia Chua, Tiffany & Syadza


27 Aug: Discussion on how we could conduct the presentation

  • Felicia kickstarted the discussion by suggesting that we could do a talk show with a participatory game element
    • Bala suggested that talk show might be a bit formal for a fun font like Comic Sans
    • Hence Keeyong suggested that we can have a font talk show and act as different fonts; Comic Sans would be a guest speaker, act very ‘random’ and disrupts the interview.
    • Felicia suggested that the host could be Times New Roman, whilst Bala also suggested that Comic Sans could be a disruptive audience member
  • Bala suggested another idea on the basis of how Comic Sans has a bad reputation, and how the presentation could be a protest by designers/other fonts against Comic Sans. It could be about Comic Sans should indeed be used less.
    • This led to the court case suggested by Keeyong! (Photos below)
    • The court case would present the controversy that surrounds Comic Sans in the form of
    • After this, we assigned roles for research
  • Origins: Felicia
  • Significance: Keeyong
  • Prosecution: Syadza and Tiffany
  • Defense: Bala
  • Examples: Everyone


29 Aug: We had consult with Angeline, she gave us feedback that we were on the right track!


3 Sep: Writing of script, identification and delegating of props, assigning of roles

Props/Role Delegation:

  • Hanging Name Card Sign: Felicia
  • A4 papers with memes: Tiffany
  • Gavel: Syadza
  • Blog: Bala
  • Video taking: Bala
  • Video editing: Keeyong
  • Refining of script: Keeyong, Bala to help


Costumes: Everyone to wear black except for Comic Sans!


Skit set up & references:

  • Soundtrack:
  • Mock trial script example:

Dramatis Personae

The Judge, Times New Roman, played by Syadza

The Prosecuting Attorney, Arial Black, played by Felicia

The Defense Attorney, Gill Sans, played by Tiffany

The Defendant, Comic Sans, played by Kee Yong

Inspector Baskerville, played by Bala

Helvetica Neue, played by Bala

Wingdings, played by Bala

Dr. Courier New, played by Bala


5 Sept: Updated script @ Comic Sans Script

7 Sept: Updated presentation slides @


How we have answered the project requirements:


  • The context in which it originated
  • Who designed it?
  • Why was it designed (reason of existence)?
We answered this requirement in Comic Sans’ soliloquy and Gill Sans’ final defense for Comic Sans:

“My maker was a Microsoft designer, Vincent Connare. He made me for a program called Microsoft Bob, which was a graphical interface for people who didn’t know how to use computers. I was made to be displayed in speech bubbles on a pixelated screen. He only designed me in three days, but he wanted to make something that people could read on small monitors. That would make kids want to use computers.”

”This is because he is the only free default font on Windows with undeniably friendly character, the only font with an element of humor and fun at that time in 1994.”

Context in which it originated:

  • In 1994, in a program called Microsoft Bob

Who designed it?

  • Vincent Connare

Why was it designed?

  • For kids and for people who didn’t know how to use speech bubbles; Windows needed a ‘friendly’ font
  • Specifically made for the screen (Windows 95 did not have anti-aliasing) does much better than Garamond
Examples of application and existence We have given examples where it was used more appropriately (memes, Microsoft Bob) as well as less appropriately (police cards, newspaper headlines etc as shown in the Helvetica video)
How has this typeface influenced us?  (researched + personal views) i.e. significance in both historical and contemporary context It’s significance lies in the controversy surrounding Comic Sans, which we have expressed in the cases for and against Comic Sans, to have the audience judge for themselves whether the hate towards Comic Sans today is warranted.

Comic Sans in historical context

  • Symbol of new technology in design – technology affecting all aspects of life, even children
  • Microsoft’s take on the classic comic lettering font used in comics of the 30s all the way up to 90s
    • Original comic fonts were hand-lettered by letterers and developed a distinctive handwriting style of their own
    • Popularized by newspaper comics and osmosis of superhero/detective comics into popular culture
  • Designed for Microsoft Bob as an attempt to make computers more relatable to humans

In contemporary context

  • Divorced from original comics context
  • Seen as a childish badly designed font, esp. in comparison with modern typefaces
  • Often found in inappropriate contexts
  • Status as Microsoft default font makes it extremely common, recognizable, and “basic”

Cases against:

  • Overused, and inappropriately
  • Not a great font visually
    • Bad kerning
    • Poor weight distribution

Cases for:

  • Not necessarily overused: In the usage of Comic Sans, people display an awareness of fonts’ ability to communicate
  • Accessible
  • Very legible, and tests have shown that it makes complex information easier to understand; used by dyslexia coaches as it facilitates reading.
  • Undeniable character: friendly, laid-back




Initially before conducting a research topic on Comic Sans, my judgement on Comic Sans has always been neutral. Though I dislike using it, I do not jump onto that hate bandwagon. Particularly because I do not find it amusing to hate a font. Comic Sans is one of the most frequently used fonts in the world, but at the same time, it is widely hated and ridiculed. Through this research and presentation, I finally got to know the reasons behind all the hatred as well as the initial motives of Comic Sans.

The history of Comic Sans, however, is a great way to be introduced to typography and fonts. This is because one has to learn about the kerning as well as the effective weight distribution which what makes a font looks presentable and legible. However, people use Comic Sans everywhere without much thought or care. The inappropriate usage of Comic Sans is the main reason to the massive hatred that it had receive from around the world – till today. Hence, after this research, I found it understandable and it serves a great lesson for all.


Through this research on Comic Sans, I have started to see the font in a different light and realised that it is a widely misunderstood font. At the same time, empathizing with it after reading on its background. It was the only ‘friendly-looking’ default font available during that time, hence it is understandable that people wanted to use it to express themselves in the least hostile way. It has also become clear to me that others, not just graphic designers, know that fonts give different moods and feelings.

Due to the misuse and overuse of the font, it is often portrayed in a negative light. However, I have learned that we can’t judge how people use the font in whatever context because everyone has a different way of expressing themselves.

Kee Yong

Comic Sans is an interesting case study because it’s one of the fonts almost universally considered to be “bad.” Where other fonts were created with purpose, Comic Sans was a throwaway font designed for a niche use case.

In my opinion, learning what not to do as a designer is often more informative than learning what to do. Comic Sans is a perfect example: it reinforces the lessons of typography and graphic design by showing the results when graphic design is ignored.

Despite this it’s surprisingly good when used in its intended role — small pixelated onscreen text — which shows that the rules of typography can also sometimes be broken.


I’d always liked Comic Sans. I’ve very fond memories of my ICT classes back in kindergarten, where my classmates, along with myself, would use Comic Sans and WordArt for everything. Since then, I’ve always felt that the hate for Comic Sans was much too extreme for the fun, friendly font of my childhood – which is why I researched on the Defense of Comic Sans portion for this presentation.

I was pretty stressed about the start about contributing enough for the presentation as I was going to be away for the debate tournament, but I’m glad we worked it out with the videos – I’m glad I was able to be part of the presentation even though I was not able to be physically there. I’m really glad that the videos gelled with the format too. Working with the group was really smooth, I really appreciated how everyone got things done on time, took initiative with the costumes and arrived punctually for our meetings. Writing the script and brainstorming ideas with Keeyong in particular was a really memorable experience for me as we bounced ideas off each other. Overall, it was a great experience being able to verbalize my reasons for liking Comic Sans in the script and learning more about the font.


Memphis is a movement which took place during the postmodernism period. Inspired by a few converging similar movements such as Art Deco, Pop Art, Op Art, Anti-design and the emerging postmodernism which would come to pervade everything from furniture to film to music. Despite its name, the movement begun in Milan, Italy. It is distinguished by the aesthetics of Memphis Group, an Italian Postmodern design collective founded by Ettore Sottsass in 1981. The signature of Memphis piece combined geometric shapes from an array of materials in funky bright, contrasting colours. It was a remarkable departure from the underrated modernist design that had been in trend for decades. Their first work was formally introduced at the 1981 Milan Furniture Fair, an outrageous display of furnishings mocking the presentations of ‘Good Designs’. Later in 1986, Sottsass left the group with a thought that the group will evolve once its principal members leave. Though the Memphis group disbanded after a mere seven years, their legacy had left a powerful impact in design world. The designs that emerged from the Memphis Group had defined the boundary-pushing postmodernism of the ’80s.

Back to the 60s, it was a decade of revolutionary change which was mainly due to the baby boomers and their student movement. The media and design industries started to cater to this new audience. They drew ideas from within the art world to attract attention. A few emerging movements began to influence how Memphis style is later formed.  Memphis style has been described as “a shotgun wedding between Bauhaus and Fisher-Price”. The main key characteristics of their playful design includes the use of bold expressive texture, unorthodox shapes and contrasting materials which results to a cartoonish, wacky and whimsical appearance. Memphis movement is inspired by the bold geometric forms of Art Deco, the colour palette of Pop Art. Pop art (1958-1972) was originated in United States and United Kingdom. It is inspired by mass consumerism, popular culture and explosions of popular prints. They place emphasis on fun, change, variety, irreverence and disposability. Pop Art openly questioned the law of good design, rejecting modernism and its values. It is cheap and often poor quality which favoured expendability over durability. These values of Pop Art can be seen in Memphis style.

Besides Pop Art, Op Art (1965-1973) was one of the key inspirations of Memphis style. The characteristics of Op Art is that they put a strong emphasis on geometrical abstraction and repetition of pattern and lines. First, they started off in black and white and then began to transit in vibrant colour, making use of both positive and negative spaces. Anti-Design movement also came about in the 60s, in 1966. It was originated in Italy, also known as the Radical Design. They embraced exaggerated and expressive qualities to derail the functional value of an object. Ettore Sottsass Jr. was a key spokesman of the Anti-Design movement. He later became one of the key founding members of Memphis movement. The characteristics of anti-design are vibrant colours, unusual form and design and the use of irony and kitsch. These characteristics would later become the hallmarks of Postmodern design and then influence Memphis design.

Postmodernism was originated in Italy. It is a broad movement that emerged in the 1960s, become prominent in the late 1970s/1980s and remained a dominant force till today. The movement largely has been a reaction against the simplicity and structural design approach of the modern architecture and international style. This movement emerge after World War II as a backlash to the perceived failings of modernism. Some graphic design styles that emerged in the postmodernist era were New Wave Typography including the Italian Memphis Group. Postmodern design did not consist of one unified graphic style, the movement was an expressive and playful time for designers. Recently there is a comeback of Memphis Design in 2005 and 2006 in fashion, ceramic, sculpture, graphic. After Ettore’s death in 2007, interest in Memphis design was re-awakened in a big way. A founding member of the group, Nathalie Du Pasquier — designed a collection of patterns for American Apparel 2014 collection. This marks an indication that Memphis style is back.






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