2D Final Project: Zine

Final Submission of the semester!

Bedok Zine

Changing Opinions to Facts

In Part 1, I created an infographic about ratings by Bedok residents of their neighbourhood. Moving on, I decided to work on the facts about Bedok. I wanted the readers to find out for themselves if the opinions of Bedok residents truly reflects the state of the neighbourhood.

Flat Game

As an extended idea from Part 1, I decided to keep the flat game aesthetic consistent. This was to show cohesiveness for a 2-parts project. However, I narrowed the game concept to a game-guide inspired booklet for my zine. I wanted it to be like these Pokemon guides. This layout allows texts to be integrated and locations to be identified- a game-guide to Bedok.

This one has too much texts though.

The tricky part of flat graphics game is its readability. Due to the lack of interactivity and 3-dimensional graphics, my background and foreground could easily fall flat and may affect the readability of my zine. Hence, I had wandered through many many many game design pins and here are my top three favourite references.

Tetris Flat IOS Game by Igor Radivojevic

Ecokids by Vola Kuzmich


Flat GUI Pack by ricimi

Maps takes up a large portion of my layout and is an important element of my zine. They serve as the bond for the theme of Bedok and sub-topics for each spread. The map should be visible but not too much such that it diverts attention from the specific sub-topics, which is the highlight of each page. Hence, I like these graphic maps projects by Philippe Nicolas.

In this gridded layout, the buildings are so neatly arranged such that they formed a pattern of sort. In order to dress Bedok in this style, I needed to tweak it a bit. This was the best compromise since an accurate map of Bedok is not necessary for my zine. Afterall, some of the most famous maps were not designed to depict accuracy.

I tried to follow the original map of Bedok as much as possible.

The above map was the original colour scheme of my map. And was initially used for spread 1 (below). However, the colours are too ‘pop-ish’ that visibility was an issue.

Hence, I tried toning down the colours and Gerald taught me to use transparency to overlay as a shortcut to mute the colours of map. Works like magic.

Left: Before transparency added
Right: Transparency added
This method was eventually used for the map on spread 2.

The original colour scheme


The ‘tone-down’ colour scheme

From the earlier study of game layout, I had identified the importance of avatar. Avatars are usually about the gamer themselves but I could manipulate it to introduce the topic for each spread through their usernames. The characters are also designed with the similar style of flat and geometrical graphics. I heavily referenced duolingo characters (but not too much that I stole their style). I like their simple use of geometric shapes to represent humans of different gender and race.


Indicators were a real struggle for me when designing the layout. Partly because I have poor colour sense. Furthermore, I want to vary the indicators for all three spreads to keep things interesting. The first two spreads didn’t pose much a problem but when I came to the last spread, I couldn’t come up with much interesting ways of depicting the sports area. Initially, I wanted to create a hologram effect that is used in many games .

sort of like this effect

Try-out 1

Try-out 2

However, it is hard to create a convincing hologram effect with flat graphics and minimal gradient. Furthermore, my colour scheme did not suit. Hence, I referenced this map to create the same visual effect. Firstly, enlarging the location in circles could show us details of the space. Secondly, the use of shadow highlights the specific location pointed out.

Credit: Pinterest

WIP: Testing out with different shapes and labels

The compass is another important indicator in the layout. This was added in after the last group consultation where Ayesha acutely pointed out that first-time readers like her did not know the division of Bedok. I had fallen into the pitfall of getting too comfortable with my own work and thankful that she pointed it out.

Lastly, Bedok MRT station was added after the last group consultation. As my roads were not labelled, the map seems generic. The addition of Bedok MRT station could help reader to easily identify the place and gauge the distance of each specific location.



Sport Facilities

 Click here to view digital zine.
I took 2h to get this up so pls just click for support. tyvm <3

(crappy) Photos of my printed zine.
Sorry, these photos were taken in a rush so pardon the bad quality. I wanted to eat pizza.

            Comments from Friends:

  • The compass is placed too low
  • The avatar on the last page is dangerously close to the edge.
  • Colours could have been better controlled.
  • A legend could have been added for spread 2 and spread 3
  • Spread 2 seems to be lacking
  • Header could have been added for each page
  • They enjoy the game concept
  • They like how the usernames introduces the sub-topics

            Additional Comments by Lecturer:

  • Concept: For my project, part 1 and part 2 ties together cohesively and that’s great.
  • Layout: Everything ties together well except the compass which stands alone awkwardly at the bottom corner of the page.
  • By breaking up the word ‘exploring’ into ‘EXP-LOR-ING’, it becomes misleading as the middle syllabus seem to resemble a singlish word to my target audience- Singaporeans at a first glance.

Alignment and heavy-illustration

I find this project much more manageable because the concept and ideas were largely decided in part 1. It gives me more time to focus on layouts and the graphics. There is, however, greater emphasis for technical skills in this project. I struggled a lot with alignment because I was unfamiliar with InDesign. To aggravate the situation, I left my alignment right to the last minute and rushed through it. I had underestimated the time and effort needed to get the right alignment. It was a decision I regret because it diminishes the quality of my work. Another issue I struggled with was to be too absorbed with the illustrations. As my design concept is illustration-heavy, I was too engrossed with designing each vector that I forgot to consider the overall layout of each spread- how each element and text relates to one another. This affects the readability as they may not be sufficient hints or keywords to convey the idea of each spread at the first glance. Instead, readers must spend time studying each element before the idea for each spread comes through. To improve, I could have included a header at the top or an icon at the corner so that the overview of the spread could be understood at one glance.

what i see.

what i did.

what i change it too. (Cos the bird’s eye view is too ambiguous)

what was eventually printed. (so puny!!!)

Eg. I spent A LOT of time designing the vectors of the integrated complex. But at the end, I realise the smaller details were actually not necessary. I could have just use the general shapes of the building to create an impression.

Nevertheless, this was an exciting project as we start to create ‘marketable’ work of art.  Well, not exactly they can be sold for money but at least they can be published. Another interesting lesson I’ve learnt was the great difference between ‘on screen’ and ‘on print’. Even if the colours and size are correct, the physical state of the book is never the same as the spread on screen. The tactile quality makes a whole load of difference. Hence, test print is extremely important if we want to create a good zine or book. It’s pushes budget but makes it worthwhile. In all, I’m glad that the last submission of my freshman year ended on a high note.


4D Final Project: Obsession Possession

This documentation post is written in a chronological manner:

Idea 1
Our group wanted to use utilitarian objects to present a narrative. Through discussion and brainstorming sessions, the overarching concept for our first idea is:

A significant development from Naomi and Kai’s assignment 2 where the male lead, Pierre Tan, left her. Lead actress wants to tell –

  1. The story of how it happened through the objects she obsessively collected from her ex during the relationship and what these objects mean to her.
  2. To tell the story of their 1 month relationship through these objects. The short time frame is used to highlight her obsessive behaviour.

Read more about idea 1 here

Consultation 1:

Unfortunately, the feedback we had received was that our story was too convoluted. There were too many ideas brought together — Craziness, sadness, sense of lost, etc. Furthermore, we wanted to present our idea in a non-linear manner. To bring so many ideas together and present it this way, our idea no longer evokes the fuzzy feelin’ we were looking for but instead seem rather haphazard. Our story was also lacking substance. Oh yes, and our request to use the dark room was rejected too.

Major Brainstorm 1:

Story/Plot: We had to defined our break-up story and we decided that our main characters remains as a pair of young adults– an enlisted boyfriend and a undergraduate girlfriend– that broke up due to inherent problems of our society. This story is largely based on Naomi’s personal experience where the differences between the duo was pulling them apart. Some inherent problems the characters faced are the clashing schedules they have that resulted in less time together, the different goals they have in life and the income gap between them. While these problems may sound materialistic, they are the reality. As an undergraduate, the girlfriend is all eager to get things right to prepare for the future whereas the boyfriend may learn to see life beyond the paper chase during his enlistment.

Space: With our request rejected, we were forced to pick a new space. This was a blessing in disguise as we downsized from a room to a cupboard. Firstly, it was easier to fill up a cupboard. Secondly, the limited space creates a greater sense of intimacy which was a big part of our work. Furthermore, we ditched the idea of a shrine in order to better focus on what was necessary. Hence, creepiness was no longer a factor of consideration. Creating an intimate and private space was our main objective.

 Props: Instead of the original 30 objects, we had also reduced to only the necessary objects because 1) it wasn’t necessary to talk about every single day of their 1-month relationship and 2) a cupboard is smaller than a room. Also, instead of merely displaying the objects, some of the objects are of different state from its original state in the film. Eg: the graduation was painstakingly taped together, the fresh flowers had dried and wilted. These changes in objects was to show that a phase had passed and also reflects the girlfriend’s obsession with keeping these objects despite they are pretty much useless.

Presentation: We had decided to do away with the non-linear film in order to convey our story clearly.Instead, we would add a voice-over in order to show that these whole project was from the girlfriend’s POV.

Okay, so we are not going to bore you with the finer details of our plan. The plans on google doc are up here for read if you’re keen! So now, let’s move on to the next exciting step – filming.




All thanks to Kai steady filming skills and Naomi and Chris amazing acting, we’ve managed to film all that was necessary within a day. The first half of the scenes were filmed in school and the second half at Naomi’s house. The key scenes we filmed were:

MC: Main character aka the girlfriend
GC: Guy character aka the boyfriend

Scene 1. Object: Letters and graduation cup
Have a few shots at our school first. GC and MC at school, GC made the first move to write a  letter to MC, passed the letter secretly to the locker. (this is how they first met and from there, take a shot of them studying and spent time together”, Graduates but then GC has to serve the army. MC went on to uni to continue study.

Scene 2. Object: Cologne and t-shirt
One shot of the guy preparing to go out, to celebrate their anniversary (maybe 1 year anniversary?), wearing his cologne, MC hugs him from behind, smelling the cologne.

Scene 3. Candles
GC just books out from army, MC visited him at his house and changed into his t-shirt), but GC just ignore cause had a long day, MC get pissed cause MC is also tired from a hectic day (?), broke out into a fight. (dramatic transition to when the watch stopped……. To symbolically show that from this point onwards everything goes downhill)

Scene 4. Object: Cup again
Different scenes of them arguing of small things and eventually the end.


While setting-up we tried to arrange them randomly but not messily. We wanted some form of order amidst the mess. The key objects had to be touched, letters could be read and photos could be seen. It’s tricky to re-create a mess.

We also added fairy lights to re-create this cozy atmosphere in the cupboard space. We wanted viewers to feel that opening this cupboard is like entering the mind of the protagonist.

Final Aesthetic:

With the projection on….

Final Video:

…bloopers here

Audience Response:

…and a final group photo.

Naomi, Kai, YuQing, Natalie