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.


[Project 1: Que sera] Final


Before critique



After critique

Individual Composition and the respective write-ups:

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  1. … I want to a be scientist.


I wanted to a scientist when I was young because I enjoyed science experiments. However, when I grew up, I realise I didn’t enjoy the theory as much. My dream to be a scientist was more like a child play. Hence. I designed it with motifs of science experiments and images in a hand-drawn manner to convey the child-likeness in my dream job.


2) … I want to be a stock broker


As I got a little older, I started to realise the importance of money. I wanted to be a stock broker because I thought they earned a lot an could provide me with financial security. I decided the use the outline of the alphabets as outlines are like a barrier that builds around the fill of the alphabets – like how financial security could cordoned me off from financial woos in life.


3)…I want to an artist


I wanted to be an artist at a point of time as it was an ego boaster for me. I often received compliments for my works back in secondary school (because benchmark was SO much lower) and thought I had the potential to be one. It was made-me-feel good factor too. Hence I weaved art materials as the shadow of the alphabets that spells my name. The shadows of the alphabets elevates a flat letter into a block form, leaving the plane- similarly, art was also like a ego boaster that often made me think too highly of myself.


4) … I want to be in a job which bridges art and public


In recent years, I have dwelled upon the idea of being a museum docent/art educator- jobs that bridges art and public. I wanted to share the quality art education I had received over the years. The nature of this job was also altruistic in nature. Hence, I decided to use the negative space -space beyond my name – to convey my dream job. Vectorised museums, my school and group of people are placed alone the side of my name to convey the essence of my job.


Overall feedback from presentation:

  • Composition 2&3 could have been improved; they were weak in convey the job and the message of each job. The visuals used was much less effective compared to composition 1&4.
  • To be less nervous during composition
  • Presentation format could have been changed instead to better convey my idea – start with the overlapping full image of all 4 compositions before explaining them individually.
  • Also, instead of layering the composition 1 at the top and the composition 4 at the bottom, I could have reversed the order to better convey the pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
  • Generally, the idea of translating the pyramid into a transparency is well-liked.

I think the biggest takeaway from this project is recognising the importance of having an overarching message as well as message for individual works. Personally, I find it hard to come up with a strong overarching message right from the start. However, it helps to keep me in check. There’s a 100 million possible way to do a work but a message helps to anchor me and keeps me from drifting away.

Unfortunately, too much time had been spent on forming the message such that I had lesser time to perfect my execution. Had I been able to plan my workflow better, this could have been a better work.

Secondly, my presentation sequence could have been done differently to better explain my work. Instead of presenting individually at the start, I could have done it as one whole composition before breaking it apart. That would have given my audience a better idea of my work right from the start and not make it seem like individual the compositions are too empty. Also, I have to be confident during my presentation regardless of my work. I was apparently nervous during my presentation (because I felt mine was so different and lacking compared to the rest) and it jeopardised my delivery of the work.

Nevertheless, this project had taught me how spending more money on quality materials would make a significant difference to the outcome of the work. Had it been the old me, I would have printed on cheap transparency that would probably warp under the heat of laser printers and seem flimsy during presentation. But I’m glad I heed Joy’s advice to print it on hard plastic. (Tip: rarely do shops print on harder plastic but after a quick hunt, this shop does!) So, definitely some well-spent money there.

In all, I’m greatly thankful for the encouragement from my peers and tutor and hope to do a better job for upcoming projects! 🙂

[Project 1: Que sera] Work-in-Progress

  1. Brain storming for ideas:
    Upon receiving the project brief, I started to recall all the dream jobs I ever had. I realised that the nature of dream jobs I had since young were vastly different but the later ones were similar in nature.A list of my dream jobs in chronological order:
    1. artist
    2. scientist
    3. stock broker
    4. lawyer
    5. architect
    6. graphic designer
    7. fine artist
    8. (pseudo) shop owner
    9. museum docent
    10. art educator
  2. Execution 1
    To get started, I picked the 4 (bolded) jobs which I thought would be interesting to work with. The following were some of the layouts I had considered:


    Layout #1 for ‘Stock Broker’

    I wanted to be a stock broker once upon a time because it provided financial security. Back then I thought being rich was a great factor to be considered successful.
    Hence, I decided to juxtapose myself onto a page cover of Forbes – a 21st century portraiture to define financial success.
    As this was one of the earliest dream jobs I had, I decided to use a younger picture of me in it to signify the immaturity and naïve thinking. I added a (bad) one-liner pun to intergrate my name into the work while reflecting message about this job.

    I wanted to be a museum docent because they bridges art and public. They help to make artworks come alive for visitors through their vivid explanations. While flipping through my book, I came across No. 227 The lights in the room goes on and off. Playing upon the controversy of this work when it won the Turner Prize Award.

    Animated GIF  - Find & Share on GIPHY

  3. Re-work on message of my work
    My work was lacking on overarching msg and I had to reconsider the main msg as well as the message for individual jobs.
    screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-11-10-33-pmThe final jobs chosen were:
    screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-11-13-10-pm4. Working on visualisations


    sketches of my work

    While doodling my name in bubble letters, I realised that I could try breaking down the typography elements to represent each job and convey their respective message:

    [Scientist] Positive space: To show that I was still understanding about myself through science
    [Stock Broker] Outline: To show that I wanted to be a stock broker because of the financial security it provided.
    [Art-Related work] Shadow: To show that I wanted to be in art-related work because I was good at it and it was an ego booster for me.
    [Art Educator] Negative Space: To show that I enjoyed this job because of its altruistic nature of bridging art and public.

    There above 4 jobs also represents the 4 main categories of the Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs -basic needs, safety, psychological needs and self-fulfilment/self-actualisation.

    Most of the works were roughly sketch on paper and digitised on Illustrator

5. Execution 2
I decided to layer my work and have them printed on transparency. (I have a fetish for works on transparency) This would also cohesively bring the 4 pieces of work together and show that they all form a part of me.

And here’s a result of the test print:


Test print: Transparency


Test Print: 250gsm plastic










Final work here.