I used an umbrella as the main icon for my infographic as a symbol of shelter. It is a sign of reaching out to others who are left vulnerable and alone to deal with suicidal thoughts. The rain also comes in the form of pills and razor blades, which are objects normally associated with suicide.

Reflections:

Some comments during critique include that there might not be enough breathing space, hence making the infographic a little bit messy and lacking visual hierarchy, which I agree. This assignment was challenging in the sense of consolidating data and information into bite-sized, digestable chunks. However, it was also fun to see my classmates’ works and see the difference in styles and approach that we took.

 

 

PHOTOS

Some of the other photos that I took for the poster series. I ended up using a mirror image of one photo for the final poster with sleeping pills, and had to remove one pill as it was in the way of the text.

 

FIRST DRAFT

Initially, this was my first draft but many said that the image might be too straightforward and might instigate someone who is already having suicidal thoughts. Hence, I changed the images to be slightly more subtle.

 

FINAL

 

TELEGRAM STICKERS

Some inspiration for my telegram stickers:

 

After collecting data, I  decided that my infographic needed to have information, and helpful tips for a call to action. Hence, I categorised the data into 4 categories: Statistics, Causes, Warning Signs, and How to Help.

 

SKETCHES

 

FIRST DRAFTS

I started out with two ideas. The first one being a heartbeat, where it starts out beating fine, but slowly flatlines. This would indicate the death of the individual. I also tried putting in some information to visualise how it would look like but I didn’t like the outcome.

The second idea was using the umbrella as the main imagery, as a sign of shelter.  I also added the 4 categories but used placeholder text just to get a feel of the overall outcome. Michael commented that it might be better if there was a hand holding out the umbrella towards the other such that the act of reaching out is clearer.

 

OTHER DRAFTS

For this draft, the word “shelter” seemed to be fighting for attention with the quote at the bottom “Reach out before they burn out”. Hence, I decided to take away “shelter” and also changed the shade under the umbrella to be a brighter ray of light to symbolise hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINAL

1. What are some of the current issues confronting our world today? Amongst them, what is of interest and a cause of concern to you?

Ageing population

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/spore-ageing-at-faster-pace-than-a-decade-ago

The ageing population in Singapore is growing rapidly. Many people have negative perspectives on ageing. Regarding old age as something that comes with a lot of illnesses, suffering, and loneliness. Many elderly go into depression and are often abandoned by their children, put into a home or left to fend for themselves.

 

Foreign worker rights

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/manpower/gap-in-law-to-protect-workers

http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/migrant-workers-falling-through-cracks-laws

Foreign workers are often left to fend for themselves if they are not paid salaries or not compensated for workplace injuries. While the legislation is pretty comprehensive, one often needs to provide evidence to support your claim, something most foreign workers lack.

 

Social cohesion

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/strengthening-social-cohesion-inter-religious-understanding

Social cohesion challenges are prominent in Singapore and other countries as the world becomes more globalised and each society becomes more diverse and multi-cultural. With more terrorist attacks reported all over the world, Islamophobia or anti-Muslim feelings have also been rising.

 

Teenage Suicide

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/teen-suicides-highest-in-15-years-but-overall-rate-falls

Teenage suicide is when a young person, generally categorised as someone below the age of 21, deliberately ends their own life. Rates of teenage suicide has been rising not only in Singapore but in other countries as well. This is further accelerated by the digital age as teenagers go onto social media platforms to search for affirmation, but all they get in return, is a slew of cyber bullying.

 

The issue I have chosen to focus on is TEENAGE SUICIDE.

 

2. Why is this issue important? Who does it affect and how?

Out of the four issues, I decided to go with teenage suicide as it has been on the rise in Singapore lately. I also know of youths within my social circle who have attempted suicide and it is truly saddening to see so many teenagers thinking of ending their lives when it has barely started. It is also an issue not widely talked about as schools try to stay hush about the students’ situations and some suicide cases are not even reported.

In 2016, the suicide rate for young people aged 10 to 19 doubled that of 2015 and was the highest in 15 years, at a total of 27.  Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), the suicide prevention agency, cite mental health issues, academic pressure and relationship problems at home and in school as teenagers’ greatest source of stress.

Teenage suicide not only affects the teens themselves but the people around them as well. Their parents, friends, teachers and anyone who might blame themselves for not paying closer attention to the teens. One suicide affects a wide circle of people and its effects can be long-lasting. Hence, it is definitely an important issue to talk about.

 

Additional links:

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/at-teen-suicide-forum-parents-asked-to-talk-less-listen-more-7751408

https://sos.org.sg/press-release-2017

https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/09/07/sos-teens-suicide-due-to-depression-at-its-highest-in-15-years/

http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/more-teen-suicides-parents-must-manage-expectations

 

3. Who do you need to communicate to, and why?

I would need to communicate to teenagers aged 10 to 21 as they are the ones most affected by this issue. There is a need to let them know that there are other ways they can ask for help or talk to someone about the problems and struggles that they are facing with. It is also important to let them know the signs of suicidal behaviour, and how to handle a situation where they suspect someone thinking about suicide. Most teens would most likely shun away from suicide prevention campaigns as they have the mentality that it doesn’t apply to them or anyone around them.

 

4. How has visual communication contributed to address the cause?

 

 

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) partnered with TBWA\Singapore to continue the Plaster the Silence campaign for World Suicide Prevention Week in 2016.

Link: https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/wear-plaster-suicide-awareness

http://www.marketing-interactive.com/plaster-silence-makes-star-studded-return/

The campaign sees a black plaster which encourages people to start conversations. Each poster is tagged with a strong phrase and features a strong font that communicates the severity of the topic.

The format of the poster is also very simple and straight to the point, with the black plaster being the icon of the campaign.

By making that comparison to physical pain and how we often show concern when one has a plaster on, the black plasters serves as a reminder for people to be attentive to the emotional well-being of their loved ones as emotional pain is not always visible.

 

 

This is a campaign by the Romanian Alliance for Suicide Prevention in collaboration with TBWA, published in 2017.

Link: http://www.adsoftheworld.com/campaign/romanian-alliance-for-suicide-prevention-tbwa-09-2017

It features a series of posters that showcases a “fill-in-the-blank” style like in the game “Hangman”. With the simple illustration of a noose, it also makes a direct association to suicide. The poster only has a few alphabets filled in, making it difficult to figure out the word. Thereby showing the difficulty in finding the signs of suicide.

The poster is simple yet strong in delivering the message, proving to be an effective poster.

 

 

 

I tried searching for credible source as to who created this series of posters, but was unable to find any. According to this person, the designer was Herb Lubalin.

Link: https://emmamarsh1305161year3site.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/the-meaning-of-typography-bullying-campaign/

This campaign, while a little different from the suicide issue, is also related to it as bullying often leads to the victim having suicidal thoughts. The poster makes use of strong, straight-edged typeface that brings across the idea of anger and harm. The entire image is made up of words, bringing across the message that words can kill.

The colour choice: red, white and black, also indicates blood and the idea of death.

PROJECT 3A

I thought about what image to do for a while. Initially, I wanted to do a ‘B’ series where I do images out of objects beginning with B.

 

I didn’t like how the burger turned out so I didn’t finish it. I wasn’t using too many parts of the anatomy for the burger. Then I decided to do a scene image. I first thought of what the letters could be used to represent. And I thought of water droplets, or rain drops. Thus, I started doing a rainy day scene and wanted to contrast that with a sunny day scene. Here are the inspiration images (not the best quality)

Here’s how the final pieces turned out:

 

PROJECT 3B

I enjoyed doing 3B even though i spent a long time trying to get a pattern that I liked.

First, some research that I did.

I liked this series of type as patterns because it was really simple and brought out the anatomy of the type really well.

I knew immediately that I wanted to use a serif font due to its differences in thin and thick strokes which would allow me to play with the anatomy better. I chose to use Bodoni 72 as the differences between thick and thin were quit distinct and it had a 90 degree horizontal serif and yet had gentle curves in other parts. I chose to use F and R as they both had soft curves and straight, structured strokes.

 

After rotating the r multiple times, it reminded me of a snowflake so I decided to do that in my final.

Here are the final pieces:

 

 

 

 

PROJECT 3C

This was my favourite project because the word ‘HELLO’ was just so fun to play around! I chose a sans serif font for this (Futura) as i felt like it was more neutral and I could express both positive and negative emotions with it.

Here are my final pieces:

 

 

 

I really liked this designer who used the letters to communicate the word so simply but so effectively.

 

Also, I misread the brief initially so I did it wrong but I didn’t keep a record of it.. 🙁 But here’s one that i managed to keep and I really like it! Too bad it wasn’t a part of the list of emotions.

Through this project, I wanted to document my move from Serangoon to Woodlands and that transitional process.

As my project would include 2 places, I wanted to show a contrast between these places through my letters. As I headed down to these places, I started thinking about the characteristics of the neighbourhood and realised that the feeling I got in both places were very different.

In Serangoon, it was bustling and lively, with everyone crowding in NEX Shopping Centre. It was a hub for people in the district. It was also where I spent most of my time when I was hanging out around the neighbourhood. Hence, I decided to portray that hustle and bustle through letters formed from brand names found in NEX.

It was a long journey taking the train down to Woodlands. It felt very secluded and tucked away in a small corner where only people living in Woodlands would hang out in. Also referring to its name, I decided to focus on letters that I could form with trees.

 

 

 

 

FINAL OUTCOME

 

Concept Brief

Title: Urban Forest

by Vanessa Ang

Urban Forest is a sculpture that represents the effects of deforestation. In order to make room for a growing population, countries have cleared out forests, home to thousands of flora and fauna. In contrast with the curved wood, in its raw and organic form, shards of cold, hard steel sticks out. This represents how urbanisation has impeached into nature, taking up the space meant for trees to grow and expand.  Even in Singapore, where NParks is constantly ensuring that the trees in Singapore grow healthily, it is in a controlled environment, and the idea of nature taking full control is no longer one we embrace in this city.

Yet, this sculpture also explores the idea of living in harmony, with a balance of nature and man-made buildings, and aims to let Singaporeans reflect on this idea.

 

Research and Inspiration

 

Process

After trying (and failing) to bend the wooden popsicle sticks with an iron, I resorted to steaming the popsicle sticks on the stove. It was very effective and I managed to bend the sticks quite a bit.

 

Then, I cut off one end of the sticks and used a hot glue gun to stick them on the foam board.

Here’s the mess I created halfway through

 

Concept Development and Inspiration

 

Final Outcome