Alter Egos

A L T E R  E G O S



The least useless Disney princess.

She wasn’t a typical woman but one with extraordinary substance.  These are her traits

  • Self-reliant – She needs no man. Mulan counts on no one but herself and fulfills her duties well, which makes her admirable.  Ne-yo’s hit single was probably referring to her – Miss Independent.
  • Respectful – Mulan respected her family, her elders and her superiors (in the army), even if she didn’t always go their ways, she was always respectful in her speech to them.
  • Mischievous – She isn’t too serious. The little girl cheekiness in her does harmless pranks to lighten up the atmosphere around her. e.g. shoot her children with a water pistol from behind the garage when they least expect it on a hot summers day. How cute!

Dilemma: To let her guard down and reveal her identity or not. After all she was a woman about to fight a war for the country. Sh*t was about to get real


Loki, are you my alter ego?

  • Manipulating
  • Farseeing
  • Thoughtful

Basically, he was a perfect tactician. He was nowhere impulsive which brings his swag up. Loki was physically weak. As a lady, I feel the same. Therefore, I standby his way of developing a sharp intellect and an acute mind to overcome this handicap.

Other fictional characters: Robin Hood, Garfield, Joker


Public Figures

Keanu Reeves

  • Generous celebrity philanthropist
  • Sincere
  • Hangs out with homeless people
  • Willingly takes a 90% paycut because he doesn’t want your money

Where do I start about this guy. He’s really a role model in many ways.

I mean which celebrity frequently and willingly accepts a pay cut of a few million dollars? Apart from that, he has donated over $75 million to the people he worked with because he thought they deserved it.

He’s one of the rare celebrities that sincerely wants to each crew member’s name and shakes hands with them. And he’s also that humble guy that hangs around with the homeless.

I’ve always looked up to people with such humble attitudes and I do wish to fulfill the same deeds. I guess I could try hanging with the homeless again. As for the millions of dollars he makes, I’ll have to continue working on that.

But well,

Keanu is brilliant. Be like Keanu.


Juliet Wu Shihong

From kopi aunty to GM of IBM China.

  • Extreme determination
  • Zero to Hero
  • Exemplifies quality of being a learner for life

A little background since she is not a familiar public figure:

This lady’s life story is an example of how everyone starts from the bottom, and with outstanding amount of drive and perseverance, one can end up at the top. It all changed when she was forbidden into her own office building she was working at, because she was in shabby clothes and forgot her pass. While there were others that walked in freely just because they were in office wear.

Since then, she used every opportunity to enrich herself. Every day, she was the first to arrive at work, and the last one to leave. She made every second count, spending her time learning the ropes. Her efforts soon paid off; she was made a sales representative, and quickly progressed to being the regional general manager of this multinational company in China.

Character’s Dilemma: All or nothing. Should she be really putting in all this effort, spending long hours learning from ground zero and hoping to get something out of it? After all she had no qualifications. What were the chances of her success?

My Own Dilemma: Indeed there are endless possibilities out there, just like how I experienced in my gap year. Sometimes, these life stories also make me wonder, why am I still here as a student? I would like to see the world again.

Other public figures: Bono, Aung San Su Kyi, Ellen DeGeneres

People I know

We all know my man Jesus. I really high-key respect this man.

  • Loves everyone
  • Doesn’t judge
  • Contrarian

He’s one loving dude. He’s there for you and accepts you for who you are no matter how much you messed up in your previous lifetimes. He does have a complex quality though – he’s a contrarian. You might smoke weed, drink tons of vodka, and get high on mushrooms but He doesn’t judge yet he opposes. Simply, He does not go with popular opinion but he does not slam it down. He hates it but He loves you.

This relates to me as personally I’m not approving of certain things, but I accept the people around me for the way they are.

Dilemma: To fulfil the promise of coming down to earth to die for our sins on the cross or to chicken out and run away. Just like us, he came as full human, experiencing temptations just like we all do.

A friend

cover alter ego

  • Sociopath
  • Alcoholic, smoker, tattooed, drug user
  • Yet Selfless

What really strikes me about this friend is that his outward appearance is a far cry from what he truly is.

His sociopathic behaviour makes it even more challenging to relate to others as he finds it hard to care for others the right way. This also caused him to not have many people to turn to, so he confides in drugs, alcohol etc.

But I felt an affinity with him after an incident which made me choose to overlook his flaws and understand the good side of him that was hard to surface. He was a friend that was there when my world was in downward spirals.

Because he is like this, he sympathizes

His story alone won’t break stereotypes but I hope to invoke some thoughts about knowing someone beyond skin deep.

2D Foundation II: Project 1 Research I


Well, what a way to start a post

But hey everyone, Val here!

So to kick start this new semester for 2D, we are moving into T Y P O G R A P H Y!

Typography is something pretty new to me. Coming from a comms & media background, I have little knowledge on this area of graphic design so it’s b a c k t o t h e b a s i c s

Before getting to that, here’s a video on the history of typography put together using stop motion. I thought this would be good to know!

The Basics

During my research, I stumbled upon this question: Is it a font or a typeface? I was also kinda puzzled when I first thought about it.


Typeface is a family of fonts (E.g Helvetica Regular, Helvetica Italic, Helvetica Black)

A font is one weight or style within the typeface family

(Eg. Helvetica Regular)


Basically, A font is what you use, a typeface is what you see!

Rules of typography


Bad typography is everywhere. Good typography is invisible. 

Learning from mistakes is a good way to learn.

Here are just 3 of the many Typography mistakes to avoid:

Mis-judged Text Line Lengths

Diagram showing how short lines demand the eye to make more line returns.

Every reader’s nightmare- a huge chunk of words.

‘sweet spot’ for line length was around 50 or 60 characters – says Emil Ruder, the great Swiss typographer.

Is this also why twitter caps their tweets at 160 characters? Aiyo we’re getting so lazy.

Badly Paired Fonts

Four disparate Esquire cover designs

When paired or put together haphazardly, the legibility of the text is damaged.  The reader would probably not pay the right attention to the paragraph because of the difficulty in understanding the words.



“Leading” is the vertical distance between two consecutive lines of the text

Many designer fail to give the right importance to that feature and, as result, the lower line gets either overlapped or ends up being too loose, resulting in a hard to read text.

Solution: good rule of thumb to start with is 140% of the font size.

In addition to these rules, I’ve also found a list of typography commandments. Rules and commandments in design, really?? Why so serious?


And then, we are introduced to Dadaism


which breaks ALL THE RULES.



Hello My Name is Val and I am…


So I made a list and picked the ones I wanted to use for this project

6 Traits shortlisted:

  • Satirical – method?
  • A Music enthusiast –method?
  • A Rule breaker –method?
  • Trying to eat clean –method?
  • Love Good Vibes – method?

Reference Art


Trait: Rule-breaker

In conventional typography, we hold on to certain rules depending on the type of work ( formal business letter, magazine layouts etc)

However in Dada, we let it all go.

This movement began in Switzerland where it has a ‘no rule’ rule.

Conventions stick to a maximum of 3 fonts per page but Dada uses as many fonts different fonts.

Sentences and words are punctuated in unconventional ways and random letters are dropped

The idea of Dada uses abstraction to fight against the social, political, and cultural ideas of that time when it first came about.

The idea in this method still remains as we can see from this example here, which i particularly like.

Reference Artist: Raoul Hausmann

Trait: Satirist

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 8.05.14 PMScreen Shot 2016-01-19 at 8.04.53 PM







Known especially for his satirical photomontages

  • Uses photomontage to express views of modern life through images presented by the media
Russian Constructivism

Trait: Music Enthusiast, Good Vibes












Constructivism was the last and most influential modern art movement to flourish in Russia in the 20th century. Ideas were borrowed from Cubism, Suprematism and Futurism

  • Colours used are red, black or white

Reference Artist: Alexander Rodchenko

I am inspired by Russian Constructivism artist Alexander Rodchenko as his works portrays abstraction with a devotion to modernity.

I’m a fan of geometric art and Russian Constructivism themes are often of such, topped with an experimental kind of look.

Music seems to be a common theme for modern day Russian Constructivists.

More modern day examples featuring some subtle elements

Reference artist 2: Vladimir Mayakovsky

Trait: Want to be part of Advertising

All his designs use black and red colours and his elements are mainly geometric.

The works of Russian Constructivism artists show that objects were not created in order to express beauty but in fact more functional. (To express the idea of construction; experience of modern life – its dynamism, its new and disorientating qualities of space and time)


1920 Addition- Vyeshch (The Voice) by Vladimir Mayakovsky - Designed by El Lissitzky,:

Handmade Typography


Trait: Trying to Eat Clean

House and Leisure:

handmade 2


I guess we all love food and I’m also guessing we’ve all tried going on diets. Keyword: tried

I find these figurative meanings more eye-catching as its idea itself just shouts at you.

Possible Methods to try out

Satirical, Wants To Be Part of Advertising – russian constructivism

Music enthusiasts, Good Vibes – russian constructivism

Rule breaker – Dada

Trying to eat clean – handmade typography

Inspirations from the internet

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flying around fonts





Class activity: Hello My Name is


My name is Val, what’s yours!

We started the ball rolling during the first lesson with a class activity – by introducing our names and ourselves using typography, abstract and conceptual ways.

Time to squeeze out our creative juices!



This typography also has concept behind it – I’m trying to bring across that I like things to be seen in more than one perspective.

It really makes you think and changes the way you see something.

Just like how my name here forms a ‘diamond’ if you see it as a whole. Because being able to look and deal with things in another perspective is indeed, a gem!

Coincidentally (or not), there is a term “perspectival”. (which originated from the word perspective itself)

Analyzing further, the letters are in bold as my name itself means valour!

IMG_0562 IMG_0563 IMG_0564



Here are some sketches I came up with  with the help of

At the same time, I was also churning out ideas for project 1, which also requires us to experiment with various typography.




Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 8.43.30 PM



Abstract is so abstract that you just start doodling strokes here and there. However, I thought I’d keep it minimal and stick to a barcode.

Again, it comes with concept behind it – you wouldnt know what am i just by looking at me on the surface, but if you further analyze (scan) me, only then you’ll start to.

Also if you analyzed, the numbers on the barcode spells my name if you typed it on a keypad!



Thought process: things that signify me

Waffles – hard on the outside, soft on the inside. I can be a softie but I dont show it

Onion – many layers of me. The more comfortable I am with you, the more ratchet I get

Sushi – sometimes I feel that my ideas are sushi-ty. Sometimes I feel that it’s su-fresh. And I like to play with puns very matcha. Udon know how punny I can get – until you analyze me like a barcode and then youll change your perspective of me.

Or will you?6416d3c22555ee75bf4987ff45c564e4