Project 2 | Page and Communication

Page and Communication

For this project, we were tasked to conceptualise and create an A2 poster for 2019’s Singapore Design Week, centred on a slogan.

Final Product

Image of final poster

After visiting the National Design Centre which exhibited the evolution of design in Singapore over the past 50 years, I wanted to create a poster that conveyed and celebrated the creativity of the local design industry, focusing more on the products or designs that derived from experimentations or unconventional ideas. Following the slogan ‘Experimenting with Creativity’, the poster was meant to give off a mysterious and magical feeling; the pair of hands, with one holding a dropper, is adding a yellow droplet (conveying the idea of experimenting) into a mass of glowing yellow liquid (meant to represent creativity). The graphic conveys the idea of experimenting by indicating that the forming of the yellow mass, and the droplets being added to it, resulted in an explosion that created Singapore Design Week. 

Techniques applied
I. Alignment

The layout of the poster is mostly centralised with the event details aligned slightly to the right. In an attempt to contrast against the centralised layout of the graphics and focal point, as well as considering the nature of the text (i.e. the block of text and important details), I tried to place the text in the bottom right hand corner, instead of right down the centre. Having the text in a central alignment also made the poster seem more like a movie poster instead of one advertising for an exhibition. 

II. Hierarchy & Contrast

Considering the purpose of the poster (i.e. conveying details about Singapore Design Week), and the different levels of importance with each text, the text displayed in the poster vary by font, size, and placement to establish visual hierarchy. The important details such as the slogan and title, dates, and venue, have a different font from the short blurb – Norwester vs. Avenir Light. By using Norwester, a bolder choice in both structure and weight, and bigger in size, it emphasises the important details such as the slogan and event details. A lighter and smaller font such as Avenir Light complements the blurb, and displays it as non-crucial information.

The illustrations, on the other hand, vary in size and colour; having creativity represented by a ball of bright yellow mass fixated in the centre with an outer glow helps in capturing the attention of passers-by. The pale blue colour palettes of the other illustrations (the hands, curtains, and background) on the other hand, allows for a better contrast against the bright yellow mass and text. The difference in colour palette, size, and weight for more important and less important details therefore helps to establish visual hierarchy.

The poster’s visual hierarchy also intends for an easy flow of information, where the viewer would first view the yellow mass in the centre, followed by the slogan and event details, and then the rest of the poster (i.e. the other illustrations). 

III. Movement

In an effort to convey the idea of an explosion from the yellow mass, I used simple shapes such as circles, triangles, and squiggles, being ejected from the centre. The shapes are more compressed in the centre and gradually spaces out as it reaches the edges – this helps in conveying the idea of motion, thereby establishing motion. The use of smoke also helps to reinforce movement upwards and sideways.

Research & Process


The project first began with conducting research on design in Singapore. By taking a field trip to the Fifty Years of Design exhibition at National Design Centre, we had to give our own interpretations on the evolution of design in Singapore.  

For a more in-depth post about personal interpretations of design in Singapore, please visit:

We also had to familiarise ourselves with poster-making by researching more about the elements to consider when making a poster, methods of establishing visual hierarchy in layouts, and aspects that make a good poster in layout, creativity, and legibility. 

For a more in-depth post about poster analyses, please visit:

I. Conceptualisation

Conceptualising started with brainstorming for slogans, then sculpting our ideas around the chosen slogan. After visiting the exhibition, I came up with three main ideas that represented the design scene in a whole – the first one reinforcing the evolution of Singaporean design in specific stages, the second being designing with the intention of others in mind (e.g. caring for others, environmentally-friend products), and the last one celebrating experimentation and overall creativity. 

For a more in-depth look into the approaches and the slogans, please visit: LINK

Brainstorming for graphics
Brainstorming for graphics

After coming up with slogans that supported these three main ideas, I brainstormed further and came up with interesting images and styles of illustration that could convey the idea better. Having difficulty in choosing a slogan, I decided to come up with rough sketches and layouts with different graphics and styles to see which would be most appropriate for Singapore Design Week and its target demographic. 

Ultimately, after considerations and many changes, I decided to look into conveying the diversity and creativity in Singaporean design, with the slogan ‘Experimenting with Creativity’. 

II. Building on Slogans
Sketches for possible graphics

When formulating the drafts for the poster, I tried to keep these aspects in mind:

  • The imagery used should reflect the slogan effectively
  • Legibility is important – the text should be easy to locate and read
  • The graphics should be eye-catching, appropriate for the target demographic, and able to easily capture the attention of passers-by and at the same time, reflect good craftsmanship and technique 
  • Reflecting a harmonious and balanced colour palette and overall layout of both text and graphics
  • The ability in establishing an overall emotion or mood

a. Thinking Outside the Artboard

Image of draft: Thinking Outside the Artboard
Image of draft: Thinking Outside the Artboard
Image of draft: Thinking Outside the Artboard

Elaborating further on the idea of celebrating the vastness of creativity in Singapore’s design industry, I came up with the slogan ‘Thinking Outside the Artboard’, meant to be a play on ‘thinking outside the box’, replacing the word ‘box’ with ‘artboard’, the canvas used in Adobe Illustrator. To convey this idea, I had a character taking a design from an artboard and taking it to the exhibition. 

However, the design was not interesting or eye-catching enough, it was too flat. The graphic also did not effectively convey the idea, and the character seemed inappropriate for the Singapore Design Week demographic. 

b. It’s Not Me, It’s You / Design For A Purpose

Image of draft: Design for A Purpose 

With the idea of designing for a purpose in mind, I came up with the slogan ‘Design For A Purpose’ or ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’, and wanted to have the poster show some sort of romantic gesture, to be humorous but at the same time show how designing has a part to play in reaching out to different communities. For the first draft, I had a spotlight reflecting onto an object, with the slogans by the side. However, although it makes for an interesting layout and overall approach, I had difficulty in coming up with an image that embodied good design. 

c. Further Explorations

Sketches for possible designs
Sketches for possible designs
Draft 2: Design For A Purpose
Draft 2: Design For A Purpose

Expanding further on ‘Designing For A Purpose’, I tried to have the graphics convey a better idea of designing with a clear purpose – the posters consist of a designer character adding a droplet into a ball (meaning to represent creativity), the ball would then slowly leak into the funnel and onto a city, giving it life and adding some vibrancy to it.

The design however, did not really sit well with the whole idea of Singapore Design Week. The graphic would not be able to appeal to a wide demographic and the layout seemed like it would not allow for a better placement of text.

Draft 2: It’s Not Me, It’s You

Similar to the previous design, the poster was supposed to convey the idea of designing for a purpose, with the creativity flowing through to different objects giving them colour. Although the colour choice was interesting, the graphic did not seem to complement the slogan and therefore, was ineffective in bringing forth the message. 

III. Experimenting with Layout
Image of draft: Thinking Outside the Artboard

Returning to how I could better convey the idea, I decided to change the slogan to ‘Experimenting with Creativity’, and adopt a style that could appeal to a wider demographic. Hoping to establish a mysterious and magical sort of feeling as a means to capture the attention of viewers, and emphasise the idea of creation and creativity, I played with contrast through colours and adding effects such as glows, smoke, and spotlights. The design comprises of hands dropping a yellow liquid onto a ball of glowing yellow mass. The liquid then flows onto a canvas and into the funnel, forming the words ‘Singapore Design Week’.

The design, however, gave a fairytale kind of mood and seemed more appropriate for theatrical productions. The shape of the canvas also disrupted the visual flow and raised even more questions about the graphic. 

Image of draft: Thinking Outside the Artboard

Keeping to the same direction, I adjusted the colour palette and text, as well as removed the canvas to establish a smoother visual flow. However, the graphics still did not manage to effectively convey the idea of creativity, and still felt quite static – it wasn’t able to stir excitement. 

Feedback & Challenges

  • An issue I had at the beginning of conceptualising the poster was the slogan and the accompanying images. Wanting to have an interesting and more humorous slogan that gave an overall view of the design scene in Singapore was quite challenging where it became difficult for me to conjure images and a style that supported the idea of the slogan. Therefore, with constant changes to the slogan and supporting images, layout, and style, it gave me less time to refine the final piece. 
  • Another challenge that hindered the overall poster was the illustrations themselves – they were not able to effectively convey the idea of the slogan. The yellow ball of mass, with the intention of representing creativity, was not literal enough and the colour and form made it seem more like ice-cream, with the dripping graphics adding more to that idea. The nature of the graphics (with the hands meeting in the centre and the yellow mass in the centre)  also demanded for a centralised layout for the text.
  • The nearly centralised layout was also not very interesting; it didn’t allow for easy experimentation with the text, and ended up looking like an editorial page rather than a poster. It was not as able in supporting the idea of ‘experimenting’ and may not be as eye-catching as posters with better variation in text and graphic placements. 

Page and Communication | Visual Research

Visual Research: Poster Analysis

MichaelGeorgeHaddad // Funhouse
Choice of poster for analysis 

What is the poster communicating?

The poster above is promoting an event; it seems to be a promotional poster for a venue advertising deals for the second Friday of every month.

What emotion does the design elicit?

Looking at the choice of colour and graphics, the poster has a very grunge and underground kind of aesthetic, giving an overall mysterious vibe. It makes me curious to find out more about the event.

What makes the poster captivating? Discuss the use and effect of imagery, text, texture, colour.

One of the visual elements that makes the poster captivating is the choice of colour. The pop of vibrant yellow draws a strong contrast against the background and image’s muted colour palette, drawing attention to the title without making the poster look too gaudy.

Another captivating element of the poster is the image and use of half-tone. The image complements the overall aesthetic of the poster and the use of one subject allows it to have a simple composition that is easy on the eyes. The use of half-tone adds to the overall mood as well, and adds a layer of texture to the image, making more attention-grabbing.

How did the poster generate visual interest and facilitate readability?

The combination of visuals in the poster is harmonious; the graphics such as the image, halftone, colour palette, and fonts work very well together, giving a unanimous aesthetic and mood. Additionally, despite the boldness of each graphic, the muted colour palette prevents it from being too jarring, allowing for easy readability.

The use of sans serif fonts also allow for easy readability. Important details such as the prices and event timing is displayed in a font that is legible.

How do you feel about the approach and execution?

Overall, I think the poster is effective in generating visual interest because of its choice of graphics, colour palette, textures, and fonts, it is eye-catching but at the same time, its graphics work together harmoniously. Additionally, I feel that the poster complements the type of event as well.

Page and Communication | Field Trip to NDC

Field Trip to the National Design Centre (NDC)

Take pictures and list the various types of design practices you encounter during your visit.

The areas of design practice in Singapore

Personally, visiting the exhibition was quite intriguing; quite clueless about the evolution of design in Singapore, I was surprised to see that the design scene was actually quite diverse – in addition to graphic and packaging design, Singapore had a hand in fashion, product and architectural design, amongst others. Furthermore, you could see how each design field evolved over time and grew more prominent with each era.


What are some of your observations of the design scene/practice in Singapore over the years?

  • External forces influenced the design scene greatly;
  • Design style is clear with every era;
  • Practicality was a major factor in design;
  • Bringing forth a unique Singaporean culture was celebrated;
Goal of ‘Building A Nation’
Goal of ‘Looking Back, Looking Forward’

The design scene/practice in Singapore had clear evolutions throughout the decades – the influence of external factors on Singapore could have played a part in changing the design scenes with each era. The factors involved integrating new technologies, changes in the economy, branding a new nation on a global platform, and celebrating culture through nostalgia. With each decade that brought about a goal that includes external factors, designs from that particular time period could be seen changing accordingly.

Fashion design from the 1960s
Fashion design from the 1980s

Expanding further on the influence of external factors, the design styles and trends could clearly be seen with each decade. Personally, the styles seen in the items on display probably would have followed trends relevant in that time period. A prominent example would be the pieces from the 1980s where vibrant colours and patterns were used a fair amount.

Image of the Unica plastic stools still used today
Image of Emergency button for LTA

Singapore’s design scene also has a focus on practicality, the design pieces on display had other goals in addition to serving as a form of visual aid, with said goals changing with different time periods. For example, some pieces were created with the intention of integrating Singaporean culture, building a local brand, while others had the goal of creating better visitor experiences (e.g. clearer and simpler way finding signs).

Image of everyday products that integrate aspects of local culture

Some areas of the Singaporean design scene also had a strong focus on integrating local culture. The pieces on display used different aspects of Singaporean culture (i.e. local slang, food items) to form products. This was probably in-line with the goal of branding a nation and/or celebrating nostalgia.


What are some of the future goals/key thrust for design in Singapore?

  • Designing with a purpose
  • Minimalist and cleaner looks
Image of guidebook for caregivers
Designing with the intention of changing mindsets
Image of The Warehouse Hotel exhibit

Delving further into the exhibition, it could be interpreted that the design scene in Singapore is heading towards more of designing with an additional purpose. More of the recent exhibited projects – be it architecture, product design, or graphic design – seemed to have been carried out with the intention of repurposing old objects (thereby, helping the environment), or to cater to a certain demographic (thereby, helping others).

Examples of recent graphic design projects
Examples of recent graphic design projects

With regards to visual aesthetics, personally, I feel that the design scene in Singapore is going towards more of a minimalist and slicker aesthetic to compliment modern times. In graphic design, blocks of colour and sans serif fonts are typically used with minimal graphics, whereas in architecture and product design, structures are more geometric and clean.


What implications might those goals have on current perception and practice of design?

  • Designers now have an additional goal of functionality rather than just creating visually-pleasing and enticing visuals

Personally, after viewing the exhibition, I feel that the design practice in Singapore now has an additional goal of aiding social and economical goals. In addition to creating enticing and visually-pleasing design pieces, designers now have to consider the methods in which the piece can reach out to certain demographics and/or fulfil certain goals. With regards to the goals set in place for Singapore by 2020, practitioners are expected to cater to changing social, economic, and environmental changes. As a result, design is seen to integrate aspects such as “practical functions”, “cultural symbolism”, “limited resources”, “human relations”, “effective communications”, and “timeless beauty”.

"Design can be the key catalyst to fuse the arts, cultural heritage, media, info-communications technologies to bring about new economic opportunities in this intersection, spur innovation, and enable new forms of creative expressions."
"In the emerging creative economy, design will move up the value chain to embody intellectual property and creative capital."



Singapore Design Week | Preliminary Design

Poster 1: Stages of Design in Singapore

Image of Moodboard
  • Central focus: Main, graphic to draw in attention
  • Vibrant colours
  • Integration of humour

Poster 2: Designing With A Purpose

Image of Moodboard
Poster inspiration
  • Clean layout
  • Play with geometric shapes and straight lines
  • Simple and pale colour palette

Poster 3: Celebrating Creativity in Singapore’s Design

Image of Moodboard
Poster inspiration


  • Use of collage and layering
  • Muted colour palette with burst of colour