Welcome to the final assignment post for TYPOGRAPHY 1.

If you have yet to see how these final deliverables came about, you can click on the image below to link you to the documentation post!

Y2S1 TYPO1 – Assignment 4: PERSONAL CREATION (Process + Research)

Open Brief: Type as Image and Emotion.

Aged Emotions
For this project on Typography, I used the typeface ‘ Quicksand ‘ to create portraits of the elderly; expressing different emotions, using colors and placement of words to further emphasize the emotion.
And here is a flip through video of the book.

Main Deliverable: ‘Aged Emotions’ Book

Extra Deliverables 1: Poster for Typography 1

Digital Version:

Digital Version of the Poster. White background.

Printed and mounted on the wall version:

I printed the poster on an A3 300gsm Champagne Pearl paper

Extra Deliverables 2: Stickers

I figured that the icons would make pretty stickers or badges to advocate for Grandparents’ Day, since it is a day that not many celebrates.

Stickers! I made them in various sizes to see which works best!

I thought that the smallest sized stickers would look nice for envelopes as seals.


Thank you for sticking through this post!


Seng Yi Ling.


Brief 4 PERSONAL CREATION: Creating expressive typography
Summary The final component of the module allows you the freedom to expand on any of the assignments to date. Choose from one of the following briefs. Other ideas of creating your own briefs are also welcomed. All briefs below are flexible but please discuss with instructor for approval.

A. Visual analysis of type anatomy

Select an alphabet and analyse its anatomy in a visually exciting way with at least 20 different typefaces. Compile your visual analysis into a book form.

B. Exploring vernacular type

Expanding on your vernacular type assignment or creating a new idea scratch. Develop an extensive visual collection. This collection should include original imagery and also digital manipulations of the letterform. Compile your outcome into a book form or other tangible formats.

C. Organic type creation

Expanding on your organic type assignment or create a new idea from scratch. Develop an in-depth and innovative method of creating your own organic type. Compile your outcome into a tangible format.

D. Type as pattern

Design a range of patterns using typography and deliver them as creative tangible output. Keep in mind that this should not be a repetition of your assignment but to create an innovative way of looking at type as pattern.

E. Type as image

Using various letterforms, create a series of imagery. Conceptualize a theme to tie all your imagery together and present them in a tangible format. Keep in mind that this is not a repetition of your assignment but an opportunity to create innovative ways of creating images from typography.

F. Type as narrative

Select a poem or a song lyric and express them in black and white  using only type over a 32-44 pages book format.

G. Open brief

Think about which of the assignment you enjoyed most and how you can further expand on the making of it. Please discuss for approval.

Tips Employ typographical skills and knowledge gained over the last couple of weeks for the project. Be playful, have fun and justify your decisions!
What you
must deliver
for this assignment
  • You are free to decide on the final outcome of your creation but ideally no smaller than a dimension of 18cm by 18cm.
  • A process documentation link on OSS or PDF process
Grading criteria
  • Creativity of concept
  • Presence of typography appreciation (any form/method)
  • Depth of methodology
  • Aesthetics and craftsmanship
  • Due diligence of experimentation
Due date: Week 14

I am pretty keen to choose ‘E. Type as image’ as the choice of my expansion.

Documentation Journey for Assignment 4

16th October 2017 (Week 9/Week 14)
I would like to use alphabets of a particular typeface to make portraits of people. I was scrolling through my Pinterest feeds and saw many of these hand drawn portraits.

Looking at individual subject figures, my eyes tend to narrow their head, features into geometric shapes. That made me wonder if typefaces and letters can be used to make portraits.

I did up a try-out to see if the idea was feasible. I used the numbers 1 to 10 to create an image of an old man; I manipulated the numbers by playing with the vectors to create certain features, for instance, the foot of 7 to be the foot of the old man, and the curve to be his back.

Hence, I gave my own handwriting a try to create characters and see how it goes. I had the idea to create emotions of Old People with the letters of the emotion. For instance, the word ‘Happy’ to create a happy elderly.

I shall pitch this idea and see how it goes! 🙂

23th October 2017 (Week 10/Week 14)

Pitched previous week’s idea during group consultation and received many feedbacks! One of the feedbacks given was to leave the narratives out as layout and choice of type for story would be more difficult to tackle alongside with my characters.

A lot of reconsideration had to be done and a different approach was suggested if I were to carry on with this idea. Hence, I decided to give this idea another go and think of a backup plan if Type as Image wouldn’t do.

I pitched my idea to Miss Angeline via email and she finds both ideas to be workable, and gave comments too! Yay! 🙂 But now I am in a dilemma because I want to go ahead with both ideas.

Hence, as of now, my plan is to fuse both ideas together. But I can’t seem to churn out a platform which both ideas can reside on… Perhaps a book about old people on Christmas day? :/ I’ll just go ahead with a few motifs and see it goes from there! 🙂

30th October 2017 (Week 11/Week 14)

So in the end I decided to push forth with my Old people’s emotion idea and I created many more other old people portraits that illustrates different emotions.

In addition, I thought that having it in total black and white may be too flat and boring. Hence I added a color to each portrait to give it some life, while not taking away the attention from using type as image.

Emotion: Happy. The color Yellow is placed at her teeth. This is the ending page. Hence I wanted to end off the book with a message as written on the right.

I did a test print to show a prototype to Miss Angeline for consultation, and I already found lots of issues.

  1. Alignment of the pages on InDesign is rather complicated. Pages and Spreads ought to be odd an even numbers.
  2. Alignment of image. Margins. Gutter. etc.
  3. Alignment of different images on the same spread…yell

Oh well, at least I know about these issues BEFORE the actual printing day.

Upon consulting Miss Angeline with the prototype, these are the feedbacks and thoughts given to improve! 🙂

  • Likes the layout where there is space on one side.
  • Not so keen in seeing if can the emotion, but more keen in the typeface to create image.
  • Like how it flows to the next page.
  • Empty pages for? Can use blank space to write what letter you used? Or something fun the characters would say? Can use lesser words to prevent issues of long sentences type setting. Use something short. Or sound expression: ‘Huh? Hmm! Aiya… OI’. Start with the same typeface first just to play safe. Add colors and vary scale.
  • Type Setting. Centralized? Too big? Too small? Little space? Leading? Kerning? Margin? Next one is centralized or at the side?
  • Change size to A3. A4 is too small. Not 18×18.
  • Title page? Can keep things simple. Emotions with Type, Type with emotions.
  • Have 10 faces? 6 too little.
  • What kind of paper?
  • *How would you take it out of the book? Transfer it to a huge poster? Promoting for some Elder’s convention or event; type 1 class promotion etc. Choose 2 very good ones and transfer it to an A2 poster.

8th November 2017 (Week 12/Week 14)

So based on last week’s feedback, I made some changes and additional information to make the book more wholesome. I included more faces and additional texts with the portraits!

The texts used is the typeface, Quicksand. The texts are words or sounds I felt that the faces were expressing. Using the previous project’s brief on type as emotion, I manipulated the texts, and arranged it in a way that best expresses the emotion when reading.Feedbacks and Things to change:

  • Back and front cover can be the faces back and front. Happy and Sad man.
  • Images are fine, but type needs working. Use the first angry man as a model template.
  • Some spaces can be filled, some can be not filled. ‘Meh’ can be more impactful. Bigger Type face, bolder, lighter etc.
  • See the texts first then see the expression. That is the effect you would want to achieve.
  • ‘Urgh’ can fill up the whole space.
  • Title is very boring. Emotions of the elderly etc. Layout is dependent on the
  • Repeating pattern doesn’t work.
  • Questioning of choices of type size, layout and category must be explained.

Hopefully I can print this mock up before next week’s consultation and that everything will run smoothly! 🙂

11th November 2017 (Week 12/Week 14)

I have finally experienced the pain and stress that my peers were always lamenting about regarding printing day…

For some reason, I have been troubleshooting the issue from InDesign for several hours and I cannot solve the issue when the program cannot save my document in PDF for Booklet. The pages are always a spread instead of the chopped pages.

Hence, these are the solutions I have come up with to counter these problems.

  1. Manually cut the pages so that the booklet form can be saddle stitched.
  2. Change the binding technique to those that don’t require folding of pages.

Types of binding to explore

Types of binding


Type of Book Binding I may look into with regards to the spreads

  • Perfect Bind (Still in booklet form but in 2 stacks)
  • Perfect bind (Pages don’t have to be split, Glue sides to spine)
  • Plastic Grip (Pages don’t have to be split, but double side printing. Bind with paper clip)
  • Hole Punch ( Pages don’t have to be split, need side border for hole . Use ring to bind)


Start Piecing the half images together using the mockup as a guide, while labeling to make your life easier.


12th November 2017 (Week 12/Week 14)

So… I printed the mock up for the designs yesterday and of course, issues are bound to arise.

Paper choices: 300gsm (Gloss and Matte) and inside spreads are about 128gsm

I printed the format with the idea that I want to try saddle stitching stapling or the landscape form where I can use binder clips to hold it down.

The saddle stitch stapler mock up had several issues.

  1. The stapler punched a hole through the paper
  2. Alignment of each page is inaccurate. Even though scored at the center, paper thickness which cases certain pages to be obscured is prone.
  3. Stapled not directly at the center, hence some pages cannot be fully opened and flattened.
  4. When closed, the pages protrude. Cutting off the sides is a must, but cutting off important parts of the pages may happen.

Stapled mockup punches a hole right through the paper after scoring 300 gsm paper.

White lines in the middle due to misalignment, and stapled inaccurately does not allow the pages to open fully.

Pages protrude out from the side


  • Score the pages, making sure each side really is at the center, poke hole on scored areas and manually put the stapler inside. Fold the book in half and slice the sides. ( Remember to allow allowance space in designs as well incase cut off)
  • Do all the above, but instead of staple, saddle stitch by sewing with dental floss. It will be neater too.

13th November 2017 (Week 13/Week 14)

Individual Consultation day! EXACTLY ONE MORE WEEK TILL D-DAY.

After showing my mockups to Miss Angeline, there is actually A LOT of room for improvement for not just only the binding issues listed above.

Feedbacks given

  • Relook into the margin space for the texts. Pay attention to space between text and image.
  • Visual hierarchy for each spread is important. Where you want the audience to look at first? Text or face first?
  • Tracking, alignment has relation to each other.
  • There are different ways of emphasizing. Not just size. Color, Bold it etc.
  • *PAPER. Take note of paper quality. Paper thickness and texture matters a lot to give the over all mood of your product.

I took a few magazines from school to examine the paper quality and overall feeling the magazines gaves off. Also observing the layout and placement of text and image.

16th November 2017 (Week 13/Week 14)

I reinstalled my InDesign because the Adobe Illustrator way of printing has a lot of human error. And yes, the reason I had issues with my alignment and spread issues was due to a bug in the software. I couldn’t save the document in PDF, and FINALLY after reinstalling it is working!! YAY.

I made amendments to the feedbacks given for the previous consultation and tried out several ways the texts can be presented in a neater manner.

I am pretty inclined to Row 2 for the first few pages, as the simulation of a conversation is represented by colors and positioning.

Changed the ending page too

17th November 2017 (Week 13/Week 14)

Given that my main deliverables (Aged Emotions Book) is just about complete, I moved on to produce extra deliverables given that I still had some time left before printing the FINAL product tomorrow!

I was rather stuck on how I can apply my characters on other items, so I went ahead with Miss Angeline’s suggestion to do up a poster for her TYPOGRAPHY 1 module.

I tried out some layouts and compositions to see which works best!

And since the motif used for the poster are circular and colored, I think it may look good as stickers as well!

And with the final rounds of editing for the main and extra deliverables, I am ready to conquer printing day tomorrow!!cool

17th November 2017 (Week 13/Week 14)

So I went to the paper shop at North Bridge Road called ‘Fancy Paper’ to choose better quality papers for the printing, as the feedback given was to be more sensitive to paper type and weight.

In the paper shop with a wide array of paper choices!

I wanted my book to express familiarity, and some sense of rootedness. The same feeling my grandparents evoked.

After choosing the papers I wanted, I went to Sunshine Plaza to print.

I was really worried that the printing would not be aligned as I would be  doing saddle stitch, and both the sides of the pages are necessary to be aligned so the pages would not overlap that drastically.

The printing shop lady was very helpful as I noticed that the alignment was off, and she recalibrated the machine for me. Look at all the test prints we did on the printer…

And thankfully, things turned out pretty well despite the multiple test prints by the re-calibrated machine. I took my prints home and started to do the saddle stitching.

The inner pages paper are A3 White Matte Paper, 160 GSM.

A. Lot. Of. Test. Prints.

At Fancy Paper, I chose a woody texture for the cover page of the book as I really liked the natural rooted quality evoked by the paper. But unfortunately, the paper texture made it hard for ink transfer and it. was. hideous.

Original choice of paper for cover page.

I chose another paper type that allowed better ink transfer while keeping to the rooted feeling I wanted my book to evoke. Hence, I chose this linen texture cover. The texture reminds me of the clothes washed by my grandmother when I was a kid.

A3 Linen White Textured Paper, 250 GSM

Left: Linen Texture Paper
Right: Wood Texture Paper

Regardless, I liked the texture of the papers and it felt really good to the touch!

I proceeded to do my markings for saddle stitching. I realized that every single piece of paper printed did not align centrally and I had to manually shift the paper when I wanted to use the awl to poke the holes.

Poking the centerline with an awl.

Self notes to saddle stitching

  1. Use a pencil to draw the central line of the page.
  2. Divide the line with the number of holes you want on that piece and proceed to poke the markings with an awl.
  3. Draw a line on the centre of the next piece of paper, put that poked paper and new paper against the light and use the light that went through the holes as markings for the next page. Bind it with binder clip and poke through the same hole.
  4. Use the second piece as template for the next few pieces.
  5. Saddle stitch the whole stack and fold the book in half. Pressing the book down with weights to flatten it. Process to cut off the crop marks with the book folded.

Aligning the hole to the pencil mark.

And I am rather happy with how the result turned out! It was rather neat and secure! 🙂

For the external deliverables, I made a poster for Typography 1 and made a few matte stickers with the existing icons for the poster!

Stickers! I made them in various sizes to see which works best!

I really liked the choice of paper I chose for the poster, though it is unusual for a poster, the sheen of the paper and color made the poster look elegant. Like champagne!

The paper is 300gsm and the poster is in A3 sized.

I really like the sheen when light falls on the poster. The lines are actually not there, I just enhanced the contrast for the shimmery sheen to be seen.


Not only this post was for sharing the journey of how this book came about, it was also a way of documenting notes on things I have learnt along the way, so in the future I would not make the same mistakes! 🙂

Next up, is the FINAL post for this assignment which I will show the fruits of labour and deliverables for presentation!

Click the image below for the FINAL POST! 🙂


Seng Yi Ling

After editing and cleaning up some of my designs, I have finally decided on which designs I want to submit. The following are the designs I have decided to submit for the final.

On the day of printing, I chose 310 gsm glossy paper for Assignment 3A because I wanted my newly designed type to look clean. The reflective surface gives it a professional sheen.

I chose 300 gsm matt paper for Assignment 3B because my designs were inspired by bohemian carpets and I thought a matt paper type will give it a more raw and tactile touch.  I chose 300 gsm matt paper for Assignment 3C because I wanted lesser distraction from the already many elements I have considered. Hence, a matt paper would be less distracting due to the lack of shine.


All of which are in high gsm as I wanted a more sturdy approach.

Critique Day

We had some exercises during class critique and it was really fun to match our Type as Image to some scents Miss Angeline brought to class! 🙂

Matching scent with our letter type!

Everyone’s type as pattern SO BEAUTIFUL

What my classmate thought of my type as image while matching to the scent!

‘Friendly’ HELLOs mostly have arcs!

Thank you for sticking through assignment 3 with me! 🙂

Next up, Assignment 4! And it is gonna be really interesting, I cant wait!

Seng Yi Ling


New assignment! Lets go!


Brief 3 BLACK & WHITE TYPE: Playing with type language
Summary Typography is a versatile element in the world of visual communication. Not only is it meant for language communication but also as graphic communication. The following experiments will get you to think differently about typography. It aims to equip you with the principles of type and also pushes for discovery of new typeform. Use only black and white, no other colours are allowed.
Assignment objectives: Exercise 3a and 3b will allow students to appreciate type beyond its textual nature but as a graphic element of image creation. Exercise 3c develops the students’ sensitivity to the scale and white spaces of typography and the impact it produces to communicate emotions.
Task 1 3a. Type as image

Select one traditional typeface and create a series of composition explorations from it. You may use the various font within the typeface as your series but you need to stick to your chosen typeface. Explore the various anatomy of the selected letter and see how you can create an image out of it. You may also crop or combine certain anatomy together to create your image !

For example:

Typeface: Baskerville

Font: Bold / Light / Italics

Deliver: 2 best compositions at 14cm by 14cm.

Printed on quality white paper card (more than 150gsm)

Task 2 3b. Type as pattern

Create a series of patterns using a single letterform from any traditional typeface (for eg, an “S”). Copy and repeat the letter in columns or rows to make an overall pattern. Change the spacing of the letters to create variations, create repetitive rows and columns and try overlap them. Change the orientation of elements to find your own grid. Repeat

that grid to see what kind of pattern reveal itself

Deliver: 2 best pattern creations at 14cm by 14cm.

Printed on quality white paper card (more than 150gsm)

Task 3 3c. Type as emotion

What does emotion looks like in black and white? Express the word “HELLO” in the following mood. Choose only 4.

Friendly, Angry, Seductive, Confused, Arrogant,

Depressed, Annoyed, Excited, Bored.

Use only one typeface throughout but feel free to vary the different weights, caps, spacing, sizing etc. Explore negative and positive spaces too! No manipulation of type.

Deliver: 4 different emotional type creation at 14cm by 14cm.
Printed on quality white paper card (more than 150gsm)

What you
must deliver
for this assignment
A total of 8 square cards

A process documentation link on OSS

Grading criteria
  • Due diligence of experimentation
  • Depth of methodology and craftsmanship
  • Aesthetics of image creations
  • Sensitivity of paper choices
Due date: Week 10

So before that, Miss Angeline allowed us to do some experiments in class to have a gauge of what the assignment for task 1 and 2 is about!

Task 1 trial: We were told to try different methods to distort the alphabet on the paper physically and rearranging it to create an image out of it. I cut the letter up with a pair of scissors and arranged it like so. Can you tell what letter and typeface it previously was? 🙂
Task 2 Trial: Afterwards we were to experiment with the repetition of a letter to create a pattern! Can you tell what letter and typeface it previously was? 🙂 It was the letter ‘P’ of the Typeface: Bauhaus 93.

3a. Type as image

Using different letters of the same typeface, I will slice and dice the anatomy of the letter; and then creating the letter using the anatomy of the other letters, to become another typeface.

I chose a few typefaces to narrow down which one I would like to use eventually in the end. In my search, I was looking for type that had more personality. Type where the mere fraction of its anatomy can distinguish itself from the other alphabets. Hence, I chose these 3 to analyse.

And I chose Adobe Caslon in the end as I felt that the Caslon type anatomy has more personality and can aid in distinguishing the letters.

MethodologyI also tried to recreate some other alphabets.

3b. Type as Pattern

I had a lot of fun doing this segment of the assignment as it not only is very interesting to see how each letter of each type can create beautiful patterns, the variety is endless because every angle the letter is inverted or tilted, bolder etc. It gives off a completely different feeling!

I used the typeface: Garamond for this part of the project as I really liked the old style serif. It looks classy and posh, especially the letters with the round descender, such as the lower case ‘y’.

I decided to play with many ways of creating patterns with the lower case Garamond ‘y’.

Garamond Lowercase ‘y’: I was inspired by Bohemian carpets for this pattern, wanted something that resembles the sun.

Garamond Lowercase ‘y’: Inverted the colors for this: White on Black background. I also increased the scale so that the radial composition can be seen more clearly, while also turning the composition in 45 degrees to make it less straight.

Garamond Lowercase ‘y’: Mirroring and reflecting.

I decided to play with optical illusion for upper case ‘Q’, the tail of ‘Q’ is very long and sleek, hence direction can be created subtly with the tail of ‘Q’.

Garamond Uppercase ‘Q’:
Repeating the upper case Q in a radial direction, and reflecting it so it will create a sense of movement with the different directions as indicated by the tail of the Q.

Garamond Uppercase ‘Q’:
Inverted the colors, White on Black.

Garamond Uppercase ‘Q’:
Created outlines and varying the core color to create more movement, as though you are being sucked into the hole on the top left hand corner

I have realized that not only layout and composition is very important as it is not merely just repetition, I wanted to create movement in my compositions. Hence, I chose to do my patterns in radial form, to create some form of optical illusion. In addition, I inverted the colors and played with tonality and outlines to push my designs.

3c. Type as Emotion

For this segment, I chose to use the typeface: Helvetica. My objective was to convey emotions through layout, scale and tonality.

I chose Helvetica because the typeface is very neutral. There is no biasness or any form of personality which was what I wanted as it can help me achieve my goal: Strip off any preconceived notion of typeface to express the emotion. For instance, if I were to use ‘Black Letter’ for this segment, Black Letter is medieval and vintage. Hence, using Black Letter to express the emotion, ‘anger’ it will feel like an angry old man being angry. Well… that is my interpretation. 🙂

Inspired by a weak heartbeat on the heart monitor

Changed the tonality of ‘LO’ and arranged in high and low to emulate boredom

All pushed to the side in a black background Wanting to be alone. All letters are tilted as though leaning on each other for support

Excitement is bursting of out the frame! E is tilted to show slight cheekiness as compared to the straight ‘HLLO’

Pushed all to the corner. Tonal contrast shows that it is slowly being consumed by darkness.

A more Obessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) perspective where everything is aligned properly and there is a titled letter to ruin the formation. Used Greyscale for visibility.

Swirly line formation to create a whimsical mood. Scale changes as though it is approaching you. Letters go out of the frame to express enthusiasm in the greeting.

I have come to the end for this process documentation of my explorations! Stay tuned to my final Assignment 3 post to see my final productions! 🙂

Thank you!

Seng Yi Ling.

After several rounds of experimentation, edits and tryouts; these are my final submissions!




I had a hard time choosing between these 2 as I really liked the composition for (A) as it resembles the top view of the location I chose : Johor Bahru Jalan Wong Ah Fook , but there is readability issue with ‘World’ when inversed.

There is visual tension. And I really liked (B) as well cause the visual hierarchy made it easier for viewers to read.

18 x 18 cm Black and White Letter that has an interesting type.


I further scattered the letters and changed up the scale of the letters and play around with the arrangement, while taking into consideration of visual hierarchy.
18 x 18 cm organic letter. I like the different broken glass shards within the letter. It is raw and edgy. The reflective surface creates depth.

I changed up the curve levels and got this lovely colour! It has a combusted metallic look and it is a fresh new perspective to the glass shards~

Taking a look at the Molten Metallic letter A closer!


My favorite application tryouts!



I went to multiple printing shops to get a glimpse of how my printed work will look like, and a pity to say that the printed results really vary very differently from the computer screen…   

The black A3 Organic ones are such a pity as I really wanted the glass shards to shine through the black background through its contrast, but sad to say the printing came out TERRIBLY: The ink was inconsistent and even after editing the master file so many times, there was always this grey box behind each letter…

So I decided to change up the Curves and submit the Molten Metallic Shattered Dreams against a white background, instead of the Glass on black background.




I chose textured paper for the A3 pieces (250 gsm) for the Vernacular Type because I like the grid-like texture, which resembles the top view of the map. Comparing the texture of the paper and its location, its rough grid lines and yet smooth texture as a whole is like the area of choice: Jalan Wong Ah Fook. The town is pretty urban and a mixture of old and new.

I chose glossy white A4 (260 gsm) for the Vernacular Type 18 x18cm B/W letter is because the type itself has a smooth glossy texture, and I thought using the same texture for the printed version will emulate the same feeling.


I chose silk white textured paper (different from the Vernacular paper) for the A3 pieces (250 gsm) for the Organic Type because I really liked how the type looked raw and edgy, and the irregularly gridded textured paper reflected what I felt of the broken glass type: Irregular, angular and broken.

I chose glossy white A4 (260 gsm) for the Organic Type 18 x18cm letter is because the type itself has a smooth glossy texture, and I thought using the a glossy smooth texture for the printed version will enhance the shine and smoothness of the glass pieces.

AND I AM DONE WITH ASSIGNMENT 2~ Thank you for sticking through TYPO 1 Assignment 2 posts, hope you like the final product, and see you next time on Assignment 3 posts! 🙂

NEXT PROJECT, the following is the brief given by Miss Angeline! 🙂


Brief 2a VERNACULAR TYPE: Exploring the spirit of street type
Summary Type found in your everyday surrounding reveals layers of stories about it’s existence. The combination of traditional type vs contemporary type, serif vs san serif, upper caps vs lower caps, type seen during the day and during the night all give hint to the culture and lifestyle of a particular area / street / town and even the city as a whole.
Assignment objectives: This assignment intends to take you away from your computer screen to explore the everyday typefaces around us and it’s application. The coloured version will deliver a flavour of the area that you are working on, while the black and white version will strip all colours away and allow one to appreciate the letterform in it’s barest state.
Task: Head down to a favourite area / neighbourhood or street and create a typographic composition to reflect the spirit of the area.

  1. Think of a phrase, quote, memory or lyric that you associate the area with, ideally between 15 -25 characters long including spaces
  1. Write this down on a piece of paper. Take a pen or pencil with you so that you can cross out the letters as you find them
  1. Find the individual letters that make up your phrase using a high quality camera with zoom lens so that you can isolate each individual letter
  1. Try a daytime and night-time version for the composition
  1. Combine your photos digitally on an A3 sheet to spell out the phrase – printed on quality paper
Places you
can go to
Chinatown / Little India / Bugis / Joo chiat / Katong / Neighbourhood wet markets etc..  please discuss with instructor
  • You will need a good camera for zooming into the letters
  • Do a day as well as night version
  • Be prepared to return to the area for a second time as you
    may not capture all the letters that you need the first round
What you
must deliver:
  • An A3 printed poster of 15-25 character collage
  • An 18cm by 18cm printed poster of 1 single letter in black and white after
    digital manipulation
  • A process documentation on OSS
Grading criteria
  • Due diligence of vernacular type exploration
  • Sensitivity in spotting creative type forms
  • Aesthetics of poster layout
  • Sensitivity of paper choices
Due date: Week 7  (together with organic type)

Doing some mind mapping:
Because I couldn’t decide which location works best for me and which location would provide me more interesting typefaces and background, I decided to try two locations:

Ang Mo Kio Central Hawker Centre & Johor Bahru, Jalan Wong Ah Fook.


Ang Mo Kio Central Hawker CentreThings I have noticed when choosing to take photographs of Hawker Centre signboards:

  • There are glowing outlines for most of the signboard type, most likely is to attract attention.
  • The graphical forms have the purpose to inform and persuade customers to purchase. Thus the typeface used are friendlier to look at, like casual script typefaces that gives an informal vibe.
  • The most important factor is the legibility of the typeface.
  • The background of the signboard is usually much darker in color, so that the juxtaposition between the text and the background makes the text pop.

Johor Bahru, Jalan Wong Ah Fook
Things I have noticed when choosing to take photographs of signboards at Jalan Wong Ah Fook:

  • There is a mixture of traditional and modern signboards, and the difference is rather large. It feels as though it is not a transition phase, but more of two different time periods co-existing in one area. Like I am between two worlds.
  • Both typefaces in that area are rather whimsical and doesn’t seem to have any rules or restrictions. It is as though a lot of free expression was allowed when the sign typeface was created.
  • Background the typefaces were on were very raw. Especially the more traditional ones as the paints were peeling off or the material the type was on became rather old.
  • The placement of shops were very loosely organized as compared to Singapore, where food and shopping are clearly segregated; The shops here are not. On the left there would be a café, and right beside it would be a tyre shop. I love this ‘no -arrangement’ arrangement of the shops here as the spirit of being free and ‘not a care in the world’ can be seen through this street.

In the end, I have finally decided to do this Vernacular type project based on JB’s Jalan Wong Ah Fook because there is a wide variety of interesting type on various backgrounds! 🙂


I have decided to choose the words ‘Between Two Worlds’ as mentioned above, I find that JB’s Jalan Wong Ah Fook is like an area where two different time period co-exist together and not a transition phase where old becomes new. It is like I am between two worlds!
I arranged the letters in a way that the word ‘two’ was not in the composition. I spelt the word ‘Worlds’ twice so there is 2 of ‘Worlds’.

In addition, I placed the word ‘Between’ in the middle of the two ‘Worlds’ which emphasizes that it is in between the two worlds. ‘Between’ acts as a barrier. ( I had a hard time explaining this haha)
After consultations, I jot down some of the feedback given by my peers and Miss Angeline.

Afterwards I made more amendments and experimented with more ways of arrangements.

Yin Yang inspiration is just a try out when I asked a friend what she thought of ‘two different world’.

That is it for my process post on Vernacular type! Stay tuned to my next 2 posts: Organic Type and Final Post for Assignment 2 😀

Hello ADM OSS! I am back here again, but this time as a Year 2 Sem 1 Viscom Typography 1 Student! So lets get started!cool

So first things first, I did some research recorded some information in class as I am still very new to this whole Typography thing…

What is Typography?

Typeface VS Font
Typeface is like an album and Font is like the songs in that album. For instance Typeface is a font family ( Times New Roman , Comic Sans etc.) and font embodied a particular size and weight. For example, italicized Times New Roman at 24 point would be considered a different font than italicized Times New Roman at 28 point.

San-Serif VS Serif
Simply to my understanding, Serif are the fonts that have feet like Courier New and San-Serif typefaces are like Arial.
San (non) serif typefaces are more equidistant, clean looking and easier to read per alphabet in isolation.
Serif typefaces are less equidistant and it looks elegant if used appropriately. Reading serif paragraphs allow us to grasp the shape of the alphabet before reading it ( like in newspapers, their typefaces are usually serif)

The following is the brief provided by Ms Angeline!


Investigating the past of type

Gather in groups of 3-4 and attempt the following brief. You will learn to delegate the work among yourselves in equal measures leveraging on your strength and interest.

Brief 1 TYPE HISTORY: Investigation the past of type
Summary Almost every typeface exist for a reason. How much do you know about how they are created and why?  What are it’s application reasons and significance in both historical and contemporary context?
Assignment objectives: Working in groups, this assignment provides the opportunity to investigate the historical, cultural and social underpinnings of a well known typeface and its application significance in a modern, contemporary society. This will pave the way for future type usage assignments beyond that of aesthetics, but also for functional and contextualized purposes.
Task: In groups of 4/5, decide on one typeface from the list below that you and your team mates would like to explore and investigate. Bring your investigation to life in any appropriate means or format. (an exhibit, a sketch, a presentation, a poster, a video, a game etc…) In your investigation, you should explain:

• Reason of existence and origins

• The context in which it originated

• Who designed it? Why was it designed?

• Examples of application and existence

• How has this typeface influenced us?

(researched + personal views)

However you choose to present, make sure you have means of documenting your process and the final results as part of your
portfolio collection..

Presentation should take no more than 15 minutes with 5 mins of Q&A.

What you
must deliver:
• Final presentation of your choice in any format (sketch, ppt etc…)

• A group blog link documenting your process

Typefaces to choose from San Serif: Frutiger, Helvetica, Gill Sans, Univers, Akzidenz, Bell Centennial, Avenir, VAG Rounded, Comic Sans

Serif: Times New Roman, Baskerville, Garamond, Bondoni, Bembo, Clarendon, Courier, Trajan

Notes: Whilst you may be able to find information from the internet, there are also plenty of books in the library that writes and reports about the historical significance of each of the above typefaces in much more details. Please look it up.

Just my type: A book about fonts

Simon Garfield

Grading criteria
  • Creativity of presentation format
  • Audience engagement
  • Ability to answer all research questions as specified under Task.
  • Documentation of process
Due date: Week 4

The typeface that our group ( Debbie, Chia Te, Cai Jing, Benjamin and I ) have decided on is : HELVETICA

Helvetica Movie


What is Helvetica?
Helvetica is a San – serif, Neo Grotesque typeface which originated in Switzerland. 

Who created Helvetica?
Helvetica was developed in 1957 by Max Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann at the Haas type foundry of Münchenstein, Switzerland.

Why was Helvetica created?
Haas set out to design a new sans-serif typeface that could compete with Akzidenz-Grotesk in the Swiss market.

Originally called Die Neue Haas Grotesk, it was created based on Schelter-Grotesk. The aim of the new design was to create a neutral and rational typeface that had great clarity, had no intrinsic meaning in its form, and could be used on a wide variety of contemporary information.

Neutralism was what Helvetica carried and artists who used this typeface adored.

When was Helvetica used?

Because Helvetica is neutral and lacks a strong personality of its own you could say, its clean lines go well with many elements such as images, especially images with lots of detail where the text needs to pop out without stealing the show.

More weights were added to the Linotype machine and the family was heavily promoted.

The size of the family — the number of available weights and widths — is also a factor in the choice of a typeface for a corporate identity, because it allows text to speak with many voices without breaking harmony.

Thus, Helvetica has since gone on to become one of the most well-known and widely used typefaces in the world. It is beautiful it its own simplicity.

Common Mistakes

While it is true that Arial was intended to be a competitor to Helvetica – as Helvetica was to Akzidenz Grotesk – and they are often mistaken to be the same typeface because of their similarity.

We played a little quiz game of ‘Fastest Fingers First’ with the audience for this segment, and made flip board panels to incorporate some interactivity! 🙂

How to distinguish Helvetica?

Look out for the dead giveaway lowercase letters such as ‘e’, ‘t’, ‘c’ and ‘f’. Uppercase letters that give away a Helvetica type are ‘G’, ‘R’ and ‘Q’

There is very even distribution of weight throughout Helvetica letters, and the angles at which the letter ends are more horizontal. This is because Helveica was designed based on vertical and horizontal grids.

‘Helvetica is all around!’ Video

Our group did a short video to show how prevalent the presence of Helvetica is around us, even when we are not trying to look for it!

“It (Helvetica) shouldn’t have a meaning itself, as the meaning is in the text content itself, not the typeface.”

Wim Crouwel in the documentary Helvetica

Helvetica was used to complement the design and meaning of the product, The typeface did not have any intrinsic meaning. In a way, Helvetica helped the content of the product to shine, instead of vying for attention. It really emphasizes on the neutrality of this typeface. 🙂

Miss Angeline’s Comments and Feedback! 🙂

Dear Helvetica group,

Thank you for going as the first presenters of this week’s group assignment submission !  Your “water” analogy has left a very deep impression on a number of your classmates reflections ! The little role play of Arial appearing was also a nice touch to keep us engaged mid-presentation ! Well done on that ! 

The personality of Helvetica as well as the intention of it’s design was well identified too. The analysis of the terminals were well thought out. I especially enjoyed the take on the comparison of the past and present adverts of the same brand.
Comparisons between Helvetica vs Arial was great too as they are so similar yet so different at the same time.  On this note, you might want to check out one of the Tuesday’s groups comparison of Akzidenz Grotesk and Helvetica.
Akzidenz grotesk is known to be the father of Helvetica  (neo grotesque meaning “new” grotesk) while Arial is the contemporary cousin of Helvetica ! https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/a160028/wp-content/uploads/sites/816/2017/09/Akzidenz-Grotesk-Process-Documentation.pdf

Great job on the video demonstrating to us in a context so familiar to all of us – I enjoyed watching the journey from ADM right up to North Spine I believed ?  

Keep up the good work !  

Group Reflection on the presentations!

– We are more sensitive to front now, like how the type anatomy is different from each typeface.
– We are more aware of our surroundings now when we look around to see how various type is used for a specific location or design.
– Understanding the history make appreciated the font even more. As knowing how the relevant typeface come about really allow us to be more appreciative of such revolutionary changes, and how just mere typefaces changed the aspect of advertising then and now.
– Typefaces are not just a setting for how fancy words should be designed, but should be used with careful selection as to which scenario and preference it is best user for.

Thank you!! 🙂