Locale – Project 2A (Research & Process)

I have always wanted to explore designs that has the traditional chinese influences. Hence I have decided to work on Chinese Garden for this project.

The moment I stepping into the entrance, I was greeted by the 7-storey pagoda. It is the most prominent building in the garden, it is noticeable even when you are in the train at chinese garden station. Out of curiosity, I went up the tower and counted the steps along the way. It has total of 180 steps!!

Walking away from the pagoda, eight statues placed along the pathway. Each statues has it’s very own significances, eight different heroes for that very point of time.

Aside from the 7-storey pagoda, here are 2 miniature pagodas. They have the identical look, as if there is a mirror placed in front of them. Fortunately, the steps are much much lesser than the 7-storey pagoda. As I noticed the opposite’s view when I viewed through the window inside the pagoda, it… was… spectacular…

Moving on to the bonsai garden, the windows are more prominent here. The bonsai reflected from the windows replicates like a piece of painting on the wall.

Apart from all the old chinese buildings, large numbers of lattice patterned windows can be seen all around chinese garden.

The patterns on the windows really intrigued me as like I am viewing Chinese Garden in a different way. It is like looking through a pinhole camera, looking a far to the scenery. Capturing and framing the scenery like a real-life painting.


The style I will be exploring is a fusion of chinese and english text. My initial idea was to extract all the lattice windows and create long continuation throughout the whole zine and a tiny character following through. But I scraped the idea after multiple consultations and lastly I came into conclusion of doing up a poetry book.

I explored towards a parody poem book instead of having a serious feel to it. I wanted my poetry book to replicate the old chinese kungfu book. With the tradition blue cover with a huge chinese title at the right corner.

Initial Sketches

Some of the parody poems;

  • Money is not a problem, problem is no money.
  • Others can be so handsome, and yet I look like shit.
  • Others have background, and all I have is backview
  • In my whole life there are only two things that I don’t know, I don’t know this, and I don’t know that.
  • Life is like toilet paper, if there’s nothing much, don’t pua so many stuns.
Initial cover page

Replicating the old chinese kungfu book, I did up my cover looking exactly like it. I have titled my book as ‘Window to you soul’. But to tie down with my parody theme of a chinese poem book, I have tweaked the chinese translation of windows into hemorrhoids instead. The chinese pronunciation of 之窗 and 痔疮 is very similar.

After much consultation, it was said to be a little too boring and predictable for the cover. Hence I tried to incorporate the lattice patterns into the cover and explore a different positioning for my title.

The title is being interlocked with the patterns and the different in size which creates the visual hierarchy. As for my inner spreads, I chose the best of the few from my initial sketches.

Instead of having a static; one window per page, I spread the one of the window across the next spread. The different in sizes of the window creates the emphasis on the window that I want to focus on.

A title of the poem is introduced for every poem in the spread. It ties in very well with the poems. Diagonal lines were introduced as well. It leads the eye of the reader on how the flow of the spread goes. I still feel the spread has too much of a white space that I have to add some window shapes into it.

I positioned my english text vertical to match up with my chinese text.

Middle spread

I have contrast of the two very identical window in a yin and yang position. This layout is also somewhat asymmetrical.

The blue added on the right page gives a higher contrast on both of the windows.

Last spread

The overlapped windows gives the layout a foreground and background instead of plain flat. The main octagon window is positioned across the next page. It is also slightly off centred which breaks away from the norm. The numbering of the poems are intentionally placed from right to left to replicate the olden chinese way of reading. Windows outlines are constantly appearing in every spread to keep the consistency.

All in all, this zine project taught me to always stay away from my comfort zone and trying out new stuffs. And always to pay attention to really small details. Constantly checking  for errors here and there.

Image Making Through Type – Research & Process

For this assignment, we are to create our own individual type with our initials based on the 4 different occupations. We are to extrude the main elements from the different occupations and adapt it on our initials. This assignment also aimed to train our eyes to pay more attention to details, even if it’s the slightest.

Here are some of the sketches in the earlier stage. Initially I didn’t really understand the brief well.  Almost all my ideas are leaning away from the expectations. Occupations that didn’t make to cut; barber, taxi driver, key maker, casino player, sushi chef. I was told that it wasn’t that exciting or it has already been done before.

After much consultations, I have decided on the 4 occupations. The 4 occupations I chose to work with :

Pizzaiolo  | Willy Wonka Tailor | Origami Artist

Pizzaiolo; a pizza chef

Attributes; pizza dough, crust, sausage, olives, peppers, cheese, tomato sauce

colour palette
image from brandser.es
image from designinspiration.com

First draft

The pizza on the letter ‘J’ looks really raw and unfinished. I tried adding gradient and patterns brush onto my ‘J’ to create more depth and personal touch to it. But the results wasn’t that satisfactory.

After much alterations, I’ve decided to mainly have the cheese flows down my letter ‘J’. The pizza looks more authentic and fun instead of being too serious. I’ve also added green peppers, olives and pepperoni sausages to make the whole pizza to look more appealing.

Final composition

I’ve placed them on a traditional pizza box with the oil paper to make the whole initials come together one one instead of individuals.


Attributes; Needle, sewing thread, sewing scissors, measuring tape, buttons, cloth.

Initially I wanted to create the flowing down of the yellow measuring tape to form my initials. Using one single thread piercing through a needle, forming ‘Y’ and over flowing sewing thread forming the ‘J’.

Elements; buttons, thread, scissors

I’ve a bowl to contain the initials created using the sewing thread. I placed them in a position as such that it creates more depth. The composition is more interesting than placing them symmetrical to one another.

The composition still looked as unfinished, so I’ve added more buttons and sewing thread to fill the bowl.

Final composition

Origami artist

Attributes; origami paper, foldings.

My initial thoughts were to use my english initials. But I feel it rather loses the traditional essence. Also I didn’t go with vector for this occupation. The folds and such won’t be able to shine in vector form. So I’ve gotten the origami paper and tried folding my chinese name instead.

The only difficulty I faced is the consistency of the thickness for each folds. Initially I was to use brown paper against on origami patterns as a background. But the brown didn’t really stand out from the pattern.

It was rather dull and not obvious. So instead of using the brown paper for my name, I changed into using the origami paper instead.

After deciding to use the origami paper to fold out my chinese name, I’ve created a seigaiha wave pattern as a background.

A slight darker green is used for the seigaiha wave background in order to bring out the emphasis on the chinese characters. Analogous colour  is introduced in this occupation.


Willy wonka

Attributes; chocolate, chocolate bars, more chocolate

I’ve formed up my initials using some of the famous chocolate bars; snickers, mars and kit kat. I did not want the branding to be so obvious, so I merely used their iconic colours instead. I had the wrapper peeled off to have the personal touch to it.

Two bars were integrated into one single packaging that creates the wholesomeness for the initials ‘Y’. Snickers were used for this design.

Kit kat bar is being used for this. The packaging followed through the arc of stem of the letter J.

Initially I only had them placed side by side, with the same height and width. The composition wasn’t as exciting. The next thing came into my mind was to have a box to hold them all together. It is  also seen commonly on supermarket shelves. So in the end I’ve added the box to my composition. I’ve also played with scale, from a large ‘Y’ gradually to a smaller ‘J’. That created the depth of field.