weekly[6] & exercise[5]

lim jia sheng,

.Design Principles
::weekly[6] & exercise[5]

lecture[1]: Symbol & Imagery & Typography

In this recorded lecture, we were taught about how the three design subjects are used in, well, design.


    • Pure definition — a sign, shape, or object that is used to represent something else.
    • Design definition — design subjects that provide/convey information of an arbitrary length (singular sentence → whole story)

Symbols have been used a lot in history to communicate, eg. hieroglyphs which are fully made out of small symbols to form a fully fledged communication medium.

The main type of symbol relevant in design principles is the Graphic type that fall under the Figurative Representation variety. Graphic symbols then include even more children.

Figure 1.1.1, Node tree of Symbols, 30/4/2021

Pictorial Symbols

Is created by simplifying the message at hand & using direct imagery to convey its meaning. Has essence of "realism", because of its straight on mapping of characteristics.

Figure 1.1.2, "Success in studies", 30/4/2021

Abstract Symbols

Is created by boiling down the intended message to its absolute minimum. Abstract Symbols != Abstract Art, as they do still have visual linkages to the message conveyed.

Figure 1.1.3, Google's Material icons, 30/4/2021

Arbitrary Symbols

Is created by associating the intended message to a symbol that has no visual correlation to said message. They're fully invented & constructed, most commonly based on geometric shapes & colours.

Figure 1.1.4, Road signs in Malaysia, n.d


Images that are used can create a relation between a concept or brand.

Figure 1.1.5, Example of imagery correlated to the caption, 30/4/2021


The design & arrangement of text to convey a message or concept.

Figure 1.1.6, Typography formed from architecture, 30/4/2021


    lecture[2]: Symbol & Imagery++

    We started out this live lecture with a story about a caveman, cavewife, & cavekid. They're happy in their cave, happy with their environment. One day, the caveman came out from his cave, looking across the view with dinosaurs, greenery, and their harvests, just gawking. He looks back at the family, & talks in cave language: "All these good things, something must be responsible", with the cavewife replying: "Maybe the yellow bright thing in the sky". "Nunu" he named the sun, representing their grandfather. He then took some homemade pigment, & started to stamp handprints, creating the landscape of Nunu inside their own cave, bringing what they thing gave them the good things into their own cave.

    Nunu has become a symbol, a symbol of power. 



    A shape with a representation of a narrative.

    Figure 1.2.1, Recognizable corporate symbols, n.d



    An image with a representation of a narrative.

    Figure 1.2.1, Movie post with good use of Imagery with Typography, n.d


    We were given feedback for exercise[4].

    exercise[5]: Symbol & Imagery



    Create an arbitrary symbol with a 20-50 word rationale alongside it, & a piece of artwork that combines imagery and typography. Any type of medium is allowed.



    For the symbol, I was just looking around for symbols in use currently that are arbitrary in nature. I noticed that they were all super utilitarian, which kinda got my brain itching to do something completely useless, conveying information that's just purely sarcastic.

        • "Please do not have an emergency here"
        • "No self aware symbols allowed"
        • "Breathing only allowed 10am-10pm"
        • "Children must remain unsupervised"


    Figure 2.1.1, Examples of arbitrary symbols, 4/5/2021


    For the artwork that combined imagery & typography, I started out looking through my backlogs of photos taken/combined.


    Figure 2.1.2, Few of my favourite collages/pictures I made/took previously not for this class, n.d



    Starting with the symbol, I basically just did a quick brain dump on what ideas I could possibly come up with for the above sarcastic statements. 

    Figure 2.2.1, Sketches for Symbol, 4/5/2021

    Then, to continue the sarcastic theme going on, I ended on this from messing around:

    Figure 2.2.2, Anarchist TNB poster, 4/5/2021

    I really liked this concept of "anarchist organization/company", so I decided to pursue it.

    I started researching about generators in blender to create assets procedurally so they're all mine to use freely. I found methods to make rocks, landscapes, grass, trees, leaves, as well as to some extent, low poly flowers. Armed with assets, I went ahead and:

    Figure 2.2.3, Initial testing, 5/5/2021

    Figure 2.2.4, Scene optimization so it'll render without crashing, 5/5/2021

    Figure 2.2.5, Texturing/shading, 5/5/2021

    Figure 2.2.6, Final detailing, 5/5/2021


        • 12/5/2021
          • The final picture isn't clear, & may benefit from uploading as a PDF.


    Figure 2.3.1, Anti infant supervision organization, 5/5/2021


    "In the current world, the main source of pain & suffering is people; the main source of people is infants. Unfortunately, killing infants is immoral; fortunately, not supervising & letting your infant pass away of natural causes of its own doing, for the greater good, is not."


    Figure 2.3.2, Anti infant supervision PSA, 6/5/2021



    This exercise was a lot more fun than previous ones in my opinion. Losing the theme was initially pretty chaotic, as the question of "what to make" rushed the mind. Once that question was solved through asking around & inspiration though, things became a lot more fluid, falling in place so much easier. I learnt largely the different types of symbols & the imagery that they can appear in. The message behind every piece of symbol/symbolism definitely adds "spice" to things that would otherwise taste like soggy cardboard. All in all, this practice has prepared me for my future when I'll need to create something with meaning, subliminal or not.