Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some Recent Productions

Managing my own company means I do not have the luxury of total hands-on for an entire production. I will mostly be creative or art directing them, and in some cases if I am lucky I might be able to roll up my sleeves and do some hard design work.

Below are some of the recent productions that I was able to touch on in the entire design process.

Regal Asset Consultants Website:

I was quite happy to work on this project and design the overall styling plus some interactivity. The original proposal in my opinion though was better. It was cleaner, crispier, and more polished. This version is a client tweaked version. It included lots of tweening and moving images. In my original proposal, the movements of the photos was much lesser. With the current panning from top to bottom and side to side, the images become a lot jagged now, and it makes the website looks a little unpolished. Nevertheless I still think we achieved an overall modern look and class for this website.

I proposed very minimal text but heaps of imagery coupled with a chic design ala magazine style layout. My reason was to wow the audience just enough to enquire more, instead of giving them every bit of information.

I placed one of my senior designer Paul (then a junior) to create the introduction animation. He had a keen eye to detail, and I thought his detailness will do justice by adding bits and pieces of animation for a styling that is perhaps a little too simple if left alone without some interesting interactivity. My brother KJ helped do the Flash authoring. All in all, I thought it was quite a decent project.

You may see the actual site with link here :

International Friendship Day Website & Game:

My other recent work is a game cum info website for the International Friendship Day. This is a totally different production from the Regal Website. The target audience are Primary to JC school kids. As expected, it must be kiddish enough for the 12yr old and below, but not overly children-like as the higher end of the target audience are 16-18 yr olds.

I will term this as an illustrative production. All graphics were drawn from sketch, there were no materials for me to work on. I practically drew and drew alot of kiddish graphics, on top of that I had to design the layout and the logic of the interface for friendly usage. My 2 junior designers Sonia and Sze Thing certainly aided me a lot, the landmarks of all the countries were illustrated by them. And I praised them for the hard work done. They also did the animation and Flash action scripting.

You can view the website here :

Chinios Love Women DM:

The last production I thought worth mentioning is a direct mailer designed for Mediacorp. 2 versions were produced, print outs mailers and electronic mailers. This is one tough job even though the scale is comparatively small, mostly because the client was exceptionally demanding. It was almost a daily feedback kind of thing. I practically felt like I was their in house designer whom they can bark orders at every minute of the day. I seriously think I could even have made coffee for them if I had to design this inside their office. That was the only thing they couldn't make me do as I was operating from my own studio.

Anyway, I designed the print and die cuts. Paul continued with more detailing of the graphics and created the electronic version which you can see by clicking the above link.

Thats all folks for today.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Early Years

I have always wanted to create a Design related blog. The fact that younger designers all have their portfolio hosted online put me to shame. All my years in this industry makes me wonder why I never bothered. So in order to cover my designer conscience, I decided to just blog about my design, ideas, and share my best and worst productions.

Yes, I believe one should also share with the world your not-so-great productions, and not just create a make believe lie that everything you have done is perfect. Because it is just not true. I believe even the best designers makes mistakes, but what is more important is to share and learn from everyone so that one can improve and in the event, spark more interesting and creative ideas.

Before I begin, I must say that I am just a regular designer although I do have some unique ideas. I started my very first design blog because I want to learn from everyone, including non designers.

My dad never agreed I had the artistic flair when I was a boy. Whenever I returned home with an 'A' grade in Arts & Crafts from school, he'll brushed aside and claimed he did better than that when he was in school. When I said I had illustrated a dragon, he'll ask if the lizard I that I drew can really crawl. And so I always believed I am far from good. Which is quite true, because while the junior designers ratter about 'unwrapping' and what not in 3D Studio Max these days, I can only reply my version of 'unwrapping' is as far as I can get when I received a present or two (if i get lucky) during my birthday. And while the rest of the world are all doodling with Warcom pen these days, I can barely path properly using a mouse. (Don't worry, I still know what a computer mouse is, I am not referring to the rodent type)

But that does not deter me in creating my very first design blog. (I can imagine the junior but better technically equipped designers choking back their laughter now)

So I'll go easy. For this post I would like to share some of my earlier multimedia productions, and you can guys can go bitch about how outdated these designs are later.

The above is my very 1st multimedia design production when I was still an undergrad in UWS more than a decade ago. I didn't remember why I had the balls to do a 3D type cd rom project when the school doesn't even teach Flash, let alone 3D modeling & animation. But I finished the product anyway, and was proud to have self taught a super low end 3D program "Strata Studio Pro" for this project. So you can say I survived.

Below are the screenshots of a Flash animated marketing banner I created back in 2001. It was quite interesting because I learned how to use basic and minimal type and graphics to represent a campaign. It was for the Singapore Arts Festival then. This was done when I was a junior MM designer during my employee years.

Next, I will like to share a production which was a hard balance act for me back then in 2000. It was my very first CD rom production as a junior designer.

Not very nice isn't it. But it was one of my best efforts. The time line given was 3 weeks. I had to pick up "Adobe After Effects" to create the 2 min intro video, and then learned lingo and at the same time design all the interfaces. Being the young aspiring designer, I always wanted to design a funky and chic production. This CD rom put me in a fix because I had to balance what the client wants, and at the same time make it look as good as possible. This production is in fact a very boring CD rom because there wasn't much interactivity involved and the client wanted chunks of info for ppl to read and read. So I ended up using different color schemes for every interface to spice up the whole production. And it is a trick I still use these days, when I have a boring piece to work on, I try to experiment with lots of colors to add variety to the design. But it does not work all the time of course, much really depends on the objectives listed for the production.

All right folks, thats all for today. You can laugh your heart out now...