Tag Archives: Design

Telegram is Red

The Communist Party is like the sun,
Wherever it shines, it is bright
Wherever the Communist Party is
Hurrah, Telegram is liberated!

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 12.06.33 PMSometime ago, the inability to express my awakened class consciousness on the Telegram messaging app impulsed me to direct my revolutionary fervour on the creation of a Chairman Mao sticker pack.

It has since been installed by over 394 users and used over 2,230 times as of 15 May. The revolutionary in me is deeply touched by the overwhelming support for the revolution among Telegram users.

And below are my curated favourites:

You can download the stickers here: https://t.me/addstickers/ChairmanMao

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Moxie Design Collection

Logo and collaterals design commissioned for Moxie.
A sky of pink gilted with gold-leafed clouds

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Emergency Kintsukuroi


A few months ago, my warrant officer gave me the incredulous task of painting an ostrich egg.

Such a vexatious order arose from his want of a gift to bestow upon his successor that was imminently replacing him as head of my department. An ostrich egg that he dredged up from the barren savannahs of South Africa would serve as the gift. And I, the unfortunate sergeant among a department of forty over fellows (who were homogenous is our attempts to avert his gaze) was fingered to paint the egg. My apparent skills in design work I had previously done for the unit was thought to be a transferrable skill for an egg painting endeavour.

(Sigh: the laughable things I do for the army, far from and beyond my job scope)

So there I was metaphorically sitting on the egg, hoping he would forget about the affair entirely and let me get on with life. That plan however was dashed quite literally when some idiot shattered the bubble-wrapped egg. And we were forced to rapidly abscond with the broken egg before our warrant found out.

And while a Corporal J procured a replacement ostrich egg from Carousell, I thought some kintsukuroi art could instead salvage the broken pieces

With the help of Corporal Z, we pieced the egg back together with masking tape in the hidden confines of a storeroom (cue the Humpty Dumpty song). I then, over a period of a few weekends stretching over a few months, painstakingly superglued the pieces back, covered up and filled in the cracks and openings with papier-mâché, and painted the cracks over with gold acrylic.

This DIY emergency kintsukuroi art turned out amazingly well. And my warrant is without complains. Kintsukuroi does indeed breathe new life into the broken and the forsaken.

I think I should now try out some kintsukuroi art on myself.

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Dentures for the toothless

They talked about excursions. I talked about a mechanism for action. They talked about excursions. I talked about my worries of our inability to act effectively in the rigid rank-and-file. They talked about excursions. I talked about shoring up legitimacy and recognition (because they are essential stepping stones for ground support). They talked about excursions. I talked about the need for savviness in diplomacy while being firm. They talked and talked. And talked.

I am no unionist. I have no subversive or revolutionary ambitions, but it does not mean I have no ambitions for this committee. But excursions are so utterly feeble a contribution for a committee established with far greater aims, especially so in a community so plagued with such immense resentment and tensions.

For someone who has studied colonial history, this committee is remarkably reminiscent of vapid collaborative independence movements – paper, soft, toothless, biteless, inconsequential.

Just because we are handicapped by the system does not mean we have to conform ourselves to irrelevance. Institutional action and redress is still possible with a viable mechanism.

My posters have gone up around camp to the raised eyebrows of army regulars. They smell insurgency.

But the toothless see no use for dentures. They just want liquid food and IV drips.

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2016 August Design Collection

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As they say, democracy has no place in the army. And in testament to this aphorism is the fact that most of my unit (damn you newly-posted-in personnel) voted for my other design which unfortunately got printed in the end.

For 3 bucks a piece with velcro backing, it’s a terrific bargain worthy of a Saturday’s hunt at the army market and cold calls to various printers. Printing quality, stitching and service was better than I expected.

(Check out Emily’s Camping & Industrial Supply at the Army Market if you ever need iLBV patches printed.)

I guess I shall recycle the better designs for another occasion and it appears I haven’t stopped designing things for the army.

Sigh.

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2016 July Design Collection

Designing things in the army, like a tactical ops map in this case, entails an enormous splitting headache. I had to design the map in parts and send them to different printers for the sake of maintaining the integrity of our dear state secrets. I had also been relegated to creating the tactical icons with my own calloused fingers for having it printed commercially was too much of a security risk to take.

(Yeah, it’s ironic that I’m showing glimpses of it here, but they are strictly *token* glimpses that don’t actually reveal any information that cannot already be found on the public domain.)

It’s been completed and used to great successful effect in the past few unit operations, of course, with thankless assistance from Sergeant Geebril.

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It’s amusing that I seem to be doing more design and showmanship than actual ammunition work in my two years here. (But no I’m not. My army life is still excitingly and predominantly a blue collar one.)

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Lest gravity bereft thee of thy phone

Hither a Valentine’s gift for the phone of thine, now a vanquished wreck of thy hubris!

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

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January Design Collection

Or: To Construct a Symbol

For some context, I am currently in the middle of a 12-week sergeant course in an ordnance engineering institute. So I being an ammunition technician am part of a minority of 9 cadets in a course of 40, the rest of whom are armour maintenance engineers. If anything, we are temporary guests in this side of the army.

The divisions have never been spelt out so clearly in an attempt to design a course shirt. The maintenance side had been clamouring hysterically for a feature of their sacred spanner – their formation symbol and main weapon of choice, in every proposed design. And my ammunition side would veto every design that does not have flames on them – a symbol of our formation. (Imagine Taiwanese parliamentarians in a fist-fight)

So after much fervent and politicised agitation, a consensus was finally reached that any design must feature a sprocket, a spanner (or multiple spanners), a screwdriver, flames and chevrons.

And then cue a flurry of vomit-inducing designs of people eager to win brownie points (this being a very competitively hostile and politicised leadership course where the best cadets get seemingly prestigious awards) who should be barred from ever touching a paintbrush or a design software in their life.

This nauseating state of things impulsed me to step in with a quick design to end the fighting and the hundreds of whatsapp notifications once and for all:

The debut of the designs immediately halted the hysterical fighting but not for long. Some encik comes along hours later, having been afflicted by some severe technologically lag and vetoes everything, proclaiming that any design must have a compass on it to symbolise the moral authority and righteousness of a leader. (I’ve never experienced such tragic irony in my entire life, but oh well).

Acceding to the demands of the encik of course, I conducted a swift re-design to now incorporate a sprocket, chevron wings, a spanner (or multiple spanners), a compass needle (or multiple compass needles) and flames:

MASCC back logo

At this point of time, it was simply impossible to imagine any further escalation of irrationality or pure 24 carat mental retardation (no offence to retards), when I received this additional order from the encik:

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So you want me to also include North, South, East, West, North-West, North-East, South-West, South-East in the design? You may as well ask for all 6400 mils to be included as well, together with a shirt that points North naturally.

Fucking insanity.

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Teachers’ Day gifts

Elephants to represent matriarchal love, zebra crossings to represent tireless guidance, seigaiha waves to represent a depthless wisdom:

Pouches

The good thing about the ammunition specialisation course is the copious amounts of free time you get. Some of which, I’ve spent on sewing. (Yes, it’s that boring.)

And for teachers’ day, I decided to sew pouches for three educators who have been immense pillars of hope and support for the two years of JC life and actually even right up till now. And I’ve also filled the pouches to the brim with essentials of the teaching trade.

Got the fabrics from spotlight; they had a 30% discount for half-a-metre of every fabric :O

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Out out brief candle

Phone wallpaper

I re-designed my phone wallpaper with an extract from my favourite Macbeth soliloquy to remind myself to indulge in neither self-importance nor self-pity.

On a side note, Ian Mckellen is such a charming Thespian.

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