NUSSU Welfare Diary 2013

Every year, NUSSU (NUS Student’s Union) would organize a Welfare Diary design competition for its annual welfare diary. Since the prizes for the top 3 winners are textbook vouchers, I decided to participate, and ultimately won the top prize =).

I’ve submitted many designs for this competition (since there’s no limit to the number of designs per contestant) but I’ll just show 3 of my favourite designs here. These three designs follow a theme of “School is …” – a series of contemplative designs offering different perspectives of what school really is about – and are matched with a quote each at the back cover. In coming up with these designs, I’ve tried to use a different style for each design, because I figured it would be kind of lazy and pointless to submit similarly-looking designs (OK I did that for my other designs – that’s why I’m not showing them).

Seeking coherence togetherThe first design is “School is … seeking coherence in a whirlpool of shapes”, a retro-esque design with a decidedly ‘dirty’, greyish colour palette that reminds me of books and texts from an earlier generation. I’ve used simple shapes, chaotically arranged with seemingly random interactions (graphically depicted by the differently coloured overlapping regions) and a rather badly-balanced negative space, to form an image of ordered chaos, a whirlpool of shapes of sorts. This is matched by a particularly fitting quote by writer Will Durant, “Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”

Connecting the dots togetherThe second design (my favourite actually) is a kind of classier one. It offers that “School is … connecting the dots”: building bridges and fusing not only ideas, but people, dreams and goals as well. I’ve tried to use a sharper, serif font (Didot) and a contrasting use of black and white to bring out an edgier, classier look. This was a rather fun design to create, actually, since the dots were all randomly scattered and I had to connect them to form a shape that has to look vaguely complex. The back cover design adds that “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet” (a quote from Aristotle), alluding that although the process of ‘connecting the dots’ can seem overwhelming and difficult at times, the results are certainly worth every ounce of effort.

Everything and nothing togetherMy third design (the winning entry) is a much more vibrant and cheerful one than the previous two. “School is … everything and nothing.” Pretty philosophical, huh? School is, truly, both everything and nothing, isn’t it? It all depends on a matter of perspective – when one absorbs everything and remembers nothing, one has then truly been educated. In this design I’ve got to use many different elements of  school life that come together to form a circle. It’s pretty tedious trying to fit everything nicely without letting repeated elements get too close to one another. The quote at the back, by Leonardo da Vinci, brings into mind the importance of studying something that you’re genuinely interested in (*cough* says the designer who’s studying accountancy *cough*): “Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.”

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