Designing Singapore: Locally-Inspired Postcard Designs

A while back, when WeCreate was just newly created, we wanted to create a strongly design-based product. One of our product ideas was to create a series of postcard-calendars, where the illustrations of each month in the calendar could be torn away along a perforated line and collected as postcards.

And so I designed a series of Singapore-inspired postcards I called ‘(365) Days of Summer‘. I created two variants of the series, a Day edition and a Night edition, the former using a lighter base colour and flatter graphics while the latter uses a darker palette with a more layered shading.

Design #1: Stop At Two

1. Stop at TwoMy first design was based on the well-known childbirth policy implemented during the 1970s. Back then, overpopulation was becoming a real problem to Singapore and the government then introduced the “Stop At Two” campaign to encourage couples to have two or less children. Whether the campaign resulted in Singapore’s current dangerously low birth rates or not, it’s pretty fun to look back at the campaign and re-imagine in a minimalist fashion the pair of siblings plastered throughout the campaign posters.

Design #2: Have Three Or More, If You Can Afford It

2. Have 3 or MoreOf course, what followed after “Stop At Two” must be “Have Three or More, If You Can Afford It”, a reference to the government’s later efforts to boost fertility rates (amongst well-to-do families). Suddenly, the perfect family should consist of three or more children (if you can afford it!), so it’s no wonder the children in the postcards themselves are a little bewildered.

Design #3: Lose a Crown, Gain a City

3. CrownJust like the British have their series of “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters designed for WWII, I felt that Singapore should have its own variant: “Lose a Crown, Gain a City”. This was inspired by the story of Sang Nila Utama, the prince who discovered Singapore (The Kingdom of Singapura), who experienced a storm during his sea voyage and threw his crown into the turbulent sea to appease the Lord of the Seas. After losing his crown, Sang Nila Utama safely landed on the shores of a white sandy beach and founded Singapore.

Design #4: We Make Mountains Out of Molehills. Literally.

4. MountainsSingaporeans like making mountains out of molehills. Especially when complaining. Or in the case of Mount Faber.

I initially wanted to make a scaled comparison of Mount Faber with Mount Everest, but because Faber was so small, I had to increase its size for it to be visible!

Design #5: Deceptively Western, Inherently Asian

5. Western AsianDespite our apparent obsession with all things material and our wide embrace of capitalism, we’re still very much an Asian country. And our dollar coin reflects just that: it’s secretly shaped like the Taoist bagua. Legend has it that when Singapore ventured to build its first underground train system, a certain reverend warned that digging the ground would bring misfortune to the nation, unless everyone constantly held a bagua mirror in their hands! The solution: a handy bagua mirror in the form of our dollar coin.

Design #6: Simba Singa

6. SimbaThis design was, admittedly, made without much thought, and therefore rather whimsical. I just thought it’d be fun to associate the popular The Lion King character with our local variant: Singa.

Design #7: Good Things Never Last. Ice-Cream in Singapore Must Be Pretty Darn Good.

7. Ice CreamNo Singapore-inspired design could be complete without a reference to our ridiculously hot and humid weather! Well, if they always say that good things never last, at least it means that ice-cream here in Singapore must be pretty darn good!

Design #8: Do Not Cross the Yellow Line

8. Yellow LineThis design was decidedly a little darker: it explores Singaporeans’ apparently willingness and obsession with following the rules. With “Do Not Cross the Yellow Line”, the design challenges this status quo: is the owner of the footprints obediently standing behind the yellow line, contemplating to cross the line, or looking back at the platform, having already crossed the line?

Design #9: Coffeeshop Talk

9. Coffeeshop Talk

Coffeeshop talk is such a uniquely Singaporean thing. Almost everyone can relate to this almost daily activity, where a bunch of kakis hang around and chat, gossip and complain!

Design #10: The Man Who Can’t Be Moved

10. Man Who Can't Be MovedWho’s the man who can’t be moved?No, not Danny O’Donoghue from The Script. In Singapore, in fact, we have our own man who can’t be moved: Sir Stamford Raffles! I’ve always found his statues in Singapore a little enigmatic (and melodramatically romantic, if you will), for he seems to be gazing at the Singapore River, reminiscing about someone he once loved but lost.

Design #11: Nanny’s Always Here

11. NannyI wanted to create a design in the series that blends both Day and Night editions, and thought it’ll be really apt to do it in this particular one! Whether we think of our nanny as a gentle caregiver or menacing monster (paranoid much?), one thing’s for sure: she’s here to stay.

12. Global Fashion CapitalCan you imagine that Singapore’s actually rated as one of the top global fashion capitals of the world? I can’t, so when news broke that this was indeed the case, I designed this postcard as a mockery of our slipshod sense of fashion. Heck, maybe singlets, shorts and slippers combination is the new vogue.

If you think these designs are cool, I’d encourage you to visit WeCreate’s website here to find more cool Singapore-inspired projects and products (and, of course, look at my other posts)!

***Since these designs were created for WeCreate, it belongs to WeCreate and any unapproved commercial use of them is prohibited.***

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2 thoughts on “Designing Singapore: Locally-Inspired Postcard Designs

  1. Hi!! I’m just a stranger who happened to stumble upon your blog accidentally while googling for Ogilvy Lucky 8, and I just wanna say you’re incredibly talented!! 🙂

    p.s did you get that internship? I hope you did!!! 🙂

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