Brand Identity, Editorial & Campaign Design
GRAFFICITY is a youth-led social campaign which I started back in 2013, to encourage creative expression in Singapore’s controlled public environment—with the aims to unleash one’s potential, and to nurture the growth of the street art scene in the Little Red Dot. With the onset of guerilla marketing and the Sticker Lady Saga still fresh in public’s mind (as the nation was torn between the freedom of expression and the risk of stifling creativity), I decided to embark on such a mammoth-size of a campaign, one which I deemed as my debut piece into the world of corporate graphic design.
Through the use captivating visuals and positive imagery in street art and graffiti, the campaign aimed to reach towards the younger generation of Singapore, exposed to sites of personal expression and both avenues of online and offline media.
By developing a social campaign using graffiti and street art in a more contemporary setting, not so much as a “social protest” but rather, a “social encouragement” (with its positive messages and imagery), the campaign hoped to cultivate an adventurous attitude among our youths, empowering them to lead happier, more satisfied lives.
Furthermore, GRAFFICITY hoped to bring graffiti and Singapore’s street art scene towards a positive light—which like other countries and cities, such as Berlin, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and New York, celebrate as public art; one that is beneficial to the community and is good for society.
Various surveys were made to further study the graffiti scene in Singapore. Close discussions were also made with The Substation; while in-depth interviews were conducted with the island’s renowned graffiti and street artists, including Clog2 & Ink10 (of INK CLOG Studio), Micro City, ANTZ, and Didier Jaba Mathieu.
For the campaign logo, GRAFFICITY was designed to project a fresh, urban look that is adaptable to various media applications. Instead of using ready-made type, the letters were drawn from scratch, maintaining the originality and highly-personal quality of a graffiti piece. The logo takes its visual style from a throw-up piece commonly seen in graffiti.
At the start of the campaign, the official Grafficity website, GRAFFICITY.sg, launched its Open Call. Open to the general public, the open call encouraged users to submit their own graffiti creations revolving around the themes of “Inspiring change”, “Chasing the dream”, and “Unleashing one’s potential” among others. Submitted works were “painted digitally” on different locations in Singapore (tracked with GPS coordinates), and were made available for viewing on the website.
In the spirit of post-modern, grungy poster design, and inspired by works by Ed Fella, David Carson, Stefan Sagmeister and Nancy Skolos, numerous explorations were made to create diverse, eye-catching layouts to promote the Grafficity Open Call. An assortment of materials (such as cardboard box pieces, paint splatters and sprays, and a real stencil made from the actual brand logo) were shot separately and combined together to form a digital collage—possessing a grungy, raw and tactile quality and corresponds to the visual style of graffiti and street art.
GRAFFICITY VOL 1
Grafficity Vol 1, Singapore’s first ever book on graffiti and street art culture, was launched, showcasing an exciting line-up of works by internationally-acclaimed local graffiti artists, such as Clog2, ANTZ, and Ink10, coupled by interviews discussing the state of Singapore’s street art scene and culture.
The book was essentially the first published collection of local graffiti and street art, categorised by visual style (ie tags, throw-ups, pieces, characters, stickers and stencils among others) and shot within 2012-2013. ALL pieces were accompanied by GPS coordinates to state their locations within Singapore.
Developing a social campaign using graphic design was no mean feat especially since the target audience of youth, though localized, was vast. As a one-man project, GRAFFICITY challenged me to create a viral campaign — or rather, initiate a movement that would engage the community to participate (more so, with a topic as polarising as street art & vandalism).
By providing a public space where self-expression was encouraged and positive insights could be shared within the community, I remain hopeful that these personal messages—by the youth, for the youth—would hold a great influence on the lives of the younger generation: to help them reflect, to define their own happiness, and ultimately, to find fulfilment in their lives.
The campaign was supported by the YOUTH.sg, The Singapore Kindness Movement, and featured in NYLON Singapore.