Design Project Reflection


For this Design project, we were tasked with making a graphic novel creation from a few pages from a book, Empire of the Sun. Mine can be seen above. We had to spread our graphic novel creations over two A4 pages, but since there were time constraints, our Design teachers informed us that it was fine to ink only one page.

During the entire Design process, I have learnt many skills and techniques, mainly in Adobe Illustrator. Now, I know how to generate outlines using an Image Trace tool. I have also furthered my knowledge on drawing tablets and how to utilise them to the fullest extent. Technology, specifically design software like Illustrator, facilitates the communication of ideas as there is a large range of tools that can aid you in communicating a message, such as pen tools, shapes, fonts, graphics etc which can make your artistic process easier as you don’t have to tediously color everything individually if you have multiple copies of the identical object.

The use of visuals help reinforce a particular message and to reveal a particular meaning, specifically a theme (which is maturity, in my case), through expressions and close ups. For example, by using a close up on a character’s mouth as they speak, it can emphasise that what they’re saying is a crucial part of the story, which can leave a larger impact on the reader. Also, perspectives change through the use of visuals, both artistically and mentally. By artistically, I mean that different perspectives and conventions are used throughout visuals to, for example, make an object seem smaller or larger. By mentally, I mean that someone’s perception on a previous event could change after visually interpreting a story instead of interpreting a story from words as it helps build the environment and characters’ features.

There were many challenges I encountered throughout this project, mainly during the creating stage as I was quite new to Illustrator and didn’t really know how to use it. One of the biggest problems I had was using the Image Trace tool to develop an outline. This would be really useful if everything you drew was outlined perfectly, but in my case because of the amount of panels I had and time constraints, my outlines (drawn by hand) were slightly messy and hence, the Image Trace tool was not able to develop a clear and coherent outline (this was my fault). I overcame this challenge by manually outlining the scanned graphic novel creation by hand, which was slightly tedious, but generated clearer outlines.

If I were to do this project again, I would most likely arrange my time better, as I had to rush a bit of the inking process because I placed a lot of effort and time on the first panel as I believed that the first panel set the mood and hence, added more detail. I would also try to actually draw my graphic novel creation in Illustrator instead of drawing it on paper first, because it may save time and also, I will be able to develop my digital drawing skills, which could be useful in the future.

Design Day Post

Today, we had our first Design Day in Grade 9, and for this Design project, we will be making two pages of a graphic novel based off of the novel Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard. During Design Day, we started our Criterion A which involved understanding the entire project itself and interpreting it in our own words. We also learnt Adobe Illustrator basics, including how to make straight lines, varieties of curved lines etc. Here is a sample of what I learnt to do today –

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 1.30.28 pm

I already knew how to use Evernote as I had been using it prior to Design Day, but there were some features I didn’t know I could do, for example share a notebook online. I’m really excited for this Design unit as I am looking forward to interpreting a scene from a novel to a graphic novel!

Waste Not, Want Not Survey

Hi all,

Recently for our Design unit, our task was to design a package for a piece of CDNIS merchandise of our selection. I chose the luggage strap, and the packaging can be seen below (CLICK THE IMAGE, IT’S ACTUALLY A GIF)


ezgif-3256314219I’d really appreciate some feedback, so if you have the time, I’d really like if you left some feedback here. Thanks so so much!


Invitation: Inviting You To Give Feedback For The Creation of My iBook

Hi guys,

I would like to cordially invite you to give feedback on past Science books you’ve read 🙂 The Grade 8’s are doing a Design project on a project that is about Science merged with iBooks.

I remember when I was younger and I read the Magic School Bus (yep, there are books 🙂 ). The covers were really bright and colorful and as a child, that drew me to read them. How about you? When you were younger, what series of Science books did you enjoy and why? The Magic School Bus has pictures and words, so that really helped me understand the scientific topics better. What are the differences between Science books and adult focused books (what are the features)? Give some examples and explain the ways they aid in understanding.

What makes a book appealing to you? Was the author able to use words to explain complex ideas in a simplistic way? If so, what techniques did the author use?  If not, how would you improve it?

(Leave a comment and reply 🙂 )

Meanwhile, you can probably check out my partners’ blogs. For this project, we’re researching individually but compiling the iBook together.

Charlotte L.

Alvin T.

P.S. This is the mindmap of my group’s plan we did on Design Day, which was basically planning. Take a look!

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 8.21.25 pm



Natalie 🙂

Best Digital Work 2014

Hi everyone!

I think my best digital work of 2014 is probably my design book jacket because I used and incorporated a lot of design elements and made a pretty good design jacket. Here it is below –

I’m really proud of this because I drew the girl on the front and I designed the colors so they could accentuate the feeling of the book and the overall mood and setting. This book jacket was based on the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I’m also really proud of this piece because I spent a lot of time and effort into it.

Documentary – HKU (Reflection)

Hey guys! So.. here’s my reflection for my documentary. The documentary is below 🙂


7C HKU – Adrien, Jake, Natalie from Adrien Pringle on Vimeo.

I think our movie met pretty well with our project specifications, the only few that we didn’t meet very well were taking still photos. We did take still photos, but it didn’t make into the documentary so I showed them in Crit C. Our viewers/commenters learnt from the documentary that the cultural importance was mainly because it was the first university of Hong Kong, and that this type of building was not built anymore in HK (The western style influenced that). We should improve the sound quality, such as raising the sound to 500% in iMovie or doing voiceovers.

I like how I mostly got good feedback, which basically means I did a good job filming video footage. I wish that I could do better on the shot duration, since my feedback for that specific area wasn’t all good, there were ups and downs. What if I included more images/took more images to be in the documentary? I think that that was the problem, that some of my photos didn’t really relate to a specific part of the documentary, they were just assorted photos of HKU.

CDNIS History Movie ~Design Day 2014

Hey guys…

Today we had another Design Day! This time we were doing documentaries instead of book jackets (You can check out all my Design posts here)  We did a documentary on the history of CDNIS, and parts of it. My group consisted of three members: Adrien, Jake and I. We made a documentary about the Alan Dick Forum in our school. It’s where we hold assemblies etc. You can see the documentary below

Alan Dick Forum Preservation(AJN) from ItsNatalie9 on Vimeo.



It’s a good documentary because our group scripted our documentary, we created a shotlist. We also shot more than we needed, just in case something didn’t go well. We also attempted to use different angles, but mostly we kept it the same because some angles didn’t work well. I think we could try to work faster because our time was slightly limited. I think we did pretty good (this was my first documentary)

I think that a strength that will help me during this unit is my ability of working with a camera. I may not be the best at handling a camera, but I’d say that I’m okay. Since I’m going to HKU with my group for our documentary for our unit on Hong Kong heritage, I think my knowledge of Cantonese will help me communicate and interact with others. I think a challenge I’ll have is organising everything, so I think I’ll try my best to organise and categorise things in a better, more efficient way.



Speak (Book Jacket Design) FINAL Feedback!!

Hi everyone!

As you guys probably know, we’ve been doing our Design projects, and I just need some feedback for my book jacket! Would you please take about 5 minutes and help me complete this survey? Thanks a lot! The  survey is below this paragraph.

(My book jacket is below©, click to enlarge. Also, the [insert blurb here] part is just a placeholder to show where the blurb will go.)



Book Jacket Mock Ups – Speak

Hello everybody!

We’re currently doing a Design Project, and we’re already on Criterion B, where we’re required to make book jacket mock-ups for our English Lit. Circles books. The one I’m currently reading is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Please give some constructive feedback below about my two book jacket covers using the following ‘template’ of “I like…I wish…What if…”. Please make sure that you refer to the mock-up(©The book covers below are copyrighted and it belongs to me.)

Mock-Up 1 


Mock-Up 2

P.S. These images may be a little too small, so you can just open them separately (click on photo)



Design Day Autobiography Cover :)

Heyhey everybody! We had to make a autobiography of ourselves book cover, so here it is down below –

Sorry if it’s a little small… you can click it to enlarge it, I guess. If it doesn’t work, you can just drag the photo down and read it there… 🙂


(Hey you, yeah you. Comment on my post, finishing these sentences:

1) I like…

2) I wish…

3) If you…


Well, let me do a quick reflection..  I thought that design day was going to be all fun and games and just designing nearly anything you want. Well, this inference was completely different from the actual thing. Design day is a day where we learn the design cycle and we learned the C.R.A.P. principles. Yes, I know, you’re probably stifling a laugh right now. C.R.A.P. Contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. So it does mean something, it’s just in that particular order. I would like to learn more about different things on Photoshop. I have used it a bit in Sixth Grade, but not a lot, so I’m not that familiar with it. I’ve used Illustrator, which is good for working with graphics and vectors. I want to know how to use different filters and what each tool on the sidebar does. If I could do the day over again, I would probably plan my time out better because I had a little limit of time. One of my keep time on track strategy is to set a stopwatch of thirty minutes or a time that I think is reasonable. I get to stay on track and I can practice time management.

That’s it for today!

Design Day Post :)

Hellooo designerss!

Today’s design day, and for our first task we had to design a paper airplane. Here’s a pic –

Yes, that says #TeamHashtag. That’s my team name. I decorated the plane, and my team member Melani folded the plane. There was two plane designs, but we thought that the other plane’s design was not that great. We came up with a design, the hornets, the tree and a 9th Grade design. We had to read a book for Lit. Circles in a group, and mine was Speak. That’s where all the hornets, trees and 9th Grade designs came from. We had to do all the Lit. Circles in one week, so it really was an interesting experience for us. There were a lot of chapters, so we spent most of our time on it! I think we did a good job.

Some questions and comments I have about the Design Cycle:

About how many projects will we use the Design Cycle with?

My comments

I think that the design cycle is just like the inquiry cycle, which we used in lower school, but the design cycle is used for design, instead of inquiry. I guess that design can relate to inquiry, because we have to learn more about the design in order to do a good job, and the final outcome of the work looks organised, professional and flawless. My approaches to learning is increasing rapidly, as I become able to contribute more ideas to previous things I learnt, like my design skills (art) for the plane, as seen above. It’s not the best of my work, but I did try hard, to fit all the ideas on a not-that-big, not-that-tiny wings of an airplane. Also, I was able to deepen my knowledge on technology, as I learnt more about ways to find pictures that aren’t copyright using Creative Commons and I learned to use Instant Alpha on my selected pictures using Keynote. I knew how to use Instant Alpha on Preview, but I wasn’t sure how on Keynote because of the different colors that signified what was about to be taken away.

That’s it for today!