Company:Nanyang Technological University / Designing Cultures Studio
Designer(s): Jesvin Puayhwa Yeo, Singapore
Category: , Professional
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These Singapore Pangram posters illustrate the cultural and linguistic specificities of Singapore. Taking the concept of pangram as a point of departure, these posters explore the forbidden and the pushed aside Ė such as Singlish, pidgin Singaporean English. A pangram is a phrase that uses all twenty-six letters of the roman alphabet. They are invaluable to designers because they aid visualisation of what each letter would look like in a certain font. The pangrams in these posters give expression to the colloquial, yet unique, Singlish spoken in Singapore by merging language, illustration, and typography.
English is widely spoken in Singapore but over the years, Singaporeans have developed their own brand of English fondly referred to as Singlish. With the multi-racial background of Chinese, Malay, Indian and European, it's not surprising that Singlish borrows from the many different languages spoken in Singapore. The vocabulary of Singlish consists of words originating from English, Bahasa Melayu, Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Tamil, Bengali, Punjabi and to a lesser extent various other languages, while Singlish syntax resembles southern varieties of Chinese.
In Singapore, there are many debates over whether to or not to do away with Singlish. The designer feels that because Singlish has evolved from many years of mixing languages, it truly shows Singapore's development as a multicultural nation. Doing away with Singlish would be erasing a huge chunk of Singapore's history. With a belief that Singlish is a part of the culture in Singapore, an infusion of all things Singaporean, the designer created 26 Singlish pangrams from A to Z to celebrate the birth of Singlish.
About the Designer/Company
Jesvin Yeo, who trained at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London, is a multidisciplinary designer, educator and researcher based in Asia. Her research and design interests relate to the historical and contemporary cultural changes in the areas of ‚ÄúAsian Material Culture‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúSingapore Studies‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúTypography‚ÄĚ. As the foundation of her research, Jesvin employs design as a means for understanding, examining and critiquing the world around her. More specifically, she believes that design questions the social, cultural, historical, technological and formal norms that surround us daily. Jesvin design work has been published in several design magazines and books, such as Applied Typography 22, Wallpaper*, How Magazine, Letterheads & Business Cards 2, Graphic Design 3, and The Design Journal.
Jesvin‚Äôs research work has been published internationally, including article and book, in the areas of Singapore cultures, typography and book design. Her work has also been exhibited at galleries and Museums in Berlin, London, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Beijing. Among other international design awards she received are the Red Dot Award (Communication Design), A‚Äô Design Award, How International Design Awards and iF Communication Design Award.