Signage: Refining initial sketches pt.3

Since I was making staircases with cupcake wrappers, I immediately thought of making people with clay as clay texture is similar to fondant texture. Just as fondant goes on top of a cupcakes, the clay people walk on the cupcake escalators.

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One thing I was not expecting was the challenge to make clay figures! I had no idea making clay figures with the coloured clay would be difficult. I have experience with modelling clay and I find it much easier than this one though it hardens very quickly. First of all, the head never sticks on top of the figure. I somehow balance the head to stay for the photograph. Also, it is hard to make perfect figures as it is hard to hide the tiny cracks that form.

Making the local was the easiest. Few abaya ladies and thobe men does the job. However, differentiating between concrete and global was a challenge and understanding what vernacular was or how to represent it was another. And lets not even talk about abstract.


But with continuous experimenting, I figured out some ideas for the other categories. Firstly, I made a lot of clay figures. Apart from the abaya and the thobes, I had some in just plain colors like blue and black to indicate global. For concrete, I made 3 figures instead of 2. Then I made expressions for them showing scared/worried and happy/overjoyed. For abstract, I made some footprints and tried to present them like a heart to show that escalators are still safe.


I experimented making clay figures that looked like Rosy the Riveter for my vernacular sign.


Vintage image of Rosie the Riveter by J. Howard Miller. Courtesy National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

I then photoshopped them together and took this into illustrator to illustrate it because I thought that the final one should be an illustrated version. However, after the critique I realised it doesn’t have to be and that photographs work as well, and especially for mine, photographs of the clay figures work better than the illustrated ones.





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