Monthly Archives: March 2010

Visual Identity: History of the British Army Uniform – Redcoats

Of redcoats, mad dogs and Englishmen…

Scots Guards, Battle of Alma, Crimea 1854

The British Army of early times was a well funded, trained and equipped military force. Attired in sharp looking uniforms considered impracticable by today’s standards; the army had a history spanning over 350 years and was involved in numerous European, colonial conflicts and world wars.

The army played an important part in shaping Britain’s history and helped established the former British Empire.

Storming of Badajoz by the 88th Regiment of Foot. Picture by Chris Collingwood.

The Infantry army of the British Army, may be said to be exceptional in two ways.

Firstly, despite the economic stringency resulting in amalgamations of regiments, changing methods of warfare and the reduction of British power in the world, the infantry has survived essentially for a good three centuries which in turn has given it much of its moral strength and prestige.

Secondly, the British infantry has a long history of experience in campaigning in more parts of the world than any other infantry of any other country. From the Americans, Burmese, Chinese to the Zulus, indeed, from ‘A’ to ‘Z’ the British infantry has fought them all.

The most salient, indeed the most visual feature of the uniform of the British infantryman has always been his scarlet or red coat.

The prominent military writer and researcher, Michael Barthorp professes that even though “there have been exceptions to this, and in our more utilitarian age duller colours predominate, but even today it can still be observed in the full dress of the Foot Guards and, occasionally, on drummers and bandsmen at ceremonial marches.

This fine, martial colour has been worn by other elements of the British army, and indeed by some other armies, but its visual effect on enemies and allies alike has generally been to signify the presence of the British Infantry.

Before Ramillies, Louis XIV exhorted Marshal Villeroi ‘to have particular attention to that part of the line which will endure the first shock of the English troops’. When Villeroi observed the red ranks massing against his left, he reinforced according from his centre – with subsequent catastrophe for himself.

Nearly 180 years later, at Ginniss in the Sudan, the infantry were ordered to resume their red uniforms, the better to overawe the Dervishes; this was the last occasion when red was worn in action.”


Photojournalism – Nanyang Polytechnic School of Design students’ projects

At Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Design, year 2 students of the Visual Communication course are introduced to photojournalism; for the students who took an elective in photography whilst in year 1, this is the one project they find themselves raring to go and can’t wait to sink their teeth in.

These youths start out with blank canvases but at the end of the project, from their photographs emanate a thousand words from their hearts and minds.

Behind the Geylang Lorongs by Elijah Ng

Rail Experience by Marilyn Tay

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How to use a blade… a newbie’s guide to sliced fingers prevention

Here’s some pointers for cutting materials such as paper, card, formcore and boards.

Cutting mat – use one. These are self-healing, and are made of a special plastic. These plastic mats have a special property: their molecules bind to each other in such a way that after they are cut apart, the broken bonds re-form when put back together. Don’t be a noob and cut on the surface of your table or bench, screwing up the smooth surface.

These are A5 size but obviously and it goes without saying, the larger the cutting mats, the better you cut.

Cutting blades – There are a whole assortment of cutting blades out there but for our purposes, these listed below are the ones to get acquainted with: NT cutters are cutters from Japan and have been around for a long time. Many designers grew up with these cutters with retractable/disposable blades; early designs were dull and practical looking but the latest offerings are ‘sexy’ looking, and most probably aimed at the iGeneration.

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Messages to VC08 from VC07

Messages from the  NYP School of Design Visual Communication seniors to their incoming juniors.

A whole bunch of VC year 3 recently graduated left messages on the studio whiteboard for their juniors.

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Carrier bags in Singapore, 1950s-’80s

Caught this at the National Museum of Singapore, more than just paper, glue and string… this was a virtual trip down memory lane of ‘cheena’ looking letter-press printed paperbags with their red and white twine carrier handles.

But whether paper or plastic, we certainly were no strangers to carrier bags; it was a common form of ‘convenient’ packaging and an alternative to the rattan basket.

The exhibition showcases 60 paper and plastic bags in the National Museum’s collection.

Together with contextual photos, the display highlights different uses of the ubiquitous carrier bag; its role as a mobile advertisement, and also shed light on the paper bag business in Singapore – a much forgotten trade that is still surviving today.

It runs from 19 December 2009 to 18 April 2010.

Museum exhibition panel - darn cool design

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2009 -2010 Nanyang Polytechnic School of Design

Just some random photographs taken of Visual Communication students at the NYP School of Design.

Whiteboard Y3 studio: Proj 6 Submission deadline

Visual Com Y3 studio

Visual Com Y3 studio - students hard at work

Y2 student presentation

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NYP School of Design visits Yuji Kimura exhibition

The last week of February saw numerous visits by Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Design visual communication students and academic staff to the Japan Creative Centre at Nassim Road. While the Year 3 design students made their own way to the Yuji Kimura exhibition, a busload of visual com Year 1 and 2 students had a grand day of an outing, as testified by the photographs below.

Visual com students making their way to the Japan Creative Centre

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