The vocabulary list is here
The printable PDF is here

Go out, walk around your neighborhood, into your environment, and document examples of indigenous vernacular ephemera.** Use a camera, rubbings, sketch, take off stickers or do whatever you have to do to capture the feeling of your chosen space.

Pay special attention to “the voice” of these shapes, letterforms, or textures. It’s more interesting to look for authenticity than for perfection. Be aware that we are often biased by cartoonish stereotypes. I.e., most Western Asia markets use a ‘brush script’ typeface category called “Chop Suey.” It is a cliché, and even though it has its history to tell, one would be better off researching a more authentic look. You have probably seen this happening to other cultures, races, and people; do you know any examples so that we are conscious of them?)

Collect at least 12 samples of:


pictorial form

abstract form




Go home. Make visual form out of at least 30 of those examples and combine them into a large-scale composition. Vary the sizes to let the viewer’s eyes wander and form connections while giving clues of where we are, or even embed a message or statement. 

Does it represent where you reside in some way? What might that mean to you? 

Does it represent where you reside in some way? What might that mean to you?

Tools: Compose it using sketches, printouts, collages, photocopies, anything that can be tactile*** (avoid going straight to the computer). To experience composition and layout, it’s better to move pieces by hand and in size.

These examples are from an older website that I designed in flash. I redrew houses on Broadway, a Tokyo street, doors, and “space invaders” graffiti sightings in NYC, my roof… Your project will be a printed-out poster portfolio piece, not a website unless you are really good at coding.

*The language or dialect spoken by ordinary people in a particular country or region.
**Things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time. like stickers, graffiti, construction site
***Touchable, material, physical object