NYP students' design work used in Budget speech

Ms Feliza Ng (left) and Ms Quek Chew Hong were given the task of coming up with four cover illustrations relating to Singapore's economy and jobs, sustainability, strong partnerships in society and taking care of people, from the young to the old.
Ms Feliza Ng (left) and Ms Quek Chew Hong were given the task of coming up with four cover illustrations relating to Singapore's economy and jobs, sustainability, strong partnerships in society and taking care of people, from the young to the old.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Not everyone's sketches end up as illustrations accompanying speeches delivered in Parliament.

But two Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) students found their work being featured as part of this year's Budget speech, delivered by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat last month.

The students were given the task - commissioned by the Ministry of Finance - of coming up with four cover illustrations relating to Singapore's economy and jobs, sustainability, strong partnerships in society and taking care of people, from the young to the old.

Second-year animation student Feliza Ng, 18, said: "We didn't feel any real pressure because the negotiations were done by our coach."

She and her schoolmate, second-year visual communication student Quek Chew Hong, also 18, received the brief in the middle of January and, by early last month, produced their final drafts.

They came up with watercolour sketches using Photoshop, weaving in drawings of Singapore's landscapes like the Central Business District, Changi Airport and Gardens by the Bay.

They also portrayed workers across different trades and Singaporeans of different races and ages in the heartland - children at the iconic Toa Payoh dragon playground and people eating in a hawker centre.

Mr Heng commended their work in a Facebook post last Wednesday. He wrote: "The Budget can be a rather technical subject, and this year's was a little more complicated because of the Covid-19 measures.

"The hand-drawn illustrations were a nice touch, depicting regular Singaporeans and familiar icons. They were scenes that any Singaporean would recognise and could relate to, and helped to bring across the message that the Budget was for Singaporeans of all ages and backgrounds."

Students and staff at NYP have been designing and providing visual content for previous years' Budget speeches and the yearly National Day Rally speeches.

Ms Ng and Ms Quek worked on this year's project as part of their training for the WorldSkills Singapore competition next month, where students from various institutions pit their skills against one another. Both, along with another schoolmate, are representing NYP in the graphic design technology category of the competition.

Their WorldSkills coach Tan Hui Qin, a graphic and multimedia designer, also contributed the background designs for this year's Budget slides.

Ms Ng said: "I learnt about myself through this process… that I tend to get too caught up at certain points. But the turnover rate for the project was industry-standard, compared with internal school projects. So I learnt how to manage my expectations and focus on meeting clients' requirements."

Contributing to a national platform is "quite surreal", said Ms Ng. "It's not just for any company."

Ms Quek added: "One challenge was having to balance a lot of colours and ensuring they do not clash because there were a lot of elements we needed to include.

"I had no idea what the Budget was about previously. But it's nice to know that my work was featured and appreciated by people."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2020, with the headline 'NYP students' design work used in Budget speech'. Subscribe