NDP 2020: United We Stand
2020 continues to be a year of firsts as we celebrate our nation’s 55th birthday without a traditional National Day Parade (NDP). This year, we do not get an opportunity to grumble about how NDP ticket balloting is rigged, or get envious of NDP attendees who receive funpacks. Instead, this NDP is about emerging stronger from the coronavirus crisis, as reflected in the visual identity.
“The NDP2020 logo captures the dualities of compassion and conviction. The heart represents Compassion, a heart for the nation, a heart for one another, a fellow Singaporean. The fist signifies Conviction, pledging as one united people to build a better future together. The red-purple colour gradient shows us transiting with optimism and passion into an inspiring future.” — NDP Website
The graphic elements used in this logo are not new. In fact, hearts, hands and the canton are among the most commonly seen elements in NDP logos. However, the positioning of the hand as a fist is a first. Such an aggressive (at least by NDP logo standards) pose would look out of place for a celebratory event, but this year, clenched fists take on the meaning of perseverance, not rebellion.
The geometric, bolded typeface encapsulates the idea of “togetherness”. Furthermore, the curved edges of the logo complements the rounded typeface well, creating a visually-pleasing effect.
At first glance, the red-purple gradient resembles a toned-down version of Instagram’s colour palette. Looking at the brand applications, it becomes clear that this is where the similarities end. The colour palette is smooth and futuristic, unlike the messy rainbow-coloured gradients of the 2000s.
To reflect the unique ‘NDP from home’ experience, NDP’s Facebook cover photo placed an emphasis on heartland celebrations, with residential blocks placed front and centre instead of Marina Bay landmarks. I cannot unsee the gradient ‘shooting stars’ as a meteor shower though.
Curves and rounded edges extend beyond the logo to form a core part of the visual identity, which make applications appear friendly and inviting.
The gradient backgrounds are exciting enough without the need for additional graphics, which makes crowd-sourced quote cards easier to produce.
Singapore Together Pack
Earlier this year, a petition was launched calling for a funpack opt-out system, in response to the plan of allocating one funpack per household. Over 100,000 signed the petition which called for funpack funds to be directed to coronavirus relief efforts. A compromise was achieved and 80% of the initial number of funpacks were produced. The funpack was also renamed “Singapore Together Pack” to reflect the national mood.
This year’s pack designs were created by Primary 5 students and special needs artists. Traditionally, all P5 students would attend NDP full-dress rehearsals known as NE shows, but the opportunity was robbed from them this year. Allowing some P5 students to be involved in this unusual NDP was a nice gesture from the organising committee.
The tote design project also released a commemorative book which profiled all 20 design creators. A common theme of the stories from our differently-enabled citizens is resilience and triumph over adversity. In these trying times, it is nice to read about these stories of hope.
Cook for Singapore?
Among the NDP home activities suggested for the long weekend is ‘NDP cooking’. A recipe book featuring recipes from food icon Violet Oon to homemade family recipes by hawkers was put together so August 9 would smell wonderfully patriotic during lunchtime.
Tired of baking? Try making ang ku kueh or appam. If you love the recipes, support the small F&B businesses which shared them.
For those who prefer a different type of home entertainment, try colouring this piece by Ah Guo Illustration or decorating the Our Heart For Singapore Card which can be found in your Singapore Together Pack.
United We Stand
Celebrating the NDP amidst a pandemic might seem like a tone-deaf move, but many believe Singapore deserves a moral boost. This year’s NDP identity is nuanced and mostly mindful of the struggles some are facing (heart and fist), with hopes of a transitioning (gradient) to a closer-knit society and emerging stronger together.
Happy birthday Singapore 🇸🇬