Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Malaysia Book Update 6: Comment & Win

Finally, after going through the many photo submissions, we have finally made a choice on what goes in the front cover.

It was a hard choice, as many photos were very beautiful - this I must thank the contributors. Then of course, we also have a criteria that the front cover must represent what Malaysia looks like at one glance. It has to speak to a Malaysians heart yet at the same time appeal to tourists alike.

Malaysia being a mixture of many cultures and with so many different things to promote, makes this a tough decision.

Anyway, we've finalised 8 photos in 3 different covers which we think will depict Malaysia as a travel destination and even as a wholesome place.

Comment & Win
We will need your help here in selecting and telling us which is your favourite cover. The top 3 best comments will get a copy of the 50+1 Malaysia book delivered to your house/ address FREE.

Everyone Can Comment including Anonymous
And for the first time in months, I will open the comments to allow those who are shy to comment under Anonymous. This will be open till the closing date 13 May 2008, afterwhich the decision is to be made on 14th May 2008, and the files send to the printer.

malaysia book cover, Sipadan, Malaysian smile/ Citrawarna/ Onde onde kuih
Cover 1
Picture (from left to right): Sipadan, Malaysian smile/ Citrawarna/ Onde onde kuih

malaysia book cover, Nyonya kebaya, nasi lemak, Pulau Redang
Cover 2
Picture (from left to right): Nyonya kebaya, nasi lemak, Pulau Redang

malaysia book cover, Indian girl, Citrawarna/ Malaysian smile/ Malay girl, Chinese/ Chinese Opera
Cover 3
Picture (from left to right): Indian girl, Citrawarna/ Malaysian smile/ Malay girl, Chinese/ Chinese Opera

Yes, it's that simple... just tell us which cover you like, and stand a chance to win the book :)

You can give us any other feedback or suggestions related to the cover as well (eg. if you prefer another combination of the pictures).

And can ask a favour - help pass this contest around :)

*We will announce the winner on 14 May 2008 - 1 day after the closing date. Winner will be requested to provide address to send the book to once the book is ready (roughly 6-8 weeks after).

*For the contributors, you will already receive 1 copy of the book, but I do hope that you will also participate in this. If your comment is the best, we will send you a second copy.

We've selected the 3 winners!


  1. In my opinion, Cover 3 is best.

    It's because it shows the different culture and races in Malaysia, and that is what our country is made up of and proud of.

    Different people, races, cultures, the diversity and harmony. That is what Cover 3 screams out. =)

  2. Hi Quachee! hehe

    i like cover 1 the most coz it showcase all the amazing things our country is made of. It have the 3 main attraction of our country which are our culture and hospitality (Malaysian smile), our very own authentic food (onde onde) and our beautiful landscape (sipadan).

  3. ok, for me, 2nd is out - should at least be a photo with human there, which is the most valuable asset and makes what the country is.

    as for the 3rd image.. too many humans... featuring no other things of Malaysia.. no good...

    so.. basically i choose the 1st. however, if the dark sipadan picture can be replaced with a brighter image, would be better, e.g. such as the redang picture of the 2nd selection..

    or u can choose the 2nd, by replacing the baju image with the orang.. i feel nasi lemak is a more typical representation in terms of food.

  4. I choose No.3 because...
    1. #1 try to emphasize too many themes: natural attraction, the people, the food. it's a good idea - in article. but for cover, eye-catching is more important
    2. #2 tries to do the same as #1 but for culture (costume), food and natural attraction. However #2 does better than #1 because the colors and hues 'flow' more smoothly from left to right (as the yellow line guiding our eyeballs). #1's flow is disruptive.
    3. #3 is best because it does right at places where #1 and #2 not, such as: its theme is more consistent - people, people and people, and it gives a message that malaysia is "truly asia" (and not 'uniquely singapore' - yea, so unique singaporeans has identity issue kaka) in the sense that our people made up our culture and food and everything. a fusion of that will make a trip to malaysia really exciting (not to mention value for money hehe). Also this cover has better flow from left to right: the pictures are simple, mild and complex in the constitution of the focus (1 face, 1 focal face but more body and more focal faces) respectively, and the colors and hues are not too 'conflicting' (mildly in harmony)

    ok, i'm not photographer but i like to look at beautiful pieces, be it painting or photograph or human or whatever. In short, #3 catches my eyes more.

  5. all are acceptable. But i think the upper of the cover is too blank (almost 1/2 page).

    will suggest try to have 3 in 1 (combination of cover 1,2,3). Anyway, sometime if too complicated is not always a good thing, better to be simple.

  6. With the title Celebrating The Nation's 51st birthday, I would pick cover #3.

    It shows the multicultural aspect in Malaysia that we've retained since 1957 (even before that). Besides, it shows how we live in multiracial community but still believe in unity. That what makes Malaysia special.

    Cover #1 would be great if we're promoting tourism, since the 3 pictures depicts of what we have in Malaysia; eco-tourism, colorful culture and local cuisine. Recently, Dato' Azalina said Malaysian hotel should serve more local cuisine in their bedrooms instead of chocolate and foreign fruits.

    Cover #2 is really common, because it can be seen in any part of this world (Batik boutique in London, Nasi Lemak in Australia and breathtaking scenery anywhere).

    Afterall, it's just my opinion.


  7. I prefer the 3rd one. Because it has the human touch. A nation is nothing without it's people. The people define the nation. Therefore, a book about the country has to show who Her people are.

  8. Cover 2.
    Simply because the Pulau Redang.
    I love nature.


  9. All are great, but I like number two the least. After looking back and forth between the three I decided that having a person on the cover attracts your attention and draws you in more. So that leaves us with number one or number three. I would go with number one because from a design aspect it is more balanced color wise and energetically, the one person on the cover seems much more inviting and engaging than a bunch of people which is a little more distracting.

    Looks like a lovely project! Good luck :D

  10. As a non-Malaysian, I have to say that cover #1 got my attention the best.

    There are too many beautiful women in #3 (didn't know that was possible!), and no people in #2. #1 is the best, well-rounded view.

    :) Good luck on your book!

  11. hello Quachee...

    Cover 1 = nature+people/culture+food
    Cover 2 = tradition+food+nature
    Cover 3 = people

    My choice would be based on the contents of your book.
    Cover 1 and Cover 2 shows 3 different images which are more appropriate to your content variation (culture, visit, food and many more)
    On the other hand, Cover 3 is out as it might shows viewer that the book is all about culture and people of Malaysia.

    My choice would be Cover 1.It shows the content variation and the colors are in contrast, thus making the images stand out by being blue, red, and green. It would be eye catching.

    From the design point of view, I preferred the top-blue part to be smaller in height (perhaps 30-40% of the full page) compared to the bottom.
    I prefer the 2nd header (Celebrating The...) to be clearer, perhaps with black color font and the yellow "tail" to be smaller/removed as it cut away the beauty of the photos.

    Just my 2 cents....
    Great work and All the best pal~

  12. as u would have probably noticed, cover 3 is being picked the most.. it 's simple, elegant and meaningful.. however, i find it's a bit of a waste coz the blue part is too big and covering half the page. im no artist, but personally, i think it gives the impression that either we(malaysia) has very few to offer, or the cover designer are just being lazy and try to cheat by having a huge empty blue space.. if it's for a pamphlet, ,ayb acceptable, but for book cover.. mayb not such a good idea.. but then again.. that's juz me.. =D

  13. the 2nd cover appeals to me, followed by the 3rd then finally the 1st. i like that the 2nd picture showed the malaysian angle of fashion/tradition, cuisine and tourism, all three which malaysia are distinctively known for.

  14. Hello There,

    1. FONTS
    I think the '50+1 MALAYSIA' font is too basic. It needs to be a little bit more eye-catching. Perhaps pick a more languid, sexier font. Arial (I'm guessing it's Arial) seems a bit to clinical.

    2. COLOURS
    The blue and yellow look a bit too pastel-ish in contrast to the vibrant pictures. I would pick a swatch from one of the images and use that for the background.

    3. DESIGN
    I like the curvy extension. Good choice but I'm not too sure about the big blue space above.

    Sceneries: Pulau Redang & Sipadan appears a little too dull. What are we looking at in Sipadan? Try finding a picture of a sunset. I know people always think of bright blue skies for beaches but sunsets are more romantic. Besides, it'll give you more colours in the landscape.

    Culture: Love the Citrawarna/ Malaysian smile shot. Excellent! Try substituting the Chinese opera with a lion dance instead? It's a shame the Indian girl only has a head shot, would prefer a full body shot showcasing her elaborate costume. How about a picture of little kids (Chinese, Indian, Malay etc) in baju raya playing with sparklers? People are big suckers for kids. Nyonya kebaya pic looks okay but maybe the background yellow takes the attention away from the kebaya.

    Food: Good onde-onde image. Looks very appetising. On my screen the nasi lemak sambal looks brown. You need an array of colourful food. The ones here are too green.

    5. OTHERS
    No pictures of buildings? Food, beaches and culture aside we need to let potential tourists know that we don't live on trees. You'll be amazed how some can be completely ignorant. After all it is our 51st celebration. Surely we have come a long way.


  15. I like the 1st cover coz it depicts our country as cultural state, great vacation destinations and haven for food. However this is just based on the cover interpretations.

    If the contents of the book touched on the three topics mentioned than its a fit for the book...

    if the design isn't final.. then i would suggest you to reduce the top blue and brown space so that you can put more images....

  16. For the photos, Cover 3 is the most balanced... with the 3 photos depicting each of the major culture. Thus, highligthing the cultural diversity of Malaysia.

    The overall colour doesn't give the impression of "Malaysia" at a glance though... the light blue and yellow combination reminds me of "Penang" instead (do check out the Penang state flag) :)

    Btw, why dont you try to increase the height of the blue part (thus reducing a bit of the yellow part)... with the composition divided by sections(blue + yellow/photo) proportionate to the golden ratio or divine ratio (1.62).... may be more aesthetically pleasing. Well, it's still not bad currently, at about 1.80.

  17. hi Quache

    i choose for Cover No 3. Because it's shown us how unique of Malaysia.


  18. Hi from Indonesia :)

    Sorry to say but None of the tree thats my choice :p
    But I like BLUE as the dominant color of the book.
    If I could say.. maybe you can mix.. Pulau Redang (nature), Malaysian smile and Nasi Lemak.

    Nature - As I know Malaysia has so many beautiful natures and nature lover like me would like to know that.
    Malaysian smile - would present the people of Malaysian, friendly and colorful.
    Nasi Lemak - Thats Malaysian traditional food. When I was there.. I could find it everywhere :)

    Good luck

  19. Looks like a very interesting projects. Congratulations!
    I used to work in Malaysia and would like to comments on your book cover.
    I think the choice of dominant colors cyan and yellow looks great, at first glance non of those colors identify Malaysia. But I look at it as a new generation of graphic designer who's willing to try or bold enough to use different colors and present Malaysia in different way. Which I think is good. I think the curved at the bottom of yellow is great idea. Very artistic. I just agree on somebody's comment on why there's a big space on the upper part of the cover.

    My choice is # 1 for the following reason:
    The photo combination is more appealing by showing travel destination, it's beautiful people and the food. Plus the contrast of the colors combination of blue, red and green are look balance.
    I'm trying to look it this way, if I have to pick three photos to describe Malaysia what it could be? I want to introduced Malaysia to my kids whom I'm proud to say are half Malaysian. I want them to learn more about Malaysia and how multi-culture your country is. By showing them those picture It's gives them some idea what Malaysia looks like, the place, the people and their delicious food. Obviously those three are shown in cover #1.

    Without the word "Malaysia" on the cover, with the exception of Sipadan photo, the other two still telling me it was indeed Malaysia, same thing with the photos in cover # 2, with again the exception of Pulau Redang photo they could be anywhere. I've seen more colorful kebaya and they are nice to see wearing by Malaysian people, you can feel their sense of pride with their culture, that's one of the many things I like Malaysia. Cover # 3 could be Singapore and maybe half Indonesia, nothing against those two but Malaysia have a unique identity that they can really proud of.

    More power and Good luck to your project.

  20. free book? Yay, I likey. Hehehe. Lately been reading a few local writer's book. Simply love what they write about Malaysia.

    I would seriously prefer cover 2 but perhaps you can change the lady on cover 1 to cover 2 since she is also wearing traditional clothes and i dun think the kebaya is that sharp. You get what I mean?

    I've always loved Nasi Lemak but I can't have them. I don't take coconut. I feel nasi lemak really represents Malaysia. Everywhere you go in Malaysia, you get nasi lemak. I went Dome yesterday and my granny had nasi lemak. How cool? Lol. So I think picture 2 is good. Besides I love the picture of Redang la. So pretty!!!!

    Looking forward for your book. =) Not as gift, as it's launching. Chieh, later people thought I so syok sendiri. ha-ha

  21. Hi all, many thanks for your valuable feedback! :)

    Here are the winners :)

  22. i love what you guys are doing. :) Kudos to you guys, really! :)

  23. hi michelle

    thank you for yr encouragement - our final lap now >> cant wait to get it out :)

  24. Hi, I know it is too late for me to leave a comment here since now itself is July but I just have to say one thing. I don't quite understand, why all three covers have a large part of blue background? It looks kind of empty even though there are picture below..

    Still if these are the only choices you have, then I would go for number 3..

  25. I would agree with some of the others that cover 3 seems superior (at least to my eye).

    Freelance illustrator for HarperCollins, PS Publishing, Pocket Books, Solomon Press, Ballistic Media, American Media, Fort Ross, Asimov's Science Fiction, and other publishers. See my illustrations at:

  26. @nur sarah, phil
    thanks for the feedback. btw hope u both saw the cover that was in the end (on the side of this blog) :)


Oh hey, thank you for commenting! :)