Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Malaysia Book Update 8: Winners

First a lil update on the 50+1 Malaysia book:

1. Things are running quite on time (Malaysian time that is - haha) - we've gotten the foreword + most of the pages have been completed. We are still waiting for a few Advertisers to confirm though.

2. We have exceeded 50% of the no. of pages (1st draft). Because of cost factor, this is of concern and we are reducing it back to original plan (at most 20pages more to accommodate the Advertisers).

The Competition
Firstly many thanks to those who have taken time to give us your feedback & comments on the book cover. We've received a total of 20 comments on the post + another few comments verbally and also through other means eg email.

The Votes
Cover 1: 7 votes
Cover 2: 3 votes
Cover 3: 7 votes
*3 didnt vote on any cover.

Picture 3 & picture 1 are quite closely tied - based on the comments in the post, but if taking into consideration other verbal or email viewpoints, Cover 3 seems to have an upper hand.

The Malaysian Appeal
More Malaysians prefer cover 3 - it goes to show how much we emphasis on our culture and us living together harmoniously. In fact, this is also what we've heard of the many talented Malaysian artists who were interviewed.

On the other hand, more foreigners prefer Cover 1 which gives them more info on the country than just the people.

You Say
1. Views on the blue colour. As Zelca mentioned, our aim is actually to provide bright colours - showcasing a more dynamic & lighter feel kind of book. But we guess it didn't go down too well. Of course, the blue portion has also been commented as a lil too large.

2. Some have requested for more photos rather than just 3.

3. Some prefer a combination of the above pictures (especially the nasi lemak) :)

4. The yellow curve also did get a bit of mention - some like it, some prefer not.

We Hear You
Designer and myself have been coming up with a few variations, taking your comments very seriously (that's the aim of the competition after all).

We've been trying a few different layouts & combinations. We will still do a bit of adjustment and see what best can be done within the next 1-2 days.

So, there will definitely be a change of the cover somewhat. In fact, we've done some minor additions in between, and hope it will be better :)

The Winners
As hard as it was choosing the pictures for the cover & its layout, so are the winners for this competition.

If choosing the cover is on 'beauty', then choosing the winners here is on the most constructive comments. And here are the 3 best we thought (Drumroll...):

First Winner:
"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~"
By Mrmiaow

Second Winner:
"Hello There,

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.

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.

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.

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.

By Adelene Wee

Third Winner:
"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."
By Zelca

To the winners, do send me your address to my email themalaysiapage [at] gmail [dot] com. We will send you a copy of the book with its new cover once it's published (about 6 weeks from now, plus minus) :)

To the rest, thank you once again for giving your valuable feedback which we truly appreciate :)


  1. oh i missed it all.... :) would have loved to participate some more with yr book as a prize :)

  2. hey bengbeng

    haha guess not everyone knew bout it - tho i highlighted on the top of my blog haha.

    anyway, dont fret, ill have something for you and other bloggers soon :)

  3. nice that now the decisions are made - the book cover as well as the top commentators.. keep up the good work.

  4. hi haan

    thanks... act we are still undecided on the cover - personally i prefer cover 1. but biz partner is saying should listen to the public :)


Oh hey, thank you for commenting! :)