Sunday, July 13, 2008

Malaysia Book Update 11: The Cover

Some of you will remember the mini contest I conducted on my blog for the 50+1 Malaysia book sometime back. Well, now that the cover is completed (and sent for printing), I would like to share the things that went after the contest to select the cover and the good handful of interesting response.

Different Taste
As I've mentioned in one of the comments, most locals like the features of racial unity - namely the focus on the Malay, Chinese & Indian pictures (yes, Malaysians are a peace loving lot!) :)

On the other hand, a tourist/ foreigner prefers the many pictures depicting Malaysia - beyond its people, and including the many things that this beautiful country of Malaysia has to offer. They would like to know what makes Malaysia unique & good enough to be truly Asia.

This once again proves that Malaysians have a rather distinct taste :) (I've experienced this through the first book on Batik Malaysia as well - that's why we had 2 covers for it... one for the local market, the other for the international audience).

One Cover For All
As this 50+1 Malaysia book is going to have just 1 version (at least for now), so all the feedback & comments were necessary & important.

I think we generated nearly 50 different tweaks to the cover design just to find the perfect touch - one that can be close to Malaysians and yet impress the foreigners/ tourists.

Honestly, choosing the cover & further improving on it wasn't easy. I was still in between choosing what the locals wanted or what the foreigners preferred. That was a tough choice choosing one over the other.

Then of course, there was a solution. Rather than hovering one over the another, I got some suggestions to combine both together, which was indeed a 'master stroke'!

Tough Work
But with that solution, there were more works like sizing the segments to allow more pictures, selection of the pictures, and the arrangement of the selected pictures.

Again, there were many views like how to make the picture flow & at the same time, these pictures must represent Malaysia, truly & colourfully. We had to view all photo submissions again and choose the best that we think represent the country as a tourist destination & also a place for Malaysians.

Final Touches
Another constructive comment was the blue space which seemed a lil empty (& some even mentioned the colour of the blue).

To solve this problem and to add a lil bit more Malaysian touch, we decided to give some batik motifs on the blue segment. And the blue was given 'some life' with a shading/ tone of dark & light blue.

The dimensions of the blue & yellow were also reduced, allowing for the combination of the additional pictures.

The Final Result
So after lots of tweaks & changes, the cover is really brand new... it really looks different from the first draft we did. And here, without much further ado, allow me to show the final book cover:

You can see that it now has 7 pictures from the earlier 3 only. It shows our country in a 'light form' - something of leisure, yet one can know that Malaysia is truly Asia from its many races & the beautiful sincere Malaysian smile, its food & places, and with our heritage/ tradition/ culture shown by the batik motif on the top.

I personally like this cover & do hope that you guys will too :)

*The 50+1 Malaysia book is to be released this 31 July 2008! Keep a lookout for it! (will announce more updates soon) :)


  1. Wow! I love the cover! You've included pictures of Malaysian food (good choice of food!), Malaysian beach and all 3 races plus very nice batik motif. Btw, are you Malaysian or Singaporean? Maybe you can come up with a book on Singapore or Thailand in the future?

  2. thank you, happysurfer :)

    im msian base half the time in sg, and other half here. glad u like the book cover! :)

    oh ya, and yes, we do have plans for 50+1 singapore & other lovely asian countries too :)

  3. Wow! That's so cool! Great for you!

  4. nice cover...diversity is the key :)

  5. Hey couz!! Love the design of the book cover :-) miss ya loads!! Keep up the good work!!


  6. "...focus on the Malay, Chinese & Indian pictures..."

    How about Orang Asli, East Malaysian natives and Portuguese descendants?

  7. 宝茹,
    thank you :) more goodies on the way - haha let u know soon :)

    dalicia, yes, you are right esp on a country with that has so much to share. seriously, malaysia has lots of areas to promote :)

    glad u like it. must thank the contributors of these photos :)

    ur right to mention on the many other ethic & sub ethnic groups/ communities that malaysia has, including the peranakan/ baba nyonya community.

    all these are featured inside the book. eg the pesta san pedro is one of the 50+1 festivals mentioned in the book. act, we also mentioned on events celebrated by the thais & even japanese (bon odori) right here in malaysia, recognising these other groups, making malaysia, seriously, truly asia :)

  8. Oh great to know you'll be coming out with books on Singapore. I would love Thailand and Indonesia too!

    Btw, I have used one your photos (Taipei 101)on my blog. Hope you are OK with it - I've provided a link back to your blog. Thanks!

  9. Congratulations QuaChee! Enjoy the fruits of your labour.
    Hope the book gets good response from the people.

  10. hi foongpc
    thanks for the acknowledgment. nice post indeed u did :)

    hi amirfuad
    thanks for the encouragement. after 6-9 months of work, its time to enjoy some fruits hehe :)

  11. I just stumbled upon this. Wow! I must say it will be an exciting wait for me for the book to be out. Less than 2 weeks to go...

    Great job on the cover. Very Malaysian!

    Malaysia Boleh!!!

  12. i never did a review or sort before. but if you Do have the confident in me, i won't mind trying. ;)


Oh hey, thank you for commenting! :)