Thoughts on CUTOUT winning the Design Mark – Golden Pin Design Award 2014

Congratulations to CUTOUT Magazine for being selected as one of the Design Mark winners of the Golden Pin Design Award 2014
Congratulations to CUTOUT Magazine for being selected as one of the Design Mark winners of the Golden Pin Design Award 2014


CUTOUT started out as an independent magazine five years ago, since 2009. It was the time that I remember quite a few memorable things. For one, I can remember tearing pullouts from other favourite magazines of mine, and then putting them together to give me what we all now call as CUTOUT.


I’d like to make it clear that it wasn’t as easy as getting a license from KDN to operate a publication. It wasn’t really just the two of us that believed in our idea. There were others that made sure we fought hard to see CUTOUT fly, and it flew up high indeed with their blessings and support.


I wanted to jot down some of my thoughts on CUTOUT’s proudest achievement so far so that you would understand how it could have possibly happened.


I characterise CUTOUT as a people’s design magazine. Our decision to let fellow designers to become writers is primarily driven by the fact that the design community comprises so many precious voices and talents that we believe it would be a treasured thing to showcase to the world.


How did we get this far in winning at the Golden Pin Design Award 2014, being selected as one of their Design Mark winners? Everyone’s thinking it’s the design. The magazine looks nice and the content is great. Beyond all that matt-finished look, the answer lies on the other side of the coin. Let me explain.


First, there’s “willingness”.


We are lucky to have friends who helped us in ways they could with no requirements. If not for them, we would have missed out the quirky teaser ads. They were our best critics – and models!


Second, there’s “contribution”.


These people have been with us since day one and will never bend their rules just to please us. And I like them more because of their personalities that are so different and unique. To the writers, designers, contributing editors, interns and our very own team, we won the Award for you!


Third, there’s “support”.


We have made many new friends (and sometimes run into acquaintances) during the roadshows that we have organised in the past. The support that we get from the lecturers and students is indescribable.


Fourth, there’s “sharing”.


We understand the importance of understanding design from its basic core, so CUTOUT creates a platform whereby design practitioners can speak to an audience of learners about 3 basic things: what is design, what design can do and what they do with design. This may sound simple but it’s not, and the credit goes to them who accepted my invitation and at the same time, allowed themselves to grow into better, courageous speakers.


And lastly, fifth, there’s “element of surprise”.


Our decision to stay independent led us to more unexpected adventures and interesting places. It has also given us all cool projects and fantastic tag teams. All of these only make the heart fond of the good times but let me explain why it’s actually the opposite. All these things that we’re doing, we’re doing for you who might one day be a part of the creative industry.


Our motivation is simple – we want to make the best out of the times we have now by testing our limits as individuals and set breakthroughs. We want continue to inform and inspire the new generation of designers with anecdotes from the great thinkers and doers of this industry.


It is CUTOUT’s first time taking home an international award. I am ecstatic and happy to find out that we have been selected as one of the 416 Design Mark winners out of 1,901 entries. Design Mark winners are in the running for the next big titles there are in the Golden Pin Design Award 2014, which will be announced in December.


We don’t know of our chances in the game but it does make me feel hopeful about the future. How we got to this far after five years is because we have you – supportive families, friends, partners and readers. We want to show you our thanks by dedicating this win to all of you.