Knock, knock Mr Postman is at the door

Oh, I know, that parcel is not for me. Of course not, it’s written in Chinese with our address. I highlighted this to my husband over Whatsapp.


So, I went on and did the unwrapping of the parcel aka the gift like Christmas came early 😀

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 12.21.19 PM
*oin=pin – typo error; always happens with the auto correction

With permission, I cut open the top of the parcel, and gently tore apart the top flap of the brown envelope (it’s thick, good quality kraft paper). I don’t know why I do that with envelopes but I’m the kind of person that wants her soon-to-be discarded items to still be as neat as can be.

Yup, confirm sure. It is the certificates from the Golden Pin Design Award that we’ve been waiting for, and oh my, look at the finishing!

Gold stamping at the right places...
Gold stamping at the right places… (front, the cert and back)
Then I put two of our latest covers together with the certs
Then I put two of our latest covers together with the certs
Then, I grabbed the awards from the black cases where we put them...checking out the natural lighting from the sun
Then, I grabbed the awards from the black cases where we put them…snap snap with backup from the sun’s natural lighting

What a way to end the year! I hope to see our new friends in Taipei again. Also hoping that there will be many more designers from Malaysia participate in next year’s Golden Pin Design Award and lavish their life stories with moments like this.

谢谢金點設計獎! 我们会做的更好! (Thanks to Golden Pin Design Award! We will do better!)
谢谢金點設計獎! 我们会做的更好!

Thanks to Golden Pin Design Award!

The team at CUTOUT Magazine and TSUBAKI Studio are thankful for the recognition you’ve given us and we will do better! 😉

Scaling heights of 40,000 ft above sea level to Taipei

…I knew I was in for a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t really thinking about where we were going, anyway. Honeymoon in Ximending? Okay, good! Anywhere but KL for a week. All I wanted to do was to relax and unwind – that’s all that matters to me and for my husband to have some time out from work.

Upon our arrival at the Taipei International Airport, there weren’t many people at the waiting gate. Suddenly, I heard loud voices from what sounded like they came from young boys and girls, and what I saw was heartwarming. Indeed, they were a young group and two boys were holding up a big red banner saying “Welcome Back”. They looked to me like university students and had I been the one they were welcoming, I’d be really moved by the whole camaraderie.

The street in Ximending at night. Bright lights and chatters. Sun sets early in this part of the world and day turns to dawn by 4 o’clock in the evening.

At the very least, I was constantly being reminded by him that going on this trip could make a big difference to us. But how different? The answer lies in the Golden Pin Design Award 2014. I’ve always had a strong feeling that we stand a chance. You gotta believe in yourself and believe that you can. So, this same dialogue went on and on and on until the big day arrived to announce the winners.

When you think you’re lost, you’re not even close. Just look up and translate what you see into memories in your head. You’ll find your way eventually. That’s what being on a trip is about – discovering the undiscovered!

The Songshan Cultural & Creative Park is just 5 stops from Ximen Station, which is 10 minutes walking distance from the hotel we booked in. On the way there, the streets in Ximending are identical and I couldn’t quite register my location most of the time. Every corner of a building tends to have a fruit stall and kiosks selling things. You can’t get lost in this maze; you just have to look up at the buildings and learn about them as each building has a unique build, colour and height.

Much to our delight, our Taipei friends treated us to a hearty dinner at a place not far away from Ximending the night before the Golden Pin Design Award ceremony.

One blurry take before we both joined the rest of the Design Mark winners and design masters at the Eslite Performance Hall in anticipation for opening of the Golden Pin Design Award ceremony. Celebrities turned up to show their support to design too!

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.