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! 😉

CUTOUT Magazine Named Best of Golden Pin Design Award in 2014, Puts Malaysia on the World Map of Design

Malaysia’s very own independent design magazine takes home a coveted trophy and international recognition for good design under the Award’s Visual Communication category

cutout magazine golden pin design awards 2014
CUTOUT Magazine with the Best of Golden Pin Design Awards 2014 trophies

Malaysia’s CUTOUT Magazine was picked by international jury members to win Best of Golden Pin Design Award in 2014. Just 21 of 416 nominees from across the huaren (Chinese-speaking) world took home the prestigious trophy in a stunning award ceremony at Taipei’s Songshan Cultural and Creative Park tonight.

Jay Lim the founder and principal design consultant of Tsubaki Studio, who won a Best Design award places high standard and quality on CUTOUT, saying, “It took us six years to produce this magazine. We put a lot of effort into this project. It’s possible to say that CUTOUT is the only dedicated Malaysian graphic design magazine, and we’re grateful that the jury members appreciate the Malaysian design industry.”

As the editor-in-chief of CUTOUT, Vivian Toh was emotional in her acceptance speech: “It is an honour to receive this Award. It is the greatest gift thus far, and we thank you for believing in us. I want to think that we’ve made our parents and our country proud for without their support there will be no today. Just like Golden Pin Design Award is a platform for competition and the exchange of Chinese design from around the world, CUTOUT is a platform for designers from Southeast Asia to gain global exposure.”

Judged by Tommy Li, brand designer and consultant from Hong Kong, who is renowned for his “black humour” and “audacious” visual designs, has this to say about CUTOUT: “Although the Malaysian design industry is still in its infancy, this magazine already possesses an international style and contributes greatly to the local design industry as a leader in the field.” Li is a multiple award winner himself, having been a recipient of over 580 design awards to date.

The Golden Pin Design Award celebrated its 33rd year by opening up the Award to international submissions for the first time, which came to a total of 1,901 entries. The significance of this Award can be felt and seen expressed through diverse range of works by design studios and agencies from the world namely China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, America and Australia.

And the press release begins to roll out

By morning I will have the local media receive this wonderful news about CUTOUT’s sweet achievement at Taipei’s Golden Pin Design Awards. This is only the first press release. Hopefully there would be a couple more written in different languages for different media platforms by Sunday noon.  This is worth it – I’m feeling determined.


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.