Another Malaysia-official logo has gone up to public ridicule over the weekend, this time coming from the Ministry of Tourism.
The Visit Malaysia 2020 logo launched in Chiang Mai for the ASEAN Tourism happening this week. While the campaign had aspirations towards increasing Malaysia’s tourism, all eyes instead went to the logo that accompanied that vision.
We can’t say for sure about any reactions in Chiang Mai, but once the logo hit social media, many Malaysians weren’t pleased.
Between the half disappearing twin towers, Microsoft clipart-style graphics, and in many opinions odd tagline, netizens were too happy to point and laugh. Others have gone to make their own ‘improvements’ of the current logo, which has been shared all over social media too.
Of some comments that went online, some have said that they can probably do better in just 15 minutes. So we realised, hey, that’s an idea.
We posed this challenge to Doodle Malaysia – Do You Doodle?
In 15 minutes, many of them used their love for drawing to give us a little sketch of how the Visit Malaysia 2020 logo could’ve looked like, and also pointed out one massive problem in the current logo.
This logo was done in 5 minutes by Facebook user Jon Tham Nam. In this, he took up another challenge of using elements from the existing logo to produce his own version.
This work in progress was submitted by Zhafran Tan. He sketched it in “5 minutes, literally 5 minutes after seeing that logo.
“It’s not actually finished but I think my slogan’s better. Although, I’d change it to: we could ALWAYS use some new friends”.
“My reasoning for this design is because it can fit any digital banner, app, and social media profiles. It will also look good as a seal or sticker.”
Brian (who does some pretty cool robotic illustrations here) wanted to change the tagline too.
In his opinion, a quick search on Pinterest for “tourism logo” will already reveal references from other countries that are “WAY more awesome and simple”.
“I don’t know who is this designer. He needs to do his homework.”
This entry was done by mother Charissa Adeline, who did a quick sketch that incorporates 3 of the important elements from the original, while juggling a toddler demanding attention. She also does some psychedelic pieces on her Instagram page, icommao.
Faizzal Fah’d’s piece may be incomplete, but in it, he has some pretty interesting ideas.
“This is my idea of trying to incorporate newer Malaysian elements into the logo such as the upcoming iconic building, the M101 Skywheel and our vast LRT and MRT lines network.”
He shared the following photo to illustrate his point:
“As much as I love KLCC, we should be looking forward to the new icons of Kuala Lumpur.”
Roselin Yusof‘s two cents is to keep the words ‘visit Malaysia’, but edits the 2020 portion. She thinks that the logo could incorporate more images that represent Malaysia.
Member Kopi Soh simply wanted to join in on the fun, and submitted this potential logo.
劉家濱 sketched everything within 10 minutes, using the same tagline, but incorporates other elements they relate to Malaysia.
Chyuan Lee thinks that we should stick to the iconic hibiscus.
“Used the hibiscus as the main visual because besides being our national flower, I think that tourists find Malaysia as a place where their holiday starts to bloom with our country having a unique blend of culture, heritage, food and places.”
“Besides, the Tourism Malaysia logo utilises this flower in their logo as well, so the hibiscus could also act as a well-recognised symbol of our country.”
Besides sketching out tourism logo ideas, Chyuan Lee also runs a design page called LeadLab Design.
Gilbert Ong spent 10 minutes designing his entry.
“The crescent moon represents Islam as the main religion of our nation. The twin towers represent the advancement of our modern infrastructure. The flower-esque motif represents our richly artistic heritage and simultaneously the diversity of our nation.”
“Finally, the quote located below signifies the harmony between all races under the noble intention of preserving peace.”
Gilbert also runs the G-Arts Studio page.
Aggie Yap‘s design is probably one of our favourites, simply because the orangutan and turtle truly look like they’re on vacation. Aggie can also be found on her Instagram page, showcasing both her artwork and snapshots of her life.
Besides just logos, there are other conversations raised as well.
Zhafran (from Entry 3) doesn’t think that the problem lies simply in the design of the logo.
“The logo is just a tiny speck of dust on the bigger issue of how minimal the appreciation for art and design (creative industries) actually is among people in political/governmental office.”
“And this translates to their policies and lawmaking. If the people making the laws think that art appreciation is as important to Malaysia as a snowmobile to factory worker in scorching Seremban, we’ll end up with an uncultured, unhappy, robotic society who was born to work, reproduce and die.”
“If you spent some more time on it, the logo will be great. But if politicians don’t change the way they think, great logos won’t mean a thing.”
Tan Thye Shin has concerns that if designers are too happy to share their own versions of the logo for free, then “ it’s not exactly showing the value of our work, it’s just telling people even more that, “our work doesn’t take a lot of time and look, so many PROFESSIONAL designers are willing to do it for free, and pitch each others’ ideas!”
We do agree with this. Something may only take 5-10 minutes of sketching, but learning how to achieve that point of proficiency and eye for art can take years, perhaps even a lifetime. Creating something, even for a simple challenge like ours, is the result of years of training.
This seems like another notch in the ongoing trend of undervaluing creative work not just in Malaysia, but globally. This is even more apparent with art, which isn’t even seen as a viable career in Malaysia even though it takes a lot of skill, and impacts a lot of people.
In my opinion, the fact that so many designers are willing to participate not only in this challenge, but to post their own versions of logos all over the internet showcases the rakyat’s care over how we’re being represented on an international arena.
It perhaps also showcases that there are other designers who would love to take their own spin on the logo, if given a chance and proper payment.
In Lea Azuar’s words, another member of the community:
“We have more shopping malls than art galleries/museums. The government wants more people to go into STEM, as well as parents. Art stream students are looked down and sadly there aren’t many job opportunities in the creative industry.”
You can check out the thread for discussions and all of the entries here.
The challenge was issued for fun and to raise some points of conversation, but you can also check out the work that some other designers have been posting all over social media below, which seem to have been taken from the group Grafik Malaya.
Image Credit: Muhammad Hidayatullah
You can check out the rest of the compiled designs here.