Storydrive Asia 2017

We are helping our friends at the Singapore Book Publishers Association to spread the word! And we have a piece of good news for you at the end of this blog.

Organised by the Singapore Book Publishers Association and Frankfurter Buchmesse, StoryDrive Asia 2017 is a good opportunity to meet the key business players in the region, to update yourself on the latest insight on change and transformation in the industry, and to learn about exciting development and opportunities in the fast-moving (and growing) publishing markets in Asia. The conference will be held in the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) from 13 to 14 November 2017.

Aside from business matching and pitching sessions for authors and creators, StoryDrive Asia also offers training modules in structuring and presenting proposals, rights sales, new digital workflows, and turning your books into film ideas.

Features Speakers:

  • Christiane Frohmann, publisher, Frohmann Publishing, Germany
  • Isabelle Fauvel, film development expert, founder of Initiative Film, France
  • Michael Healy, Copyright Clearance Centre, US
  • Guang Xi Normal University Press, China
  • Kathrin Wessling, author, social media expert, online journalist, Germany
  • Minakshi Thakur, Publisher, Language Division, Westland Publications, an Amazon company

Standard ticket is $390 for the two day event but here's an opportunity to get the tickets at $120. Key in the discount code “ACASInvites” to qualify for the discount, courtesy of Association of Comic Artists (Singapore).

Tickets can be purchased on the official website:

Downtown Line 3 to open on 21 October 2017

Downtown Line 3 is opening on 21 Oct 2017 and commuters will get to travel for free along the 34 DTL stations on that day and the following day.

This video is not commissioned by the Land Transport Authority or the Downtown Line operator SBS Transit. This is a sample we submitted as part of our proposal to client. It’s a self-initiated brief and since Downtown Line 3 (DTL3) is opening soon, we decided to do a video that promotes the opening of DTL3 and the free travel on 21 and 22 October 2017.

The initial idea was to show the visuals of the 16 soon to be open MRT stations in the video. But one of our designers Skip suggest the concept of taking the viewer through the entire Downtown Line journey since the free travel is on that entire network. The best way to show it is to use the DTL3 network map. To give a local flavour, we added a Singlish slang at the end of the video. The translation of the Singlish slang was added as an afterthought for those who do not understand its meaning or to satisfy the purist.

Material Matters

I was at Watson looking around for hair products when I came across this.

I tried reading the text on the label but failed due to the shiny reflection. Not giving up so easily, I adjusted my perception angle, thinking that might help in reading the text. Nope. The product packaging was well designed but unfortunately, the material choice for the sticker label was terrible. I could hardly read the text on the label. It’s definitely more readable on the photo, but it’s really bad when you try to read it with your naked eye.

The mistake mentioned above could happened to any of us. So let’s take this opportunity to do some self-reflection.

I think it’s highly unlikely that this product packaging is approved without a physical mock-up. With that out of the equation, there are a few possible scenarios of how such a mistake happened:

  1. Trusting the recommendation of the printing or production company. Since it’s a recommendation, the person in charge might think it is not necessary to produce a mock-up.
  2. The printed mock-up was done on a different paper material. The actual material might not be available for mock-up for some reasons.
  3. The person in charge adores the shiny material. Everyone design taste is different and some are just unique.

For scenario 3, there’s nothing much you can do other than advising against it or go on a protest. But for scenario 1 and 2, it’s preventable.

The recommendation is to use the actual paper material for the mock-up. This seems obvious enough but there are always circumstances that prevent designers from doing the obvious. But whatever the reason is, it all boils down to one fact: the designer thinks it’s okay to compromise. For example, let’s talk about printed products that require die-cut, like paper craft toy, brochures/books with die-cut effects and packaging. Say, a designer is to design a paper craft toy and decided to use 310gsm coated paper for the end product. But the designer couldn’t get the required paper easily, so he decided to work on a 100gsm woodfree paper instead. Well, he managed to assemble the paper craft and it looked good, so he thought mission accomplished! But there’s a few pitfall to this approach. Does the 310gsm coated paper folds well? If glue is involved in the paper craft toy, does it stick well? There’s no unnecessary surprises when the mock-up uses the actual paper material.

The Starfish Story

My colleague and I was at Singapore Prison Service (SPS) headquarters for a discussion on their upcoming recruitment advertisements a few days ago. The officer from public relations shared with us that other than ensuring prison's security, SPS's mission is to rehabilitate offenders and successfully integrating them back to society. At this point, she shared with us the starfish story. That was the first time I heard of the story and I find it very meaningful.

The story took place at a beach. An old man was walking along the beach and he saw a boy picking up starfish and gently throwing them back into the sea. He striked a conversation with the boy and understand that the boy was worried that when the sun is up the next day, the starfish will die. The old man laughed and said, "I'm afraid your efforts won't make a difference. There's numerous starfish on this beach. You are not going to save them all."

The boy listened, picked up another starfish and threw it back to the sea. "It made a difference for that one!"

Ani-Com and Games Convention 2017

Ani-Com and Games Convention in Hong Kong (ACGHK), happening from 28 July to 1 Aug 2017. The event took place at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. At ACGHK, the range of exhibits include animation, comics, games, toys and collectibles.

You also get to see Hong Kong iconic places and architecture in the from of Lego. There’s also an interesting contest. Guess the total number of Lego minifigures used in the exhibition and stand to win a travel package to Japan.

There are plenty of photo taking opportunities. And with a Nissin cup noodle because Iron Man and Optimus Prime is too mainstream.

Talking about mainstream, there’s your Marvel and DC superheroes. Thor, Hulk, Spiderman, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman are the main spotlight as their movies were either released this year or are going to hit cinemas soon.

If you are not a fan of superhero movies, there are also figurines from other movies. The usual suspects like Star Wars, Transformers etc.

The Hong Kong Society of Illustrators have secured an area for their members, and this is the place to be if you are looking for local flavour.

Dragon Tiger Gate or Long Hu Men (龙虎门) is an iconic Hong Kong comic. This title was made into a live action movie in 2006, starring Donnie Yen, Nicholas Tse and Shawn Yue.

Look, there’s the lovable Doraemon and the irritating Shin Chan. We are not sure if we should censored the elephant but it looked innocent enough.

Of course, there’s plenty of  stuff for Japanese anime and manga fans.

There’s lots of Gundam models around, and below is just a small faction of what was exhibited.

For more information, you can go to Ani-Com and Games Hong Kong official site.

Quest 3 and Conquest launch event at National Library Board

Quest 3 and Conquest was launched at Jurong Regional Library this morning. Quest is a fantasy story and collectible card programme by the National Library Board (NLB). Quest is now in its final run and the National Library Board has come up with a new initiative named Conquest.
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National Library Board launches Quest 3

We are very excited to contribute to the final part of the Quest trilogy by the National Library Board (NLB). After two months of hard work, the long awaited Quest 3 story is out!
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Yifon Mushrooms Comics

Here is a simple comic strip we did for Yifon Bloggers' Competition and we thanked Darren Ng for inviting us into this fun project.

Darren came up with the story concept and script while we did the comics illustration. The Yifon Bloggers' Competition is organized in conjunction with the launch of Yifon Mushroom. Naturally, that means the story have to communicate the advantage of consuming Yifon Mushrooms. Darren wanted the story to be delivered in a fun way and was greatly inspired by Lady Gaga's meat dress. So he came up with a character named Lady Salah (salah means wrong in Malay) and weaved it into an educational story about Yifon Mushrooms. Good news is, we got 2nd prize for this entry! Hope you enjoy the comic strip.

Warning: Singlish ahead (Singapore version of English). For non-Singaporean readers, we have explanations of the Singlish terms used in the dialogue.

* Salah means wrong in Malay.

* Mountain tortoise is a direct translation from Chinese. It means someone who is not aware of the latest trend in society.

Quest 2 launch event at National Library Board

Quest 2: Unleashing the Rain Dragon was launched at Woodlands Regional Library this morning. Quest 2 is a new series of collectible game cards and story launched by the National Library Board (NLB), and written by Felicia Chin, one of NLB's librarians.
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