Malaysia Fest 2009 (MFest), a cultural festival run by Malaysian students in Sydney, had just revealed their promotional poster last week:

MFest 2009 Poster

MFest 2009: Our Culture, Our Essence

Which is the best damn MFest poster I’ve ever seen so far. Credits go to designer Azlan Ab. Malek and the Marketing Executive Producer (EP) Sabrina Hanim.

Things have not always been this awesome for MFest. However, the renaissance in the quality of marketing and promotion in MFest can be attributed to Sunny Tan, who was the Marketing EP in 2006.

This was the poster back then in 2006, when yours truly was just a lowly minion, a Marketing Director under Sunny’s department:

MFest 2006 Poster

MFest 2006: One Festival, Many Faces, A World of Excitement

Laugh all you want, haha. I myself feel like crying with shame every time I see this poster resurface. It was cobbled together with whatever Photoshop skills that I had to hastily acquire.

I was immensely proud of the five hand-drawn caricatures, though. They were the mascots for that year’s MFest, and we dubbed them “the patungs” (dolls). They were supposed to represent the different races in Malaysia: Malays, Chinese, Indians, the indigenous and Azan Azlan. It was very hard for me to choose a favourite from the five! (it was the guy on extreme right).

The “words in the middle” was a genius idea by Sunny, they were supposed to be things that you could look forward to in MFest 2006. I adapted the concept of tag clouds, which was very new at that time.

Next year, I succeeded Sunny as the Marketing EP, and commissioned Joshua Soo for this poster:

MFest 2007 Poster

MFest 2007: A Rainbow of Cultures

Marked improvement, don’t you think? I particularly love the colour scheme (“Rainbow of Cultures”! tee hee) and that hornbill humping the hibiscus. We dubbed that mascot Horny Bill. Suffice to say, the whole team that year was a bunch of horny buggers.

In 2008, my protégé Shaheera Djafar took over the department while I move up the ranks, and this must have been our tipping point. The terrific duo of Sabrina Hanim and Azlan Malek joined the department and produced this beaut:

MFest 2008 Poster

MFest 2008: A Cultural Connection

The background painting was procured at Central Market KL: the Malay-ish hibiscus, Indian earring and Chinese cheongsam. There was this running joke among us that the lady in the painting is actually a cross-dressing dude since we couldn’t see her hair bunched up in a bun.

My favourite part of this: the red “FREE ADMISSION” stamp. Nothing like saying “FREE!” to get the Malaysians’ attentions.

There you go, see how far we’ve come. This year we’ll continue keeping it real.

Malaysia Fest: still the original, still the best.

More info on Malaysia Fest on their website and Facebook group. RSVP to MFest 2009: Our Culture, Our Essence here.

Zurairi AR was on board the Malaysia Fest committee from 2006 to 2008. However, he had sold his soul to MFest somewhere around the end of 2006 and continues to serve the wonderful event.

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