Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Good And Bad

When I read about nation branding on the web, sometimes I realize that some writers tend to use indistinctively “a powerful brand” with “a good brand”, as if they were interchangeable terms. But they are not. “Powerful” describes the power of something (and not the goodness of it), and in the nation branding sphere it defines how consistent and mind-shared a brand (that is, the image of a country) is.

For instance, France has a powerful brand because most people thinks on very similar terms about the country. Additionally, these terms are mostly positive, which means the brand is not only powerful but also good. In other words, that the most common idea about France, that it is refined and cultured for instance, is both agreed and widespread. It is a question of grade: when a large majority of people think very similar things when they hear the word “France”, then we’ve got a powerful brand. France’s brand is powerful because it means similar things to a vast majority of people. There is something like an agreement on what the word “France” means, and that agreement is so extended that it can be called a “quorum”.

To have a powerful brand does not imply that the brand is also good. An obvious example is North Korea. North Korea also has a powerful brand because a vast majority of people associate very similar things to the country (as happens with France), but these attributes are no good: repression, poverty, nuclear threat, lack of human rights. There is another sort of quorum here, and therefore another powerful brand. But a powerful bad brand, to make things clear.

On the other side, Uruguay, for instance, does not have a powerful brand, because it means very different things to different people; to some it is a South American country like Argentina or Venezuela; to others it is… - well, it’s completely unknown. You can’t name not even two things about Uruguay. Uruguay has therefore a weak brand, as it means either different things or nothing at all. Uruguay has a weak brand, as opposed to France and North Korea’s powerful brands.

“Powerful” and “weak” are opposed adjectives; your brand can be either powerful or weak, but can’t be both at the same time. The same happens with “good brand” and “bad brand”. These two pairs of adjectives are on different scales, and are thus compatible. Consequently, you can have a country with a brand which is powerful and bad, like North Korea, and you can also have a country with a brand which is powerful and good like France. But you could also face a country with a weak, good image like Latvia. Few ideas are associated with Latvia, but these few ideas are, even if different, predominantly positive. Then there’s the last possible case, a weak and bad brand. Take Senegal, for instance. Not only nobody knows about it (so it has a weak brand), but the few things you could imagine would be bad (so it has a bad brand).

So, be alert when you read that that country needs “a powerful brand” - that only means that it won’t be weak, but it could very well be either good or bad

Excerpted from Nation Branding/2009/07/04/good-and-bad-nation-brands.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stephen Balleux

Oil painting by Stephen Balleux. Very tragic enhance on the silver lining between black and white,

-Zheng Joo

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fashion Art + Art Contest by 2K

There will be an international T-shirt design contest briefing.

Competition Briefing:
Date: 2nd October 2009
Time: 11.30am – 12.30pm
Venue: Classroom A1

winners will have their creation printed on a tee and would be on sale for xmas.
Website link to 2K by Gingham:

Grand Prize, - Cash Prize RM 2,000 + Materiel cash voucher worth RM 1,000 + Viktor+Rolf Eyewear worth RM 800 + Clinique hamper worth RM XXX + ck Free perfume

9 consolation prizes – “Ang Pow” + Materiel cash voucher RM 300 + Viktor+Rolf cash voucher worth RM 350 + ck Free perfume.

Further attach information should've been sent to your email already


On the other hand,
Gabriels links of inspiration for our finals from previous post comment, just in case any of you guys missed it


Zheng Joo

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Dutch Touch

Angeline sent me this link earlier and deff recommended you people to check it out. It is a complete process of Dutch government identity building. Exactly what we need right now and not to mention brilliant concept.

In autumn 2007 Koeweiden Postma pitched for a new logo and housestyle for the Dutch government. They made it to the final round but didn't get the job: here's what the Dutch could have had.

It's a constant frustration to us here at CR that, due to client confidentiality clauses, design studios and ad agencies are seldom allowed to show the projects that didn't make it. So often, they are more interesting than the ones that finally get the nod.

Last week at the Designyatra conference in Mumbai, Hugo van Bos of Koweiden Postma showed his studio's pitch for the Dutch government's new identity. They proposed two routes.

Continue reading here.

Zheng Joo.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Coorperate Identity Research Presentation Brief

1. Powerpoint presentation on your research (to be presented within 2 weeks)

Gabriel sent a copy of example done by seniors for reference yesterday.
Please download it here.

I’m sending you as promised a sample of what could be seen as a respectable powerpoint presentation.I’m not too happy with the layout of this presentation but the content is quiet interesting.This example is just to give you a rough idea of what I’m expecting for our next class.Please show it to your fellow classmates.

See you in 2 weeks, take care.

Regarding the brief for your Identity programme. I’m conscious that this powerpoint presentation could be difficult to work on.

So, to make it easier for you all, you can form groups of 4-5 people and choose a common country (for expl: 4 people choose Egypt, 4 other choose USA, 4 Malaysia, or any other country.)

That way, you could work together to prepare the brand identity presentation due in 2 weeks time, and later on sharing your research between each other.


For this grouping issue, i think he is most likely referring to grouping for the research presentation instead of the final project one. In short, grouping are for the early research presentation only but the overall final is still individual assignment.

However, most of you have been researching on your own so check back here for any in-case changes!

Any questions at all please fire at me NOT AT LAST MINUTE, like the day before presentation :)

Zheng Joo

One Year Back

Hello old blog.

Hello new term.

Hello sassy new lecturer and empty days inside timetables yay.

It’s been one year I guess and I thought instead of mailing you people information or any sort stuff like that and then spread the words to check your bloody mail that contains probably 1324 unread mail, not to mention the other half that goes into your junk mail and never to be seen again, I shall be making this blog useful again to spread the words, ideas and well, stuff.

Please check and write often people. Often drawing habits without a genuine consumption of reading, writing contribution and sharing might just snapped off your brain like that. Seriously.

Zheng Joo.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Old and New

check out the works of these contemporary illustrators:

James Jean

Josh Cochran

Matt Vincent

There are 2 parts in your drawing: the old and the new;

It can be something trendy against something out-dated; e.g. An old street with a lot of youngster/ a MAMAK store full with old and young people, etc.

  • Drawing Size: A3
  • Finishing: Neat B/W pencil drawing;
  • The drawing must show your understanding about Figure and Space;

    You are given 3-4 weeks to work on this project;
  • Week 01: Rough sketches
  • Week 02: Refining the pencil outline
  • Week 03: Add in shading
  • Week 04: Final touch-up Submit on 20 November 2008