I finally got hold of KENYALANG, the latest edition to the few available Iban language publications, at Servay supermaket last night. Sold at RM2.90, the monthly “tabloid” stand tall in term of paper quality.
Before going further on my comments, I must extend my congratulations to the owner, En. Donald Lawan (obviously the MD44 indicate it belongs to his group of companies) and his team of editorial, headed by Mathias Kassap Gassan (my ex-colleague at Malaysian Today), to Tuan PJB – on his endless SMS to seek feedback, and to the team of packers and distributors too.
The current one seem to be cramped and the theme words can be separated – means to say, not to be part of the masthead. Let the word “Kenyalang” be the masthead on its own. I suggest the team to stick to the color red, maybe, for the masthead official color. Add a thin 2-3 pixel shadow to enhance its standout ability.
I think the “Kenyalang” would look better with the “enyalan” at the same line or a little higher level to include the thin red line. The current one seem to have the “enyalan” a little bit lower and appear “falling down” .. heheheheee..
The Kenyalang (horn bill) bird can overlap a little with the “K” to make it look more real and protruding.
And, get rid of that email! You can put it under a contact section, where it should include how we can subscribe, send comments, where to buy, etc.
Average – I guess the Editorial didn’t do much research and lack articles to fill up the 28-pages “tabloid” from the visual evidence on the ‘stretching’ of font sizes and column sizes. Worst of all, they forgotten on copyrights notice!!
Unggal Mathias, I suggest that the team set a meeting with our fellow friend, Desmond Davidson of NST Kuching, to get FREE advise on newspaper fonts, column layouts, photo resolutions, etc. I wish I could be there to give my expert views and share my knowledge while setting up the Malaysian Today editorial system. Nevertheless, I will support your publication.
Poor – the Editorial should have decided on a standard for the font sizes used for the headline, first headings, quotes, main body text, and captions. Try to search for free Helvetica or SANS family fonts. If they have bought the latest Adobe InDesign, some cool fonts suitable for publishing is included.
Typing skill – it is understood that after a comma, they should be a space! The headers “Bulan Lima,2007” please. And, if I am not mistaken, I was taught (during my typing class by the steno students of UiTM) that after a pull stop, there should be two spaces. On this pull stop matters, the editor’s message lack a lot of this!! And, the paragraph indent should applies to all the body text.
Photo resolution and image resizing
The higher the better it will be. Sometimes, the Editors couldn’t do much if the recent digital photo is not available. Using low resolution photos can sometimes make the story less appealing. The image below is an example where two photos with different resolution is being used.
The editor could have just decide to use one of the photo (in this case, to use YB Larry’s).
Over-stretching of low resolution and small (in term of pixel size) photo can also spoil the story, like in the case of this main story for the pull-out section. The graphic artist could have avoid the high feathering (stick to 2-3 feather settings) and check the curve (the chin looks too bright and shinny for press printing).
Plus, the bold, condensed and extra large font used for the text on the right… uHhhh akaidai nggal!
The repeating header is certainly one that should not be overlooked. Two of the mastheads, dates and section title (menoa).
The body text looks better with a 3-column layout instead of the 2-column used. And, the editor forgotten to check on the indention (again), close quote for the quotes.
The photos used are excellent! That’s the resolution and size that should be the standard to be use in future.
I am not sure of what Kenyalang is using, but it certainly is not Adobe InDesign or CorelDraw. If it was, then, I would suggest the team to employ a good layout artist with excellent skill in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. For a 28-pages publication at a monthly basis, the Adobe Creative Suite is just the software they need to invest on. It may cost more than RM5k, but the result is one the Ibans should be proud of.
Of all my years in the press publication, I have yet to find an Iban who could produce good graphics and understands the concept of good text layout (preferably, Kenyalang, to adopt, a standard, 3-column and 4-column layout with 3-4 photo cuttings.) A good layout artist in Kuala Lumpur can be employed at RM1,800 – RM2,500 per month. He or she may not necessary be an Iban, but if they are looking for a Chinese, it shouldn’t be a problem. What matter, is the good layout and excellent readability.
Overall: The Editorial have 3 weeks to work on the articles, layout, etc. and probably one night to print, and 5 days to pack and distribute. Since, its already 8th June (the time I wrote this post), it is still not too late to use some of the pointers that I have shared here.
Hope to see a turn-around quality work in your June 2007 edition (or the July 2007 edition if its being distributed within the first week of the month.)
And, no comment on the Iban language used, since mine also koyak here and there :D
Lastly, I hope to see some coverage on this controversial issue of UMNO flags flying in major towns in Sarawak. I think the rural readers would want to know why this flag is flying at longhouses nearby.
Get some interview session with the rural Ibans and see what is their reaction towards the existence of these flags and the comments by our leaders in the State cabinets. Datuk Patinggi Jabu is not concern and said it was not an issue since UMNO did not give their blessing of the action by JIPUNS. But, why are these leaders reacting to the “treat”? Why is the ROS silence on the issue?
Bearing in mind, politics being politics, and anything can happen, we hope it is certainly not true, or else we are late to accept that it has been given the green lights by the authorities. The power is in their hands and not ours (in this case).
Cheers and a Happy Wedding to Cr. Thony Badak of Miri, who is to wed Miss Irlene this evening at Everly Parkcity Hotel.