Monday, January 19, 2009

Sign of the times

DO you operate a side business from your cubicle against company regulations? If so, then you need a signboard to advertise your product.

These days, it’s simple to create a signboard with an inkjet printer.

Say, for example, that you are from Kelantan, and you sell budu in-between doing office work. You’ll need a poster to advertise your product.

First of all, you need a picture, and it’s extremely crucial in a business like this.

Why? Because not everybody in your office knows what budu is. Some people might confuse it with an offensive word, buduh, which means stupid (it’s wrongly spelled but that’s just how a buduh writer would spell buduh). Others might confuse budu with voodoo.

In the early days of 9-11, even the CIA might come looking for you because your budu comes with a user manual that looks suspiciously like it’s written in Arabic (it’s actually Jawi).

This may not be so rampant anymore but still, you do not want to attract that kind of attention to your business.

Therefore, a poster with a picture is crucial. How to do it? Very simple. Fire up your digital camera and take a photo of a bottle of budu. Then download to the PC and edit out the background.

Next, add text. A word of caution: do not use proper Bahasa Malaysia, or kecek luar, as the Kelantanese would call it. This goes against the very grain of your Kelantan-ness. You want to do it exactly like the way they do it in Kelantan, complete with hyphens in the wrong places. Here’s an example:

WRONG: Budu ada dijual di sini
RIGHT: Di-sini ada menjual budu

I can guarantee that every Kelantanese who passes by your cubicle will not miss the poster and every non-Kelantanese will want to check it for grammatical error.

Now that you have the correct words to go with your budu picture, next comes the printing part. You have several options in terms of what media to use.

1. Glossy photo paper.

2. Matte paper. It’s thicker than plain paper and lasts longer too. I like to use Epson’s Matte Paper Heavyweight as it’s thicker than other matte paper brands.

3. Self-adhesive A4 photo paper. Then paste it on an A4-size cardboard. This technique is perfect for people who enjoy pain.

4. If you have greasy hands, it does not matter what media you use. You will want to get your poster laminated.

For some of you though, a simple poster will not cut it. You are a professional budu seller, you say, and you need something like a slick brochure.

The good news here is brochures, too, can be made using an inkjet printer. But it takes a bit more work. Apart from a high-res photo, you need clever, convincing or downright manipulative copywriting that extols the virtues of your budu.

Think you are up to snuff? See if you can do a write-up based on the following idea:

KDU + U = private college
BDU + U = the Kelantanese condiment you are selling

Once you have the words and a design for your brochure, print it on a double-sided professional grade photo paper. Your budu brochure will look professional.