A team of creative Saigoneers has turned the city’s most recognizable landmarks into a quirky pop-up book.
While Vietnam’s new national tourism website gives visitors an improved digital look at Vietnam, the pop-up book, titled Sai Gon Pho, offers a more hands-on experience aimed at boosting tourism. The book is the brainchild of Nextstep, a five-member team of graphic design students at Van Lang University. According to Tuoi Tre, in 2015, Sai Gon Pho won the consolation prize in the Souvenir category at the Lotus Awards – a competition in which the Ho Chi Minh City government seeks creative new ideas to help boost the southern hub’s tourism industry.
In Sai Gon Pho, ten of the metropolis’ most iconic places of interest – from Ben Thanh Market and Turtle Lake to Binh Thanh District’s famous Binh Loi bridge – are rendered in vivid details and eye-catching colors.
“[We] hope that this book will act like a tourism map for newcomers in the city. We thought a lot about how to execute our idea as normal drawing on paper is boring and will not generate enough promotional effect,” Pham Thi Bich Thao, a group member, told Thanh Nien. “Instead, we chose to do a pop-up book, which will be able to deliver the content and visual elements in a lively and captivating fashion.”
Nextstep’s attention to detail is also evident in their rendition of Saigon’s common sights: from green buses to motorbikes, these little additions are also movable. Accompanying the pop-up elements are short tidbits in English and Vietnamese chronicling the history of each famous structure.
Riding the wave of success and media attention from 2015 award, Nextstep has recently decided to bring their creation to a commercial audience via a local crowd-funding platform, Comicola. According to the project’s campaign page, the team is hoping to raise VND150 million (US$6,696) to turn this into a reality. The books are expected to cost VND240,000 once successfully funded; however supporters can currently secure a copy of Sai Gon Pho for just VND200,000.
The campaign will last one month, starting from November 1. If its financial goal is met, book deliveries should begin in January 2017.