In times past, sustenance was scarce. Even by working laboriously day and night, humans were only able to produce just enough food to eat every third or fourth day.
Upon seeing this, the Emperor of Heaven was anguished and took pity on the humans. He sent his Ox Star down from the heavens to deliver a message to the people of earth that there would always be ample food to feed them once a day, every three days.
In his enthusiastic haste to deliver the message, the Ox made a grave mistake by telling the humans that the Emperor of Heaven had decreed they should eat three times a day. For this blunder, the Ox was sent to live on earth forever to help humans with their ploughing.
And this is how the plough-oxen came to exist on earth.
Admired for the Ox’s indispensable role in China’s agricultural society, the Year of the Ox is a celebration of its diligence, integrity, and honesty. We designed five red packets to honour the Five Grains in ancient China – wheat, broomcorn, rice, foxtail millet, and soybean. Wrapped in a packaging that embodies the Ox itself, the packets are tucked neatly into a blizzard book mechanism that serves as a carrier for all the stories within. Upon opening the packaging, the five packets splendidly fans out, instantly creating a delightful sense of wonder and surprise for our friends and family.
With just the right amount of heat and pressure, the magnificent gold foil stamping is applied on fine linen textured paper. The idyllic scenes depicting agricultural life are set against the backdrop of Ge Ba, an unassuming textile artform from the countryside. Since these textile collages were never appreciated at the imperial palace, their existence was ephemeral – fabricated as quickly as they disappear. Reminiscent of cubist paintings, the featured Ge Ba are from the personal collection of François Dautresme, a prolific art collector who amassed over 7,500 items during his 35 years of travel, exploration and discovery in China, and more notably, the beloved and inspiring uncle of Substance’s founder Maxime Dautresme.
- Agency/Creative: A Work of Substance
- Article Title: A Work of Substance Designs for the Year of the Ox Red Packets
- Organisation/Entity: In-house, Published Self Promotional Design
- Project Type: Identity
- Agency/Creative Country: Hong Kong
- Market Region: Asia
- Project Deliverables: Branding, Graphic Design, Illustration, Packaging Design, Photography, Research, Structural Design
- Industry: Entertainment
- Keywords: Illustration, Packaging, Red Packets, Chinese New Year, Red Packet Design, Year of the Ox, Culture, Branding, Printing