Year of the Ox by MetaDesign China

Year of the Ox by MetaDesign China

Ubiquitious during the New Year in China, the name ‘HongBao’ (HongBao) literally means red packet and is a chinese tradition that symbolizes goodluck for the coming year when sharing the red envelope. Today, the packets are filled with money from bosses, managers, family members during Chinese New Year.

In celebration of the Year of the Ox (牛 Niu), we created a pack of 8 ‘HongBao’ envelopes as a gift for employees and clients of Publicis Groupe China. Each of the envelopes features a design relating to the ‘Ox’ zodiac animal theme. The designs often combine or invert a Chinese idiom, or familiar Chinese phrase, on occasion blending with western culture. On the back of each envelope there is a short description in English to share the meaning of the Chinese and cultural associations and meaning.

For example the cover features ‘The Year of the Ox, in noughts and crosses’ a typographic interplay of ‘O’ and ‘X’. In the central ‘O’ and ‘X’ is the head of an Ox in a mirror foil, contrasting with the other gold matt foil, this refers to the Chinese saying ‘jin niu cheng xiang’ (金牛呈相), meaning the Golden Ox will deliver goodluck and peace.

Another example is a packet design which interprets the famous Chinese idiom ‘shuang long xi zhu’ (双龙戏珠), which is often depicted by two dragons playing over a ball. With the year of the Ox, we bring you ‘shuang niu xi zhu’ – two Chicago bulls playing over a ball to wish you a new year full of fun!

There are more packets with more stories and contemporary cultural references in fresh design expression. The printing techniques are also specific to each packet and may involve Spot UV, blind emboss, foil to enhance the creative idea and ensure the packet which is a special gift – is more memorable.

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