The Chinese year 4713, the Year of the Goat ((in some literature it’s called the Year of the Sheep), begins today Feb. 19, 2015. That means the end of the sixteen days New Year’s celebrations, also known as the Spring Festival.
It was a time of family reunion. Family members gathered at each other’s homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year’s Eve. But above all the tradition of gifts .
In my previous article I gave an overview of the New Year’s gifts on mainland China, but of course the Chinese New Year isn’t only celebrated in China itself. In many a country with a significant Chinese population there are celebrations, not in the least in Asia itself, where Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and among others South Korea celebrate the same festivities and with great virtuosity.
As continuation of my previous article about gift packaging from mainland China for the Chinese New Year celebrations, I selected for this one designs from Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea. They are as exceptional and breath-taking as the Chinese ones.
This Chinese New Year’s gift box features delicate and meticulous painting that visually conveys the exquisite beauty of classic Suzhou embroidery. Sewn on octagonal panes, the colourful patterns and shapes look like golden locking plates or phoenix coronets, thus imparting a sense of nostalgia.
The inside of the box is divided into multiple compartments, prompting the consumer to continue using the gift box for storing treasured items. The golden logo and the brand name “Jardin de Jade” underscore the high quality of the gift.
21 Mountain Symphony Gift Set
Magic Creative from Taipei/Taiwan designed this Tea Gift Set for its client Yeh Wen Cheng Tea Co. Ltd., in Chiayi City, a provincial city located in the plains of south-western Taiwan.
The packaging design for this tea collection aims to express the concepts of nature and freshness. The handwoven bamboo basket, which hints at the characteristic origin of the tea, convincingly attracts attention on the shelf. It contains matt-black tea caddies that follow a contemporary design approach. Overlapping tea leaves, which echo the form of Far Eastern musical instruments, serve as the key visual. This imagery illustrates the conscious act of listening to the purest sounds of nature, such as wind and rain, and associates this experience with the enjoyment of drinking tea.
This is the result of a student project, supervised by Professor Chi-Ching Tsai of the Chungyu Institute of Technology in Keelung City/Taiwan.
The packaging, designed by Tzu-Yi Chou, Yun-An Lai, Yu-Lin Cheng, Hui-Ning Chuang, Chia-Wei Sung, Li-Chen Huang, revolves around natural honey produced in Taiwan.
It comprises a cylindrical dispenser with single-serve packages as well as honey jars in different sizes. Some of the jars have lids that, with their round shape and black and gold stripes, are reminiscent of a honey bee.
The paper labels come in four different colours, each colour indicating the province where the product originated from. The sophisticatedly folded boxes follow the same colour concept and complement the packaging range in addition to the gift boxes.
Against the backdrop that the Chinese New Year is also a time when people traditionally exchanging sweet rice cakes as gifts, this packaging was designed to accommodate rice cakes in the shape of a fish. The packaging picks up the motif of fish in a subtle manner and places the design focuses on its visualisation. Two different filigree illustrations of fish are printed on the two sides of the box, lending it a high degree of elegance.
When the boxes are fully opened, the individual fishes appear to be swimming together as a pair. Furthermore, in order to reflect the festive atmosphere of Chinese New Year, the packaging design features gold as well as red, as the latter is closely associated with New Year.
Antrodia cinnamomea is a fan-shaped, orange-red fungus that grows on the camphor tree and is a popular food in Taiwan. Its texture and appearance as well as its growth conditions inspired the concept of this packaging design: a combination of a wooden box and orange-red paperboard packaging symbolise the close symbiosis between fungus and tree.
Further design details, such as the gift ribbon and the artistic logo print, underscore the high-quality of the product. The tag with a chrome-plated logo of the brand has been attached to the package by hand, indicating sophistication and luxury with a sense of oriental minimalism.
With the coming of the northeast monsoon, mullet that have grown in the rivers of mainland China will enter the sea to mate and swim to spawning grounds in the seas off southern Taiwan. Ten days before and after the winter solstice is the best period for catching mullet. During these few weeks, fishermen along the coast can make a fortune. In Taiwan mullet is thus known as “black gold”. The reddish eggs taken from the spawning mullets are sun-dried, salted and pressed, and made into mullet roe, which has a fresh and unique taste.
Mullet roe is a popular gift during Chinese New Year. For this product the students Jie-Yu Liou and You-Chen Chou of the Asia University in Taichung City/Taiwan created a colourful packaging as a gift box.
Supervised by Professor Hsiao-Ling Wu and Su-En Jheng the box has the shape of the fish and the product is taken from the box just as if the mullet roe is taken out of the fish. Based on the objectives of environmental protection and reusability, the gift box can be used as an auspicious decoration in the home after the roe is eaten. It comes with an LED light and a handle which consumers assemble themselves. These extras turn the packaging into a decorative light or a lantern for the Lantern Festival.
The well-balanced symmetry between the base and the top is visually emphasised by the antique fastener made of two buttons and ribbon cloth. A graphic print on the lid, its form reminiscent of the yin-yang symbol, catches the eye. The engraved surging wave shows the strong vitality of the sea. The golden paper complements the elegant packaging design, lending the whole box a high aesthetic appeal.
In South Korea Damda is a brand which produces Gochujang, a fermented condiment sauce. For this product students Dabin Kim, Minhee Seo and Yeasol Kim of the Sungshin Women’s University in Seoul/South Korea, designed a packaging inspired by Hangari, Korean earthenware containers, in which the sauce is traditionally kept.
The spherical, white containers are decorated with graphics, the colours of which reflect the sauce’s main ingredients. The transparent lids provide a view of the containers’ content while, at the same time, communicating high hygienic standards. The calligraphy featuring the Damda logo on the tag illustrates the fermentation process through the use of natural shapes.
The last gift pack of this range is a bit complicated, but beautiful. The bird is the product and it’s a real, fascinating gift for Chinese New Year.
The Pegacasa Design Team in Taipei/Taiwan created a gift box for the harmoniously elaborated bird called Coucou, a product of Pegatron Corporation in Taipei/Taiwan
The bird Coucou and its packaging were inspired by the cuckoo clock. Elegantly designed in the shape of a bird, the trinket, which was made of stainless and Taiwan acacia, is placed inside a black paperboard box.
The minimalist packaging design conveys a contemporary and superior feel, yet it also allows for a playful experience when opening the box. Users are encouraged to ease it open with joy, and the black ribbon is the key. When it is pulled, the door opens little by little and Coucou appears.
Ok, the Chinese New Year’s festivities are over, the gifts are given and received and daily work waits.
source: Red Dot