Whether you need to design something specific for your clients, or just want to create a multi-purpose design template for a particular Chinese market, generate a design for a community with enclosed nature like China usually left us in doubt because of only able to access very few references.
Many of us have some knowledge about design elements that considered favorable in Chinese culture. However, is it truly correct? Here are some basic principles to design for the Chinese market that can help you create an attractive design.
You might already know that red and yellow (gold) colors are Chinese’s favorite colors. However, do you know why? It is because both colors culturally considered representing prosperity, good energy, friendliness, and festivity. That is the main reasons you can found yourself surrounded by these colors around Chinese New year celebration.
On the other hand, white is associated with mourning and black with death. Many brands skipped these colors when they were targeting more traditional market. However, China becomes more and more open with western style, and younger generations tend to be more relax with these colors. However, as precautions, you can learn from two China’s biggest app, Weibo and WeChat, which done very pale gray hue to replace white.
Be careful with written script
Do you know that there are 40.000 different Chinese characters? Even though an acceptable level of literacy is for someone to be able to recognize 2.000 characters, that still many. Not to mention that each script contains 1-60 strokes. That makes Chinese writing is very complex and prone to errors.
Unless you have proper knowledge of Chinese language and writing, better trust professional to do the translation for you. Alternatively, in case that you need commonly used a phrase like Chinese new year greeting’s Gong Xi Fa Chai, Google could be an excellent choice. Just don’t skip to do a double check before you publish the design.
Whenever possible, avoid using a triangle or lines with sharp angles that indicate a negative force or danger. Round shapes are preferred since it represents reunion, coming together, unity and harmony. The belief is stronger in parts of China where Feng Shui is practiced.
Didi Chuxing, which is well known for foreigners as China’s Uber, employ this concept very well in its logo which uses half round shape and rounded strokes. Also check out QQ, the biggest social media in China, which utilize circular shape and silhouette of a penguin which is their mascot.
Playful with Cultural Symbol
You might already know that there are some items which considered lucky bringing for Chinese which based on Feng Shui. Sometimes the believed comes from the way it sounds like the mandarin orange sound is similar to gold. Together with another good luck charm like koi fish, lucky coins, and mystic knot that you can playfully add to your design as visual elements.
In case you haven’t known yet, each year in China is represented by an animal zodiac known as Shio. For example, 2017 is fire rooster year, so you can also level up your design game by incorporated rooster on your design.