Roy Wang the founder of design agency FACTORY had an epiphany when he found a handwritten note from a friend in Primary school: In this age of digital communication, there is something beautiful about receiving a physical handwritten card.
The note brought back beautiful memories of his school days and kindled a desire to revive the tradition of handwritten notes and cards. He decided he could spread this message by designing cards for festivals and distributing them with handwritten messages.
Fast forward to 2024, Wang’s design studio FACTORY has distributed 24,000 CNY and Xmas cards to promote the art of handwritten cards.
In an attempt to bring more visibility to this mission, FACTORY has now organized an exhibition of its CNY cards showcasing every single card the agency has designed since 2013 and the stories behind each and every one of them. The exhibition titled HUAT CARD Showcase also features the new card for 2024, Year of the Dragon, titled 钱龙驾到, which is a word play on the name of Emperor Qian Long of the Qing Dynasty. Hence the title for this year’s card, 钱龙驾到, means “the Money Dragon has arrived”.
Since 2013, the agency has designed a total of 24 cards, 12 each for CNY and Xmas, printing and giving out an average of 2000 cards each year. Between 2015 to 2017 – it also created an online portal as well for people to sign up and a free card.
The guiding design principle of the CNY cards is the Zodiac sign of the year and each card takes three month to be made – from ideation to production.
“Through this exhibition, we wanted to bring focus on the forgotten art of handwritten cards,” said Wang.
“In the past, it was common for people to write and send cards to each other, whereas in today’s fast paced world, these wishes are usually conveyed via digital means instead. This inspired us to design festive cards with heartfelt messages and mail them out to friends and family, just to let them know how important they are to us.”
“Our Chinese New Year cards in particular have also often doubled up as festive decorations around our recipients’ homes as it is common to adorn one’s space with prosperous or Huat (lucky) thing-a-ma-jigs during this month.”
Organized at the Main Street Commissary at 81 Rowell Road, the HUAT CARD Showcase started on 26th January and will continue until 29th Feb. There are 300 cards on sale for $10 each.