Chinese New Year Collaterals for Bank Julius Baer

Image Credit : Image Credits: Achates 360 Pte Ltd.



Project Overview

The series of Chinese New Year collaterals were specially designed for the wealth management bank, Bank Julius Baer and can be used as both festive gifts and collectible items. The design concept inspired by Chinese porcelain dates to the historical tradition of collecting Chinese porcelain objects as they were considered to be a form of fine art. Aptly named “Imperial Porcelain” for its ties to the ancient imperial family tradition, the series consists of a pouch, paper carrier bag, red packets and carrier box, adorned with motifs that are commonly found on these fine porcelain art. Lotus flowers and peaches represent purity and longevity and tie in strongly with well-wishes and common greetings used during the festive Chinese New Year season. They celebrate at once; a rich Chinese culture and history repackaged in modern presentation and represent the Bank’s desire to honour and respect diverse and different cultures and its deep appreciation for it.

Project Commissioner

Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd.

Project Creator

Achates 360 Pte Ltd

Project Brief

The brief was to conceptualise a design that was as creative as possible while keeping to a limit of two base colours – festive red and gold. Zodiac animal representations were to be avoided yet the design had to be perceived as auspicious. The client requested a concept that drew deep into Chinese roots and was able to tell a story to entice and impress its clients who would both receive the items from the bank, and also gift the items to their friends and family.

Additionally, the design concept had to be consistently applied across all the items so that they could be easily identified as a series, and the result had to be perceived as premium collectible items that was "talk of the town", while using materials that were of sustainable or eco-friendly nature, all of these keeping within a specified budget.

Project Innovation/Need

The design of this series of Chinese New Year collectible items steered away from traditional zodiac animal signs, which are typically found in most Chinese New Year designs. It is made from eco-friendly paper and leather, which is relatively new in the market for similar festive items and is aligned with the emerging trend of sustainable practices worldwide.

The concept derived from rich Chinese history and reflective of the imperial family’s practices give the items a perceived elevated status, suitable for the client and wealth management bank, Bank Julius Baer. It shows that creative design that is viewed to be of premium status, while using sustainable practices, and celebrating rich history in a modern context, all within design and budget limitations, are possible.

Design Challenge

The design challenge was to exercise and expand our creativity within a number of limitations. Firstly, to conceptualise a design that was as creative as possible while keeping to a limit of two base colours – festive red and gold. Secondly, zodiac animal representations were to be avoided yet the design had to be perceived as auspicious. Thirdly, the materials sourced also had to be sustainable or eco-friendly while keeping within a specified budget.

The team approached the challenges by first exploring concepts that were synonymous with the Chinese culture, and at the same time, keeping the brainstorming as open as possible, so that we could increase our options.

The result was a unique and distinctive thematic concept of a series of collectible items centred around a deeply respected tradition of collecting Chinese porcelain. The design elements were consistently applied on each item in varied methods (as a pattern, or a focus-point), to bring together a clear concept and design cohesiveness.


The bank’s clients who received these items as gifts and for gifting on their own, were fond of these items. They liked it for the deep appreciation and respect for the traditional Chinese culture it represents yet applied in a modern manner. The design concept that drew its inspiration from porcelain increased the flexibility of the usage of these items as they were not tied to any zodiac animal signs and could be used on any year and at other occasions apart from Chinese New Year (birthdays, weddings, etc).

The consistent application of the design concept and details across the items made the user experience holistic and immersive. The result was a gift and collectible item apt for festive seasons, unique and distinctive to the bank yet relatable to its clients, auspicious and created with present-day sustainable practices that align with the bank’s beliefs.

This award celebrates creativity and innovation in the traditional or digital visual representation of ideas and messages. Consideration given to clarity of communication and the matching information style to audience.
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