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Red envelopes or red pockets, are monetary gifts that are given during holidays or special occasions such as weddings, graduations, or the birth of a baby in East Asian culture, not only in China, but Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, etc. It was 2012, the year of the dragon. I was excited to create the red pocket with a dragon illustration, which I cloved to illustrate for work.

What red pockets usually look like in the markets.

This is the previous year's (2011) design - I was using the traditional cherry blossom pattern combined with the blessing word to create a simple generic red pocket (they can be in colours, but usually gold or red).

As this is the year of Dragon, I would like to to something a little specific to the animal. There are different expression and postures of dragons, I also looked at the ornament and dragon robe illustrations.

Idea of colours : red pockets are usually red with a gold foiled graphic, but it can also be the other way round or with colours. I picked a dim colour paper but red foiled the graphic with a shiny red texture print.

Then I started to draft it, and finally I used one of the references and recreated the shape, screen in computer, outline in illustrator.

And here are the final printed envelopes:

Close up. It was also applied to a Lunar new year card and e-card.

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