February 8th 2016 is Chinese New Year and the year of the Monkey.
Bagsbuzz is a Hong Kong based company that manufactures garment bags and reusable shopping bags in China for customers in Europe and North America.
With many European countries and some U.S. states getting rid of plastic shopping bags, paper bags may seem like an environmentally friendly alternative, but not only are they not strong, they don’t tend to get used more than the way home, so even if they get recycled, they rarely get reused.
Bagsbuzz’ reusable non-woven shopping bags are the solution. They make many models, customized with logos and other features. They also specialize in garment bags, the type you get with the purchase of a suit or a bridal dress.
Bagsbuzz was looking for something to send to their clients for Chinese New Year in a mailing. They figured it had to have a monkey in it and their logo and they wanted it to be hand illustrated.
I first looked up if Hong Kong had any indigenous monkeys and they do: The Long-Tailed Macaque and the Rhesus Macaque. Being an animal portrait artist I first drew a macaque, cartoonized it (is that a word?) and then realized there was no fun way to integrate that with the logo, however, I noticed in my research that monkeys like to hang from stuff and looking at the lettering in the logo…there was plenty to hang from. I also let go of the idea that it had to be a Macaque. We recognize a monkey when we see it, the big ears, the face, the longer arms, feet like hands. So I drew my own monkey swinging from the logo….
But then I started thinking…what if they want something more compact. They had also sent me a sheet of example monkeys from Google images and they were all highly stylized red (lucky color) monkeys…
Looking at the logo again I realized the letter g can look like a monkey with a tail too. Back to the drawing board. But now I decided I’d make it red like the examples and for good luck and also to make it closer to a Macaque. The result became this:
I then left it up to the staff of Bagsbuzz to decide which one they liked best….or if I had to come up with something better…
I was excited they picked the first design (I liked that one best too).
However, this is an example of the way any company can use my design and illustration skills. Throw an idea at me and let me struggle with it. Give me a couple of days and suddenly you’ll have something fun in your mailbox, ready to share with your clients!