After designing the remix between Howl’s Moving Castle and fragrance, I was very charged up on design. My last semester at ArtCenter had drained my soul and I was slowly picking it back up. Full Moon Mars is what I imagine in product form of a combination between the Chinese singer, Hua ChenYu and the Mid-Autumn/Moon Festival. I also did this during the winter when I went back home to Miami for a few weeks (yes I know it’s very far from the Mid-Autumn Festival). In some people’s perspectives you can say I use design to fan girl. But for me it’s more about being inspired by the most unlikely things.
When I first caught a glimpse of Hua Chen Yu, I thought he was just another regular Asian boy band member but upon further digging, I discovered he’s actually a very talented artist in both vocals and composition. I was incredibly inspired by his dedication and passion for music despite his age. Listening to his music and watching him make music sparked a bunch of different design ideas and one of them was Full Moon Mars.
Like when I made 4 Seasons of Fragrance, I lacked access to 3D software. My first instinct was to design him a vinyl record but that seemed too obvious. Design remixes are more fun with unexpected things. Hua Chenyu loves to snack. He’s known to eat at every chance he’s got even on camera. I thought of different foods and how I could maybe loop it into a set with the vinyl record, however I didn’t want it to be completely random. After churning for some time, I decided to use Mid-Autumn Festival to frame the project. It gave me the constraints of remixing foods that pertain to the Mid-Autumn festival. I called it Full Moon Mars, full moon in regards to the moon festival and Mars as reference to his concerts which are called Mars Concerts.
I had various versions of the vinyl record. The first ones did not have Hua ChenYu’s face on it because I wanted it to be separate and unique from his actual albums. I wanted to use just graphics, however after some ideation, I realized it could have been applied to any artist with just a little bit of tweaking. I took on the challenge of using his face but worked it so it seemed like a completely new entity rather than borrowing his old album photos to make a new one. I also took the opportunity to include a lyric book inside of the sleeve.
The mooncake, a staple of Mid-Autumn Festival meals, was a bit of a challenge. Mooncakes have a lot of textures on them, it was quite difficult applying the three dimensionality to a redesigned mooncake. Even now, I am not satisfied with the way it turned out. Each moon cake has a character of Hua ChenYu’s name with the fourth one having the print of a moon as a reference to the holiday. I personally do not like faces on food packaging design and so made the mooncake packaging primarily graphic with the backdrop of a red planet.
Just a vinyl record and mooncake doesn’t really complete an experience. When you eat, you should also have a drink. In regards to the moon festival, you could, say have some osmanthus/cassia wine whilst listening to some music and munching on mooncake. For the design of the bottle I wanted to have some texture but still allow people to see the color of the liquid. I applied a terrain like overlay that gradually faded so you can see the gold of the wine.