TAIWAN ZODIAC

Revamp of the traditional card game from the southern parts of Taiwan and Penghu County

This Taiwanese Zodiac Signs card game, also called the mouse cards, were popular and played during Lunar New Year in Penghu County and Lukang, Changhua County, where I grew up. However, this game is losing its popularity with the technological Innovation. I decided to redesign the cards so it could attract young generations to play and also teach them Arabic Numerals, Earthly Branches and Taiwanese animals.

這個台灣生肖牌遊戲,也稱作老鼠牌,流傳於澎湖和彰化鹿港附近的過年賭博遊戲。由於科技發達,這款遊戲逐漸消退。因此,我打算重新設計和加入阿拉伯數字、天干地支和台灣動物,來吸引年輕人玩生肖牌。

ART DIRECTOR
Dermot Mac Cormack
YEAR
2020
ROLE
Illustration
Brand Identity
Packaging
HISTORY OF THE CARD GAME

The zodiac card game, also known as the mouse cards, was traditionally played for gambling during the Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Around 1950, some factories had been producing this card game ever since. These cards shaped as rectangle and are similar to the Khorol game, which is played in Mongolia. The game rules are easy to play with because the rules are similar to Mahjong – one of the most popular games among Asia countries. This card game is easy to learn and plays an important role of connecting family members together during the celebration of New Year’s Eve.
卡牌歷史

生肖牌,又稱老鼠牌,是在農曆過年期間,用來賭博的傳統打牌遊戲。

1950年至今,就已經有些工廠就開始生產此類的遊戲卡牌。這些方形的牌蒙古的諾日布牌很相似。這個牌玩起來簡單上手,因為玩法和最熱門的牌類遊戲 – 麻將,極為相似。這個遊戲學起來淺顯易懂,也是過年夜跟家庭成員聯繫感情的重要道具。
THE NEW OLD GAME

Since the cards themselves have already established an iconic visuals, I created a graphic system that visualises each animal easily without adding too many colors.

The idea was to redesign and modernised this existing game, but keep the classic look and feel. Since this card game was played mostly in Taiwan, I picked twelve animals from Taiwan. To maintain the consistency, I keep the main elements from the game, such as the blue backgrounds with red and yellow spots, rectangle shapes and the mirroring animals. Furthermore, I added both Arabic numerals and Earthly Branches systems on the corners to let players learn the orders of the traditional Chinese timing system. 
新式傳統牌

有鑒於牌面已經建立經典的視覺元素,我設計出一套系統能清楚顯示每隻動物,又不會增加太多顏色感覺很雜亂。

我的設計理念是想保留原有傳統的視覺元素和氛圍,也同時讓這原有的遊戲更現代化。基於這款遊戲大多是台灣人在使用,我挑選了十二隻台灣原生動物。為保持一致性,我保留幾樣主要視覺元素,例如:在藍色背景帶有紅點和黃點、方正型狀和鏡面反射的動物。除此之外,我也在邊緣處增加阿拉伯數字和天干系統,讓玩家能學習中國傳統的計時系統。

HOVER ON THE CARDS TO SEE ALL ZODIAC ANIMALS

THE FINAL RESULT

The final look is a vintage wood block style to represent the traditional aspects and a modern visual system to maintain consistency.

In order to introduce this traditional card game to new players, I created a package with a circular folded catalog that is bilingual. In order to match with the idea of the classic great circle of the Earthly Branches with animal zodiac signs, the catalog shows the introduction of the game, game rules and the order of twelve animal zodiac signs in a circular shape.
最終樣貌

最終的牌面是利用木版畫去呈現傳統風格,以及一套現代感的視覺系統保持一致性。

為了向新玩家解釋這款年代久遠的卡牌遊戲,我設計圓形折疊式的雙語遊戲目錄。為了因應傳統十二生肖和天干地支圓盤的樣子,我在雙面設計了遊戲規則、介紹、生肖地支的解釋和十二生肖圖。