I decided to design packaging for Chinese cleavers. Typically, Chinese knives are relegated to a pedestrian status, as opposed to European and Japanese brands which corner the high-end markets. My company is named Sah Knives—after the surname of my grandfather, a retired Chinese chef and my inspiration—and would elevate the quality and desirability of Chinese knives and culture to the forefront of the professional knife market.
My first task was creating a mark which resembled the red zhuwen stamps found in China. The mark features the characters of my grandfather’s surname in the middle.
I wanted the packaging to be a simple box; an organic material which contrasts with the harsh metal of the knives. In order to stay away from a Japanese look I chose to utilize patterns and borders drawn from Chinese textiles and architecture. I also engraved the outside with Chinese characters detailing the type of knife within.
As for color, white is lighter and more delicate and thus used for the lightest vegetable knife. Red is a bold color for the all-purpose knife. Heavy black is used for the thick bone cleaver.