The Making Of: QR Ang Bao Series

Hello, it's been a while since the last update. One of my goals for this year is to journal and create more works, so this blog post shall be a start!


I'll be sharing with you the Behind-The-Scenes of the making of QR Ang Bao, which is a project that I have worked on with Roger under WeyWay Studio!


Step 01:
Riding on the w@Ve$~

We knew we wanted to do something that is related to Chinese New Year just so to ride on the waves to make our designs relevant when uploaded. Roger immediately suggested for us to work on the QR Ang Bao as Singapore is moving towards a cashless society.


[side track]

I had received my very first QR Ang Bao last year and I gotta say that it felt really odd because:

  • I had never received such a small, squarish red packet

  • It lacks the thickness of a red packet stuffed with notes

  • I had no way to peek and know immediately the amount I was given

  • I felt like it was wrong of me to scan the QR to receive the “payouts”


Thoughts of my first experience with QR Ang Bao ran through my mind (see above) and without hesitation, I agreed to his direction.


With more and more news popping up, we knew we were on the right track and hence we moved on to the next step.



Step 02:
Understanding how QR code works

Roger found this website and WOAH, we are loving the content that's being put out! The writer has shared his experiments of damaging the QR codes to find out how much he can distort while retaining its readability.


Despite it being written in 2013, the writer's sharing remains very valuable to us even after almost a decade. Digesting his sharing had saved us a lot of troubles. Equipped with sufficient knowledge, it was about time to work our brains!



Step 03:
Wrecking Our Brains

Yay, how exciting! We had a few rounds of ideation sessions, three to be exact. During which, we tried to throw out as many ideas as we can. While majority of the ideas did not make the cut, we are rather thankful to have come up with three concepts that we quite like!

Following are some criteria that we kept in minds during the selection:

  • Easy to execute

  • Relatable

  • Understandable at first glance

  • Likely for someone to adopt



Step 04:
Being Safe Than Sorry

The chosen concepts involve 2 stages:

1. Distortion of QR code

2. Recovery of QR code


It was crucial for us to know that the concepts could work, hence we did some basic testing on Adobe Illustrator to find out if they pass the distortion and recovery test. The result was a big yes and off we went to the next step!



Step 05:
Keeping It Real

Before this project was actualised, we actually wanted to create our own QR, UI etc for the scanning and verification process but thankfully we scrapped that due to the lack of time and to also keep everything real and truthful.


After running down to DBS branch to secure the QR Ang Bao, we finally kickstarted the making process!


Count It was the easiest to execute amongst all. During the design process, we found out that the width of the $2 note is twice of its height, which makes it perfect to form the square QR code with four rectangular "notes"! Apart from that, QR code does not require a quiet zone (the white border), allowing us to maximise the size to the edge of the each note.


Solve It, on the other hand, was the hardest to execute as it requires a few layers: the reference layer, the connecting tabs, the split QR, the cover and the frame. The reference layer was kept in low contrast to guide receiver to solve the puzzle, and also to make sure that if the Solve It QR Ang Bao is torn out of frustration, the receiver will still not be able to scan the QR code in low contrast.


Colour It was relatively easy to execute as it involves inverting of fill to become outline. As the QR of the DBS QR Ang Bao is relatively small, when we blew it up to fill an A4 sheet and image traced it, the QR turns out to be quite an eye sore due to the rough edges. Majority of the time was spent on cleaning up the lines. As we noticed that if we were to only invert the fill to create outline, the kids receiving the sheet might colour the wrong areas. As such, a low contrast fill was added to guide the receiver the exact areas for colouring.

Step 06:
Communicating it

For communication, it comes in 3 parts: Video, Photos and Text.


Video:

As the QR code only works once, we had to have many practice rounds before the actual video shoot. The video was shot from a single angle, with as little cuts as possible to reduce disruptions and to keep the flow.


Photos:

The photos were shot rather simply in hopes to convey the design details. The key images are those that are in action and the before-after images are shot to show the distortion and recovery of QR codes.


Text:

Lastly, the text was crafted based on our personal experiences during Chinese New Year. Several rounds of revisions were also made to make it relate more to the audience. The project description begins with scenario (to relate to audience), followed by problem statement or opportunity statement and ending off with a question which the project is answering.



Step 07:
Showing Our Work

Here are the links to the final outcome:

Count It | Solve It | Colour It