Cover Show off your own style with these unique red packet designs (Photo: Courtesy of Rosewood)

We’ve rounded up some of the most unique and customisable red packets in Hong Kong to give this Chinese New Year

When it comes to lai see, also known as lucky envelopes, red packets or hong bao that are stuffed with cash and passed around during Chinese New Year, it’s not just about what’s inside. The envelopes themselves say a lot about you, so why not go all out with unique and bespoke designs to make sure they don’t get lost in the pile?

See also: Lai See Etiquette: The Dos And Don'ts

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Rosewood’s 2021 red packets are designed by Ruth Chao, a local graphic designer who also designed some of the city’s best branding visuals including designs for Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel, LMO Freshly Baked by Richard Ekkebus and more. 

The design is themed “New Year. A Vision of Hope” and features a hexagon which symbolises balance and completeness. Available for purchase online, each box contains 20 packets.

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Joys Red Packets

Joys Red Packet offer a huge assortment of red envelopes with designs that cover everything from double happiness and longevity to fortune and “cool greetings,” some of which translate roughly into “a little something” and “big fat wallet.” Bespoke designs can also be ordered with your family surname or company information for corporate handouts. Don’t have a Chinese surname? Joys Red Packet can also create red packets with English initials from A to Z, complete with a golden faux buckle on the envelope.

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EcoArt takes the cake when it comes to the fanciest and most high-tech red packets. Not only do they have intricate, colourful designs of “Bright Blessings” and “Flower Clusters”, they’ve even implemented AR (augmented reality) into some lai see packets that spring to life on video when viewed with your smartphone. The regular, two-dimensional designs include those of the Chinese Zodiac, funny cartoons and nostalgic Hong Kong icons like neon signs.

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Custom red packets by Photobook Hong Kong

If you’ve always wanted to put your face or family on a red packet, look no further than Photobook Hong Kong. While their main business is photobook production, they also have a slew of other products that you can customise, including lai see packets that you can insert photos into. Choose from “Kindred Spirits” and “Family Delight,” which allows for an image of your family on the front and personalised message on the back.

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From geometric, iridescent designs of majestic creatures to classic and traditional designs for the Year of the Ox, SpecialtyPaperSupply has a full range of unique Chinese New Year red packets that’ll definitely rise above the crowd. Keep it simple with clean motifs including Chinese ingots (aka. gold nuggets) and flowers, or go all out with butterflies, tassels and laser-cut lace edges.

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House of Avenues

Footwear brand, House of Avenues' Every Year Have Fish red packets is a fun design inspired by the well-known CNY greeting which translates to "May there be abundance every year". The phrase's literal translation is "Every year have fish", hence the red packet's goldfish design all over the envelope. 

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See also: Chinese New Year 2021: The Best Dining Out And Delivery Options In Hong Kong

This article was originally published on January 14, 2020 and was updated on January 27, 2021.