In an effort to appeal to younger people, the state-run Chunghwa Post is to give its traditional green and red mailboxes a makeover by embellishing them with cartoon characters.
Established in 1896, Chunghwa Post’s mailboxes date back to the 32nd year of the Qing Dynasty’s Guangxu Emperor era, which is equivalent to 1906 in the Western calendar. It has been 41 years since the company last changed the colors of its mailboxes from green, yellow and light blue to only green and red.
“Over the past 119 years, the appearance of our mailboxes have undergone several design changes, but they usually remained green. The two-slot standing mailboxes painted either red or green have not changed since 1973,” a Chunghwa Post spokesman said.
Photo: Huang Li-hsiang, Taipei Times
However, new Chunghwa Post chairman Philip Ong (翁文祺) is determined to bring about bold new changes.
The company is looking for ideal locations near Taipei’s Beimen (北門) area in Ximending (西門町), the National Palace Museum and the Zhongxiao Dunhua (忠孝敦化) area to install the newly designed mailboxes, which feature young female mail carriers as cartoon characters.
It follows the success of the Taiwan Railways Administration’s train carriages that are painted with a cartoon figure, nicknamed “Miss Taiwan Railway” (鐵道少女).
Horizons Press Co, the designer of Chunghwa Post’s cartoon figures, said there are three main characters: a mail carrier, post office manager and office-based employee.
“The characters also incorporate local cultures and specialties. For instance, the mailboxes to be installed at Beimen feature pictures of the Taipei Beimen Post Office and Qing Dynasty governor Liu Mingchuan (劉銘傳),” Horizons Press said.
The design for Ximending depicts the area’s famous Red House (紅樓), as well as street artists and graffiti, while the mailboxes intended for the Zhongxiao Dunhua area feature people shopping.
The mailboxes to be installed near the National Palace Museum are designed with national treasures and Qing Dynasty emperors in mind, it added.
Horizons Press said on the side of the new mailboxes would be reminders, such as “please attach the stamp correctly,” “please do not seal the envelope with a staple” and “please seal the envelope tight.”
“The new mailboxes will still maintain the same shape and slot design as the previous model. They are pretty much the same, except that the new ones are covered with a large image featuring the cartoon characters,” it said.
Chunghwa Post collection and delivery section chief Lin Huang-cheng (林煌城) said the designs are expected to be finalized by the end of the week and the new mailboxes could be installed as early as next month.
“If the new mailboxes receive a largely favorable response from the public, we might consider bringing them to more places across the country,” Lin said.
“However, given that the public is more used to the old red and green mailboxes, the painted version is likely to only be installed near popular tourist attractions or landmarks,” he said.
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