UPS unveils ‘Prosperous Daruma’ Express envelope design in Japan

Winning art highlights what it means to ‘Be Unstoppable’
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We’re up to some cool things: Students of the Vantan Design Institute in Japan showcased their creativity in a UPS design competition, where we challenged artists to define what it means to “Be Unstoppable” as a small or medium business.

And the first-place prize? The winning design was printed on UPS Express envelopes and distributed exclusively across the region for a limited time.

Meet the winner, Yudai Takahashi, a second-year student at the institute. With his major in design and illustration, he took home the gold (or Express envelopes) with his “Prosperous Daruma” design.

With deep symbolism in Japan, the black Daruma doll represents a “roly-poly.” The weighted base allows the doll to bounce back up when pushed, emphasizing resilience and perseverance. The black coloring in the Daruma doll is also believed to invite fortune and promote stability regarding a business’s cash flow. 

“I chose Daruma as the design visual to give a sense of Japanese-ness. I thought black Daruma was very auspicious for supporting small businesses,” he said. “I also left the black eyes of Daruma blank to allow customers to draw them with their hopes and wishes into the envelope. I created this design with the hope that it would make the recipients feel more cheerful and positive.”

I am very honored that UPS chose my design. I hope that the customers who use the envelope will feel as positive and forward-looking as possible,” the winner said.

At UPS, we are proud to celebrate the Asian community’s rich cultural heritage.

Did you know: Our employee-led Asian Business Resource Group (ABRG) includes nearly 900 active members across seven international chapters. And outside of our employees, The UPS Foundation invested nearly $1.5 million to advance initiatives supporting the AAPI community globally in 2022. Last year we put AAPI-owned small business in the spotlight with our Proudly Unstoppable initiative.

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