Welcome to Ink.
Our role is simple: marketing and broadcasting for organizations and struggling entrepreneurs; in a fresh new perspective on service, Ink strives to alleviate poverty and address pressing social issues through sustainable social entrepreneurship and storytelling.
Welcome to Ink. We are a design firm dedicated to service through using the principles of social entrepreneurship.
Yunnan Tea Repackaging Project
We are repackaging tea for farmers in hardship in Yun'nan Province, China by writing their stories and making new designs. This is our first original service project that channels our abilities to iterate and communicate to giving back to the world.
Since its start a year ago, we have developed several new aspects to the project.
Click here to learn more.
Phase 2: Education and Sustainability
As of September 2016, the funds Ink raised through the Yunnan Tea Project is officially sponsoring two children of struggling families in the XiaoHuSai village, Bai and Zhang for 4000 RMB and 2000 RMB respectively, to attend the MengkuZhen elementary school. We are looking to sponsor more as the year goes.
Read about Bai and Zhang:
The Bai family is one of the poorest families among those in the village of Xiao Hu Sai. Their’s is a family of four- two young girls, and their mother and father. Both parents wake up at dawn to begin the tiring day of work, picking and processing the tea under all circumstances- from the searing sun and the chilling wind. These routine days seem endless to them, but both parents work determinedly in order to provide a better future for their kids. This desire stems from the fact that very little children in the village go to college, and neither one of the parents attended school past 4th grade, due to their families’ financial circumstances. This fuels their motivation to guarantee a college education for their kids.
When “Bai mom” was small, she lived in a village a couple hours away from Xiao Hu Sai, one that specialized in rubber rather than tea. Losing her father at age 2, and then her mother at age 12, she lived a very difficult life, especially having two sisters and three brothers. Having to look after the family and work to survive, she had little time to grief. Her older sister took over the responsibility of taking care of her. She wanted to carry some of the burden as well so she learned how to work at a very young age. She met her husband when he came to her village to find work, and they have now been married for over 10 years. Although she is happily married to him, she laments that she can only visit her old home once every 1-2 years.
In order to better provide for their family, both parents have attempted leaving the village to find work in other cities as the tea business is harsh and provides little reward. “Bai mom” travelled to Guangdong with her brother for two months just last year, but returned due to the stress from worrying about her children's’ well-being. “Bai dad” also left for a while to work as a railroad worker, but also returned as the pay wasn’t much better than being a tea farmer. After years of searching for a better job, both parents have succumbed and now stay at home and dedicate themselves to their tea despite the hardships so that their children may fulfill their dreams.
The two Bai children both currently attend school. The younger girl goes to elementary school in the village while the older girl (“Bai older kid”) attends middle school in Meng Ku Zhen, the town nearest to Xiao Hu Sai. Every Friday, one of her parents will make the 1 1/2 hour ride via motorcycle to pick her up from school for the weekend. School fees are a great financial burden for their family, and stress has been building up recently as their younger daughter will be joining her older sister in middle school.
Despite their circumstances, the Bai family has an incredibly inspiring attitude about their lives. While “Bai mom” is often saddened by her lack of education and culture, she rarely reminisces about her difficult past, choosing instead to focus on her kids and help them achieve the life she never had. Her hardworking nature reflects rightly on her kids; both are star students in their school, and work tirelessly to make their parents proud. However, they are not merely involved in academics but have hobbies they are passionate in as well. “Bai older kid” hopes to be a famous singer one day, a dream enthusiastically supported by her parents and her younger sister. This came as a surprise because the dream of becoming a singer is often discouraged beeves the rich families as the chances of making a living out of the career is highly slim. However, the parents are invested n their children’s well-being. From their financial circumstances to being able to fulfill their dreams. Lauded by teachers, “Bai older kid” is a dedicated and persevering young girl, working resolutely to reach her goal of becoming a singer and attending college, while recognizing and deeply appreciating her parents’ sacrifices. However, despite her ambition, hard work, and her parents’ unwavering devotion, their family is unsure of whether or not they will be financially capable of supporting her through college.
While this is the story of just one family in Xiao Hu Sai, countless others face similar predicaments. Our privileged position in society gives us the opportunity to help families like these, families whose big dreams are only outshone by their bigger hearts, whose relentless work may never translate into success, and who deserve much more than the hand that they were dealt.
Phase 3: Industrial Innovation
After revisiting XiaoHuSai in summer 2016 and observing the current tea roasting process, Ink designers became inspired to engineer a roasting glove with enforced functions to improve the process.
We are currently in the process of prototyping and brainstorming exciting new builds, which includes easily cleanable, carefully geometrically cut silicone sheets reinforced by a heat conducting second layer -- stay tuned!
Upon our visit to XHS in June 2017, we've decided to use a new design to better tell the story that we want to tell. This year, the Bai family has built a new floor in their house for tea-drying and invested in tea roasting facilities with our support for their daughters' eduction.
Salty! - Iodine deficiency campaign
Hani Coffee Co.
Hani Coffee Co. is a Yunnan-based social enterprise that offers fair price purchasing for the region's coffee farmers. It also facilitates high quality coffee roasting and production. Hani is committed to community empowerment.
Ink. designed Hani's Company Overview Packet in our partnership.
uibek Dairy Products
uibek Dairy Products is a Xinjiang-based social enterprise that is dedicated to empowering the local residents. uibek facilitates the production of a wide variety of diary products, from string cheese to greek yogurt.
Ink. designed uibek's website and refined the logo in our partnership.
Youth Global Leadership Summit
Our collaboration with YGLS Shanghai involves rebranding and systemizing the designs. Ink. built their website, designed their T-shirt, and redefined their visual identity. YGLS is a youth leadership summit that targets youth from schools interested in building leadership skills. Ink. focused on bringing out its goal of building leadership of youths through vibrant colors and an impactful logo.
Click here to learn more.
Our collaboration with CISSMUN involves creating the conference's theme art and a variety of merchandise. CISSMUN, a renowned Model UN Conference in Concordia International School Shanghai attracts delegates from all around the world. For CISSMUN's 7th annual session, Ink. worked on bringing out the "The Information Revolution" theme of this year's conference in the design.
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Our collaboration with the Zeitgeist Magazine involves doing the layout with the magazine staff. Zeitgeist Magazine is the student-run publication in Concordia that publishes students' works. Ink. focused on using bright colors to emphasize the creativity of youth on the cover. In the magazine, Ink. members did the layout for each article to match the topic of the article.
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Been There Bear
Our collaboration with Been There Bear focused on the logo design shown here, as well as the patterns and graphics involved in the project. Been There Bear is a project launched by a Shanghai-based charity called Home Sweet Home that supports homeless people around Shanghai and provides them with professional training as well as a place to live. Home Sweet Home focuses on teaching homeless people skills needed to improve their lives and therefore provides them with second chance at life. Ink focused on bringing out compassion through the advertisement and fused own ideas with requirements from the clients to produce the the best possible projects.
Our Photography Portfolio
Click here to view our photography portfolio.
We welcome any purchases of our photography and will provide printing if requested. We are also for hire for events photography.
Art & Design Portfolio
Wondering what kind of artistic talent is with Ink.? Take a look at our Art & Design Portfolio.
We are very proud to present these original works by Ink.'s artists.
These projects are what we're doing with our earnings. We are using our abilities to design, iterate, and repackage to help tea farmers in Yunnan Province, to get a better price for their tea. We are also in the process of finding a suitable school in Shanghai to build a computer lab for.
Click here to learn more about our original service projects.
Along with our hard work, we would also like to share our sweet moments of success with you.
The most important factor in facilitating unity in the world is communications. As students, we seek to make changes in our community through promoting clubs and activities, school announcements, and individual ideas. People are free to come to us with any idea that needs to be spread, and Ink will tap into the creativity of youth and create memorable and effective modes of expression.
In case you're wondering what else Ink. is able to do, take a look at our Original Portfolio pages that feature original works by Ink. artists!