Strangest Google Swag Ever: Chinese Postcards That Look Like This

Returning to the office after Thanksgiving, I found a small package from Google China waiting for me at my desk. I opened it up to discover that it was a booklet from Google China's Corporate Social Responsibility team, and a stack of postcards. The items describe the 2010 Google China Social Innovation Cup, in which Google doled out renminbi to university students who had "grassroots, innovative solutions" to pressing social issues.

Now, I'm not knocking the idea of giving 28 teams of college kids money to do good. That's obviously a fine and worthy thing of Google to do.

But I couldn't help noticing that something about the postcards got lost in translation. Or maybe the design is just really terrible. For years, I thought that "desktop publishing" look had gone out with Regis Philbin shiny ties. Now I come to find out the whole aesthetic was just lurking in China! To my eyes, these postcards are like a throwback to Microsoft Publisher 1.0, or maybe that Apple IIe layout program PrintShop. I'm not even sure the Booster's club for my hometown Ridgefield High School Spudders could create postcards quite this... ugly odd.

And don't tell me the Chinese don't have good design sense. Just check out this flickr set of gorgeous Chinese graphic posters.

In any case, here I present ten of my favorites from the Google postcard collection with the English text included on the back. If you ask me, this design sensibility deserves to be a meme.

0501a_sm.jpg
Presented by

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In