Seeing as the initial brief was targeted towards researching the standard home letterboxes I think it’s important to compare the character of these next to that of the free standing post boxes. I read an interesting webpage today where someone had researched what the two characters on each of the letterboxes means…
The two red characters often spray painted or put on from stickers are actually two old Hong Kong coins. The Chinese believe that pairs are lucky, which is why there are two on each letterbox. I’d be interested to know when they say ‘the Chinese believe pairs are lucky’ whether that’s a custom extended by the people of Hong Kong, or if it is just a Chinese influence that marks the postboxes in the same way it does to those on the street like how they’ve been painted green.
The belief if that these coins will bring luck to the owner of the letterbox.
Furthermore of interest, the website suggests a man near Central who makes these symbols for you, and they can be purchased in pantone colours to match your letterbox. Knowing this, why are all the ones I’ve seen around the street red? I hope to find his shop if it’s still open and ask him about the success of other colours.