Ideate This: Korean Japchae

Sweet potato noodles stir-fried with meat, vegetables and soy sauce.

When it comes to advertising, sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. That is definitely the case with a random object advertising project. For this project, I chose a random object and brainstormed to come up with an advertising concept, visual design and tagline. I then created a prototype illustration magazine ad for the object. In this post, I will discuss my brainstorming process and share my final thought on the design and tagline.


  • Name of Product
  • A paragraph about your research into the product
  • Your concept
  • Headline
  • Description of visual
  • Visual solution (sketch or computer rendering)

Think creatively and focus on uniqueness and what is your own perspective of this product. Walk the viewer through your research and design thinking. When you have your product’s unique selling proposition, differentiate your product from the rest. Focus more on creating a unique concept and less on the final ad design.


Korean Japchae


Japchae is a sweet and savory Korean stir fry made with sweet potato noodles (glass noodles), vegetables and seasoned with soy sauce, sugar and sesame seeds. It is an essential dish for traditional holidays and special occasions. Jamie with Drive Me Hungry has the best Korean Japchae recipe.


Showcase the fresh ingredients that make up the dish and highlight the sweet and savory taste.


Korean Japchae: Sweet. Savory. Delicious


For this project, I created an illustration of the Japchae dish in a bowl. I placed the bowl close to the center of the page. I highlighted the fresh ingredients that make up the recipe in their original form around the bowl of Japchae. Fresh spinach in a bowl sitting on a piece of wood. Sesame seeds spilling onto the table from a small ramekin. Fresh garlic, onion and a carrot on the table next to the bowl of Japchae. I also chose the words “Sweet. Savory. Delicious.” at the bottom of the page as a hint to the completed dish. I also added “KOREAN Japchae” in hand lettering inside a border in the upper right corner to complete the ad.

Ink Illustration

Final Thoughts

The process of working on this illustration was really exciting because it is a product that I wouldn’t normally choose. So instead of playing it safe it really challenged my creativity and forced me into thinking outside of my comfort zone which resulted in a beautiful piece!

There are a few color choices that I would make if I were to turn this into a color illustration. I would add a glass of wine to give a contrasting element. A red wine would look nice on a neutral tone of tablecloth. Red or another rich color for the tablecloth would give an interesting and vibrant look, especially to create more depth in the illustration. Pairing a red tablecloth with a white wine would be a nice element to the illustration. However, it may also not provide enough contrast with the rest of the elements. Possibly adding a few other background elements like plants or flowers would give it more interest as well.

The best way to improve this design would be by tweaking the final illustration just a bit. Working in Illustrator or Procreate on my iPad would allow me maximum flexibility and creativity, which helps guide what kinds of elements I want in the composition. This gives me the opportunity to test out a variety of objects while still maintaining consistency across the illustration. That said, there’s no right answer to reworking an illustration. It’s just a trial-and-error process and working digitally allows you more flexibility to test out different compositions.

What would you change? I would love your feedback on what could be improved in the comments below.

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