Jon Chapman-Smith founded design studio as a one man band straight out of university. Having grown up on the other side of the world on New Zealand’s west coast, Jon would go onto study graphic design in Auckland where he got his first real taste of design, working on flyers for clubs and album covers. “The work just grew from there,” he tells us, explaining how Fuman came along shortly after. Today, the studio is formed of five multi-talented designers working across identities, print, packaging and book design; its clients ranging from small boutiques to large scale corporate identities.
Its latest project sees Fuman promote a paper range by Arjowiggins, but not in your wholly typical way. Finding a unique way to show off the paper samples, Jon tells us, “We saw an opportunity to push beyond designing a promotion just for the paper and create a promotional tool that would be kept by design studios and used an an ongoing reference that showcases premium print techniques, instead of just being a promo thrown away after reading.” The publication features 20 original artworks using stock specifications as content for each.
It’s not the first project of this ilk that we’ve seen over the years. GF Smith’s paper sample books are famous for its tactile ingenuity, designed by the London-based Made Thought. Fisk founder Bijan Berahimi, on the other hand, created Joon as an ode to his base in Portland, making use of the specimens at family-run business Browing Printing. Projects such as these have presented a unique opportunity, to create a printed project which can be practically anything a designer wants it to be, as long as it displays the quality of the paper centre stage.
In turn, Fuman came up with Touchy Feely, a design book which showcases the quality of paper company Rives. On the communication of this new tome, Jon adds, “First of all we want our audience to want to touch it and feel it.” Hence the title. “We want them to have an emotional response to the paper and print. It’s not only a promotional tool but more so a tool that they can continue to use, to refer to and show clients.” Designed for long-lasting wandering fingers and eyes to explore, the book puts forward a myriad of spreads for the reader to see what can be achieved using the range.
For Jon, the highlight in the project was seeing it come to life. “It’s not often you get to explore so many print techniques within the same job. It was awesome to see each page print.” Utilising processes such as offset printing, four colour processes, double hit black, fluoros, multiple spot colour, hot foil stamping, embossing and blind embossing, the book also features every kind of ink you can imagine from the fluorescent to the metallic. The spine is also soft glued so the pages can be pulled out and enjoyed as individual artworks, or as a whole book. Touchy Feely does what it says on the tin – it makes you want to touch it.
As for the future, Fuman are in the process of working on new packaging and identity projects, which the studio is doubly looking forward to coming to life. Joining Fuman’s lengthy list of clients from bars, hotels, restaurants and of course, paper companies, across New Zealand, we look forward to seeing what they come up with.