When we were coming up with ideas for the new Gift Box, we knew we had to approach Fictionist Studio's Joanne and David to bring something exciting to the table!
The result, a one-of-a-kind gift box, veiled with the well-wishes and introspection of people all over the world, ready to be in your hands. Here, we have the Shapes Of You.
Read on to learn more about the thought process behind the design, the challenges they faced and more:
Hi Joanne and David! We’re so excited to have you here! How about a quick introduction before we get into the nitty gritty?
J: Hello, I’m Joanne, founder and creative director at Fictionist Studio — a boutique, multi-disciplinary creative outfit, specialising in all platforms that involve the birth of an idea. I love words, sushi and abstract art, not specifically in that order.
D: Hello, I’m David, a graphic designer at Fictionist Studio. I enjoy exploring various facets of design, be it from type design to branding to papercraft.
The Fictionist team really went all out for this year’s Mossery Gift Box! What was the thought process behind the concept and design?
J: The Shapes of You concept is really a response to the unprecedented times in 2020. As creative practitioners, we are especially more sensitive to what’s going on around us. The uncertainties of 2020 prompted us to think more deeply about our design process and how we can embed a sense of meaning or purpose within our vocation. That’s when we felt that we had to go beyond designing just a beautiful gift box.
D: As our team quarantined at home during our nationwide Movement Control Order, we realised how easy it was to be sucked into the abyss of tracking statistics. Each number added to the tally also added to our feelings of hopelessness, and being in isolation like that did not help at all! When Mossery approached us for the year-end gifting campaign, we decided we needed to give people more than a beautiful gift box, but also a reminder of togetherness.
D: We wanted to let the community play a more active role in creating this year’s gift box. Through a data-driven design approach and the help of Mossery’s enthusiastic community, we co-created a gift box based on the answers of the Mossery community, creating many shapes from data — which ultimately make up the Shapes of You.
What were the biggest challenges faced with the Shapes of You campaign?
D: I think designing to fit the data from 20,000 answers onto the gift box in an aesthetically pleasing way was a challenge, but once we got over that initial hurdle, the rest came naturally.
J: What we always try to do with each project in the studio is to stretch its limits in whatever and whichever way possible, that is of course within necessary means. When the gift box design was done, we then thought to ourselves what can we do next to elevate the concept further? That was when we decided that we can translate those shapes into 3D paper sculptures and they can be used as props for the gifting campaign.
J: The tactility of paper and working with our hands to transform 2D digital shapes into real-life 3D ones was creatively rewarding to us. This process of translation did not come without any challenges though. We designed over 145 dielines which needed to be hand-assembled into the 3D shapes. The shapes with curves were especially tricky — assembling 1 shape can take up to as long as 1 hour!
With how things have unfolded, are there any insights from executing this year’s Mossery Gift Box?
J: We learnt that patience goes a long way when it comes to non-instantaneous methods of production. I’m referring to the fabrication of the 3D paper shapes as this is non-digital and we don’t have the undo and redo command at our fingertips. We made a lot of prototypes to test optimal sizes and angles and it paid off in the end.
We’re excited to show our collaboration with the Fictionist team with the world. Any words for our community members that are eager to get their hands on this Gift Box?
D: We do hope that you enjoy the vibrant gift box! Do take the time to browse the data represented by the shapes, we personally found it really fascinating to see how the community had answered the questions.
Now let’s get into Fictionist itself! What’s the story and mission behind Fictionist Studio?
J: I voted for the first time during the 2013 Malaysian elections. The very act of exercising my democratic right somehow triggered me to move back to Malaysia (I have been working in other countries before then) and I thought to myself that perhaps it was time to contribute back to my own country; even if it's just a beautifully designed business card.
J: In 2014, I established Fictionist Studio, working solo from my bedroom which I set up as a makeshift working space and started taking on projects. 6 years on, I have a small team and we've designed more than just business cards and I hope that in a way, be it small or big, we've woven ourselves into the ever-growing creative fabric in Malaysia.
With the pandemic happening this year, how did the team keep up with adapting to the new normal?
J: We were still productive when we were working remotely, though, nothing beats face-to-face brainstorms and discussions. We were constantly in communication, video conferencing a few times throughout the day to check in on each other. Since we returned to the studio, we started making simple meals in order to minimise eating out and that has been a nice bonding activity. It has also allowed us to take a break from our computers.
After so many years in the design industry, the Fictionist team has probably used every single medium and art tool out there! Do you have a favourite and do you have one that you are looking forward to trying out for the first time?
J: Haha, I beg to differ. I’m sure they are art tools out there we have yet to experiment with. I love working with paper — there’s a keen and palpable relationship one has when working with this medium, almost meditative yet surprising in its own way as you shape it into tangible forms.
D: Type design sits in a sweet intersection between design and art, so naturally it is a favourite medium of mine. However, I do enjoy the tactility and structural quality that papercraft brings, and would be interested to explore more in that aspect.
Last but not least, where do you see Fictionist in the next 5 years?
J: If anything 2020 has taught us, it is to live in the present. I don’t have a specific roadmap for the next 5 years for the studio but ideally, I would like the practice to be more than just a graphic design or branding studio. I personally love Es Devlin and her practice — it would be a dream if we can design sets or venture into scenography. Personally, I’d like to write more and have my writings published.
Trivia question! Now that the Fictionist team is done with this project, what is one thing you’re anticipating to do before moving on to the next project?
D: We have plenty of ideas churning around the studio, and while we take breathers between projects, the excitement of new ideas will always keep us on our toes.
For every medium Mossery book purchased, you will receive this limited edition gift box and a sticker sheet inside! To learn more about our Gift Box, click here.
With the gifting season around the corner, order your gifts today to make sure your receiver get this in the mail!
Remember to send us an unboxing video on Instagram @mosseryco so we can share it with the world!