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Christine Fwu Combines Handmade Techniques and Modern Aesthetics

Christine Fwu Designer Handmade

By Emily Carr University

Posted on November 03, 2020 | Updated November 03, 2020, 11:50AM

The designer and recent ECU grad researches the history of printed materials to enliven her work in the present.

Christine Fwu (BDes 2020) has been busy.

During her time at Emily Carr University, Christine was Editor in Chief for the Woo, bringing the creative student-run magazine to life, as well as a Designer and Researcher for the Health Design Lab. Since then, she’s tackled graduating during the pandemic, commercial clients, and finishing up her grad project, Pressed Ephemera.

With an interest in the intrinsic meaning and beauty in handmade processes, Christine approaches her work by leveraging critical thinking and history.

“As a designer, I love to find ways to incorporate handmade processes in any project that I take on,” Christine said. “I believe that technology is truly amazing in putting new visions to life, but going back to using your hands to make something really gets you to think more carefully about how and why you make.”

You can see the handmade quality in Pressed Ephemera — the physicality of pressing a stamp to create patterns, fading ink dependent on pressure, and the human touch. Christine explains that Pressed Ephemera came to life through her immense interest in handmade and printed materials along with the old styles of design and aesthetics that were created from the past.

Christine Fwu Recent Project Grad Thesis

Christine’s interest in the handmade extended to the experimental student-run magazine, Woo.

“My favourite issue while working on the Woo as the Editor in Chief would be Extra,” she said. “My Creative Director, Triet Pham (BDes 2020) and I set high hopes to create a publication like no other; we wanted this one to really stand out and embody the word extra.”

This was the beginning of Christine’s exploration into the old styles of design and researching printed artifacts.

“I became intrigued by the idea of a printed book and the possibilities of what it could be,” Christine explained. “Triet and I wanted the viewers to experience the book like opening a present, and interact with each fold of the poster wrap while visually taking in the design, to then open up to the book that is wrapped inside.”

Christine continued to explain that the execution and design of the poster wrap included a lot of hand folding and testing before the prototype was made.

“This process, like many handmade processes, required an immense amount of intention and care,” she said.

Christine Fwu Woo Publication Extra

Since graduating, Christine has taken on a commercial project for Venport Foods’ new brand identity. The olive oil labels showcase her immense attention to detail and love of the handmade as evident an homage to the symbology of a rooster in the hand-lettered Venport logo.

“The Barcelos rooster is a Portuguese symbol for ‘love of life’,” Christine shared on Instagram. While COVID-19 has slowed down export, it’s possible we may see these labels in Vancouver stores one day.

“I had an amazing time self-directing the project and I am quite proud of how they turned out,” she said. “Creating these labels has also made me realize that I am especially interested in packaging design, and I find a lot of joy in creating visual identities for new products.”

As for the future?

“I would love to work for a studio that cares a lot about their clients and their stories, and puts intention, meaning, and care in developing each and every project,” she said.

To see more of Christine’s work, visit her website or Instagram to connect.

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This story originally published on the Emily Carr University Alumni Association's website.

Christine Fwu Olive Oil