Sumo: the board range with a Japanese soul
Posted in Graphic Specialities
This article tells the conceptual development of a graphic project to demonstrate the superior quality board of Sumo. A product which reaches a remarkable thickness: 3 mm for the black and white versions!
What is Sumo, the high thickness board
Firstly, let’s remember the distinguishing characteristics of the Sumo product. Most noticeable of course is its high thickness, 1mm in all the colours (blue, red, light grey, dark grey and kraft), 1.5, 2 and up to 3mm in the classic black and white shades.
Moreover, Sumo is characterized by its consistency of surface colour that extends all the way through to the heart of this bulky solid dyed board meaning that an elegant cross section is revealed when and where ever its cut edge is exposed.
How to enhance Sumo: printing and processing
To effectively use print processes on a board as chunky as Sumo, it is necessary to consider its physical characteristics and enhance it in the best way.
Printing techniques that are suitable for Sumo are hot foil, letterpress, laser, silk-screen or digital printing in UV large format, all these print techniques and finishes guarantee impressive results and great effects.
Not forgetting the converting processes, for example the “v” cut that enables a fold on board even up to 3mm thick. This can add a refined angle for a fresh and sophisticated style for packaging and catalogue covers.
For a fantastic example of printing and finishing on Sumo, continue reading and discover what we have achieved with our ultra-thick board.
Which is the best theme to present Sumo? Kamizumo!
Before examining the technical aspects required, first let’s follow the conceptual map that takes Sumo to … Kamizumo!
The name of the product range – Sumo – immediately brings to mind the Japanese culture, and in particular the famous sport practiced by wrestlers of a certain “thickness”.
Continuing to reflect on Japan, we associate it with the elegance and style as the Land of the Rising Sun. A culture synonymous with forms of art and design, including the art form of creating objects from a material that has a simple and noble soul: paper.
Combining the concept of the paper and the classic Japanese wrestling style, what do we find? Kamizumo, the board game to replicate a Sumo challenge between players made of paper.
Sumo Board and Kamizumo
Kamizumo translates literally as “Paper Sumo” – and consists exactly that – a paper version of the most iconic sport of Japan and the namesake of our thick board range, Sumo.
Since its origins in the Edo period of the seventeenth century, Kamizumo accompanied the rise of Sumo as a popular entertainment in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Inspired by Japanese culture and the entertainment of Kamizumo, we have created this piece to give direct experience with our Sumo.
The players represent a team – Honoo (Fire) or Daichi (Earth) – and choose a card wrestler with human shape, each embellished with its relevant Japanese symbolism.
The wrestlers are positioned in the arena, one in front of the other. The players challenge each other by tapping the surface with their fingers to push the rival out of the circle or to make it fall.
Finishing and printing techniques have been carefully selected to decorate the wrestlers. Discover the production values and bring your favourite character to victory.
Watch the video by Chris Jai Alex on Youtube to see this Japanese game in action and understand just how resilient SUMO board needs to be.
The project: Favini’s Kamizumo
Favini’s Kamizumo was developed from the desire to show how it is possible to enhance the thick Sumo board whilst remaining consistent with the style and soul of the product.
The Kamizumo project combines Japanese and Occidental art with elegance and vivacity. The fun and curious board game, traditional to the Land of the Rising Sun, is combined with the graphics on the cards depicting the spirits of Japan, making them similar to those that children from all over the world usually exchange.
However, what does the piece include this tool produced in limited edition? A box made using Sumo becomes the “dojo”, or playing arena that by tapping the fingers vibrates the surface moving the wrestler to push its opponent out of the ring or to make it fall.
The box contains 8 cards to form the die-cut figurines, four per team.
To create the box that becomes the playing board, the v-cut technique was used. Sumo is engraved to obtain a sharp 90° angle, the groove allows to fold the thick board, transforming it into a multifunctional box.
To see the V-grooving on Sumo, click and watch the video: The making of v-grooving on Sumo.
The box, that is already itself a valued piece is protected by a case, printed with graphics reminiscent of the Sumo swatch, it also contains the eight exceptional die-cut board wrestlers.
The visual book “Kamizumo”
Inspired by the box which contains the 8 characters, we also created an edition for the Sumo visual book.
In this version the cover was made using a v-cut technique and again uses the same method to create the grooves which position the elastic for the booklet closure.
Kamizumo, for the visual book edition, contains two cards representing the captains of the Daichi and Honoo teams: the monster dragon Katsu Zilla is on Sumo Dark Grey and the burning volcano boy Hiko Kazan on the Sumo Red.
To start your challenge is simple, just download the game board with this link: www.favini.com/gameboard.