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Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2012

ON DESIGN

Ideas of note


Note pads that snap into action

We revisit Postalco for yet another piece of stationery we've fallen in love with. This time it's the brand's new environmentally friendly Snap Pad.

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This clipboard-like folder allows you to make a note pad by recycling the reverse sides of used sheets of paper. Make holes in the tops of sheets with an ordinary hole puncher, then insert and clip them into the Snap Pad. Each pad can hold 100 sheets, and the protective cover flips back on itself so that it doesn't get in the way. You can also thread string through the top flap to hang it up.

Covered in pressed cotton in charcoal with gray, indigo with blue, signal red with orange, and lime green with yellow, an A4 Snap Pad costs ¥3,990 and an A5 version is ¥2,940. They are available at select shops and in Postalco's store in Tokyo's Kyobashi district. You can also order them by email via the company website.

Postalco fans will be happy to hear that until Feb. 16, Creation Gallery G8 in Ginza is showcasing "Wheel Printer," a new kind of printer invented by Postalco cofounder Mike Abelson, who will occasionally be on hand to show visitors how it works.

Postalco: postalco.net. Creation Gallery G8; rcc.recruit.co.jp/g8.

A little birdie told us about ear picks

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It wasn't until we moved to Japan that I discovered the importance of cleaning ears with an ear pick, and based on my wife's constant use of one, it really should be recognized as a national pastime.

They are so popular, you can get them in the ¥100 store. But instead of settling for something cheap and generic, how about trying out H Concept's new and fun take on the item?

Designed by Noriko Hashida, the Birdie is made of a rubbery material, which means that it will not only last much longer than those cheap bamboo models, but it's also easier to wash. Available in black, blue, orange and white, the Birdie — shaped, as the name suggests, like a long-necked bird — is ¥735 and can be ordered online from H Concept's web store.

H Concept: h-concept.jp.

Making a book lunch

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If you need to mark a lot of pages in books but find that using plain sticky notes or bookmarks is just too boring, why not add some flavor with Sandwich Tags?

Yuse Design's lineup of sticky notes come, as you've probably guessed, in the form of sandwich ingredients — slices of lettuce, tomatoes and bacon. Once you've used enough of them, your book ends up looking like a fully loaded B.L.T.

There are three different sets of the Sandwich Tags — the BLT at ¥1,260 (bacon, lettuce and tomato), the LT at ¥525 (lettuce and tomato), and B (slices of bacon only) at ¥840. All are sold on Amazon Japan.

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Notes on housing

If Sandwich Tags are a bit too whacky for your needs, Naruse Inokuma Architects' Ie Tags (House Page Markers) make a stylish alternative. A couple of years ago, these were just a prototype, and the company's original idea was to create the page markers from recycled housing timber. Finding a way to reprocess housing timber into paper is still in the research stage, but in the meantime Naruse Inokuma Architects have released other ie tags in pink, light pink, orange, dark green, light green and blue.

Unlike pads of ordinary sticky notes, these look good on the desk, particularly in groups — you can create a miniature village or street. They're available for ¥300 a stack and can be ordered from the Free Park Life Style Design online store and from the Suck UK online store.

Another bright idea

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More functional than your average flashlight, the LED Andon Olight is a portable light source that looks great when used as a regular lamp. The flexible strap design allows users to sling the light over a shoulder, or even round the neck, and point it like a torch. The strap is also curved, giving the torch the silhouette of a light bulb when it's set down and used as a lamp.

It's environmentally friendly, running on a rechargable battery, and has a sleep-timer that will automatically turn it off after an hour.

The LED Andon Olight costs ¥15,750 and is produced by Twinbird and distributed by Idea International, which means you'll find it in all of Idea's shops. It can also be purchased online from Idea's webstore.

Idea International: www.idea-onlineshop.jp.


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