We've always had a thing for Japan and Japanese Stationery but this last week and a half has gotten to be ridiculous! First, there was new Delfonics and Delfonics 2012 diaries. Then we received Pantone Markers, perhaps not immediately identifiable as Japanese but made in that country of stationery excellence. And now, good reader, we have Anything Design.
Anything Design is the product of designer Michael Sodeau (London, England) and manufacturer Suikosha (Osaka, Japan) - a great collaboration of experts sticking to their expertise.
Sodeau's guiding principle for designing the collection wasn't anything earth shattering. He believes that each item has its own place and autonomy but if you consider those places in the perspective of the whole, you will reach an amelioration of function. He saw the forest and the trees quite clearly when it came to desk accessories.
But that he actually saw it is the key! He acted on it in his design and consequently, there are small but considerable functional improvements. We end up with this desktop harmony that makes you happy to be at your computer.
Everything is the same size, the same orientation, the same height, the same non-slip bases. Aesthetically, the whole is beautiful and creates this sense of order. Of calm.
Suikosha's mission was not so much to see the forest. Or perhaps even the trees. They were looking for the leaves, or maybe even the bugs on the leaves...I guess i'm saying that every detail has been scrutinised and realised with precision. The materials used are really good, this stuff has weight and substance - the tape dispenser in particular really is the business!
We had one of those moments when photographing this. I think it involved a black stapler, a black alarm clock and an MMMG Ping Pong calendar. We set it up to photograph - knowing what we were doing - and then all three of us stopped. It was arresting, indeed kind of dumbfounding...how can that look so nice? I think over the next 10 seconds the three of us managed two and a half 'wow's before we came back to reality, looked at our now forever ruined desks and sighed our way back to work.
Any time desk accessories can do this, you kind of know you're in the presence of greatness.