Jul 20, 2017 | By Karen Chiang
May 10, 2016
I must confess I have a weakness for stationery. Anything that allows me to organise, catalogue, store and file away is a very welcome addition to my desk top – so much so, that I need to be careful not to end up with it looking like a collection of stationery sets. Yet this is why, also when I travel, small stationery elements become a favourite gift as well as memento idea.
This recent trip to Asia was particularly fruitful: indeed I brought home a few more organizers, post-it notes and containers to add to the collection and gift around, but I also came across a number of really interesting, fresh and contemporary brands with a story to tell and a strong care for sustainability.
Below I’ve rounded up five of the most interesting stationery brands that I encountered at the Taipei, Taiwan creative expo. Oh, and the good news is? They deliver worldwide (almost).
Presented at Taiwan Design Week last October, Blacktail’s latest Original collection uses recycled marble waste from East Taiwan that is pulverised then pressurized into a lightweight composite fabric then shaped into laptop cases, pouches and soft storage containers. The surface remains grainy and rough, and together with the veining pattern they refer to the stone it was originated from. A beautiful example of a green conscience and a luxurious look, and the tactility is very enticing and interesting.
Based between London and Taipei, Beyond Object is a young design studio that has already conquered the European scene, from Maison & Objet Paris to Milan Design Week. Their products aim at being “different from the norm” as they state on their homepage, and they blend sleek contemporary lines with an affordable price point – thanks also to a smart blend of crowdfunding and carefully chosen fairs and exhibitions. I am particularly fond of the desk organizer, such a simple yet elegant architecture of elements that come together seamlessly. Yes, it’s on my wish list. And so is their sculptural USB key – minimal, well designed yet functional. It will look so good on my laptop.
Founded in 2012, ystudio affirms they vote themselves to “linking past memories with modern life” – and they do so by crafting writing accessories to be treasured and passed on. Their stationery collection looks classic yet fresh, with a strong importance of brass and gilded details that is paired with black and walnut for a luxurious look across pens, magnets and pen containers. Great gift idea for Father’s Day around the corner!
No.30 is the number assigned to zinc in the periodic table: and zinc is also the material at the core of this 40-year-old, family-run factory from Changhua, Taiwan. Since 2013 they have started collaborating with international designers to explore more contemporary interpretations of this metal, and their accessories play with smooth contours, mirrored finishes and a bright pop of colour that comes from an inner hand-painted enamel coating. They look great composed together in a mix ‘n’ match of shapes and tints – you want one, you want all. Think gorgeous jewellery storage…
Designer Wei-Lun Tseng founded Danzo Studio as a creative collective in 2013, and they have since then been collaborating with various brands as well as designing their own products. Landscape is their latest collection, a set of desktop accessories with quite an industrial aesthetic – it is composed of 5 different elements made of aluminum alloy, all inspired by the rift valley of East Taiwan, and all responding to different desktop needs. Form follows function here, and items can be stored on top as well as inside the landscapes. I love how sturdy yet poetic these designs are, a great representation of how industrial can also be soft.
Want more inspiration for your stationery collections? Lifestyle & Interiors subscribers can head to our Paper & Packaging section, where a broad coverage of brands, designs, colours and shapes as well as graphics and typography awaits.
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