Top 10 Award-Winning Designs from the 2019 Stationery of the Year in Japan

There are a variety of new stationery items combining both functionality and aesthetics launching in Japan every year. At the end of June, the 30th International Stationery & Office Products Fair (ISOT) announced the top 10 product list of the "2019 Stationery of the Year". Let’s take a closer look at each of the 10 high-quality stationery designs selected by the judges, including the "HANA Flower Pencil" that will drop petals after being sharpened and the "Quick Open Memo Patto" where a blank page can be opened instantly!



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2019 Stationery of the Year

The 30th ISOT, a highly-anticipated annual Japanese stationery exhibition, was grandly held at the Tokyo Big Sight from June 26th - 28th, 2019. 

The ISOT is the largest stationery trade show in Japan exhibiting various products of excellent design. During the 2019 exhibition, a screening committee consisting of 5 prominent representatives in the Japanese stationery industry announced the list of award-winning products of the "28th Stationery of the Year 2019". 5 outstanding stationery designs were selected from new and renewal items released after July 7th, 2018 according to the two categories of "functionality" and "design", with the Grand Prix chosen amongst them. Let's take a look at the 10 high-quality stationery designs selected by the judges.

Functionality Category

PROCYON Fountain Pen・PLATINUM PEN(Grand Prix)

The winner of the Grand Prix for the functional category is the "PROCYON Fountain Pen", which was launched in July 2018 by the century-old Japanese fountain pen pioneer Platinum Pen. The stainless steel pen body is paired with a large pentagon-shaped nib, which is flexible and resilient. The weight is just right for a smooth writing experience. In addition, the screw-type cap is equipped with a special inner cap structure called "Slip & Seal Mechanism" to minimize ink evaporation. There are a total of 5 colors, including deep-sea blue, porcelain white, turquoise blue, persimmon orange and citron yellow.

Quick Open Memo Patto・DESIGNPIL

This ordinary-looking notebook is actually ingeniously designed! The "Quick Open Memo Patto" is developed by Japan's leading creative stationery design company Designphil, the manufacturer of the classic leather TRAVELER'S notebook. The main feature is that a blank page can be turned to instantly.

The key to the design is the glue keeping the left side of the notebook stuck together. As you use each page in the notebook, simply peel the used page off like you would with a post it note. The binding will still keep the notebook together, but the next time you use it you can flip straight to the next blank page!

AQUA DROPs Document File A-5056・LIHIT LAB.

Any kind of document can be easily filed by using the AQUA DROPs Document File A-5056. It is very simple to use: just spread open the file, put the documents in between the plastic films, close the outer file, and tie it up with the rubber band to avoid the documents from falling out. There are also category labels on the file to allow you to quickly locate the required documents. It is very convenient for office workers who are on the go with frequent meetings. The colors include milky white, red, yellow, yellowish-green and blue.

Mag Sand・Mag Ever

The world's first "silicone magnet hook" that can be attached to a glass window is here! Mag Sand is made of a strong neodymium magnet covered in silicone, which is then attached to a hook. Thus, the internal magnet will not rust or slip off even when exposed to water, and the surface material will not be damaged. It can easily be used on glass, resin or wood. There are two configurations; "i" and "j". Besides stationery, indoor plants can also be hung. As a guideline, when its used on glass with a thickness of around 5 mm it can hold about 500 grams.

NAMELAND i-ma KL-SP10・Casio Computer

This label printer is designed by Casio, a classic Japanese business product brand. After downloading a dedicated app on a smartphone, label stickers can be printed after inputting the desired text and selecting the preferred style. You can easily make standardized labels or name tags by choosing from thousands of emojis, 15 fonts, up to 148 patterns and 56 kinds of frames. It can even print 5 different label sizes (3.5mm, 6mm, 9mm, 12mm and 18mm)!

Design Category

Personal Organizer・Mark's (Annual Prix)

This personal organizer is specially designed for female users. The cover and binder are made of polyurethane, so the weight is lighter than the average organizer, making it easier to carry around. In addition, the inner pages are divided into various themes and functions, such as index pages, paper envelope pages and PVC bags that can hold small items. A multi-functional item that anyone can make use of! 

Soshi Washi Notebook・Daigo

This is a simple and elegant notebook made of special soshi washi paper with a texture that is comfortable to touch. It has the advantages of having double-sided pages and a completely flat surface when open, providing an unprecedented writing experience if you need to write across the open pages.

Kuramae Concrete Pen・p+g design

The greatest feature of this pen is that the pen holder is made of cement with a unique surface. The pen refill structure and width of the pen barrel also enable easy writing and durability, as the pen refill comes from a leading brand in Japanese stationery.

HANA Flower Pencil ・TRINUS

A colorful set of HANA flower pencils includes five colors, transforming the idea of traditional Japanese flower shapes and colors into reality. When the pencil is sharpened, it will drop pieces of petal-like shavings. Part of the pencil is even made directly from recycled materials. Reusing waste as new material is innovative and can even contribute to helping the environment.

Gloss Stick Marker・KAMIO JAPAN

Although it looks like a cosmetic product, it is actually label paper! Inside, there is a variety of notes with different styles and colors. The cap comes in black, white, pink or silver. The design is completely suitable for girls, as it is fashionable and cute when taken out from a pencil case or a storage bag.

Related Exhibition

Bungu Joshi Haku Stationery Festival 2019

Japanese stationery has always had a positive reputation in terms of unique design and practicality. Every year, stationery exhibitions both big and small attract countless stationery enthusiasts to Japan. One of the largest-scale and most lively events is the "Bungu Joshi Haku Stationery Festival" held in Tokyo every December. Organized by Creema, a Japanese shopping website specialized in selling both handmade and designer products, the Bungu Joshi Haku Stationery Festival brings together dozens of well-known stationery companies and individual creators. The three-day exhibition in 2018 attracted 35,000 visitors. The 2019 event this year will be extended to 4 days, and held from December 12th (Thursday) to 15th (Sunday).

"Not only do I want a nice looking notebook, but I also take pleasure in the act of writing."

"I want to use my favorite stationery!"

"I want to decorate my diary in my own way."

"I want to directly speak to the stationery brand as it is normally hard to do so."

 Whether you are a loyal stationery enthusiast with these thoughts in your head, or simply want to experience a little bit of the creative atmosphere, don’t miss one of the biggest stationery festivals in Japan.

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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

About the author

Fuchi Pan
Tokyo based Taiwanese writer/ editor. Passionate about Japanese food culture, culinary traditions and local/seasonal quality ingredients.

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