Top 10 Japanese designs to add a boost of minimalism to your daily routine

In the past couple of years, Japanese design philosophy and principles have been discovered by the rest of us, and since then they have slowly but surely taken over the world. There’s something about products with a Japanese touch that instantly makes you feel at ease. They have a sense of warmth and tranquility to them, one that spreads in the space that they’re placed into. There’s something surreal and relaxing about Japanese-inspired products, that just makes you want to introduce some minimalism into your life.  And we’ve got you covered with a collection of innovative Japanese designs – from furniture to stationery! Whether you’re looking for high-quality Japanese towels or the latest G-Shock watch with Japanese elements – these beautifully designed products are all you need to introduce some Japanese zen and peace into your daily life!

1. The Levitating Pen

Much like its name, the Levitating Pen actually does seem to be levitating! It looks as if the pen is suspended in its holder at a 23.5-degree angle. Designed to be a grand writing instrument, the pen features a Schmidt ballpoint cartridge, which makes the pen rigid and super easy to hold and creates a smooth and luxurious writing experience. And once you take a break from writing, the pen doesn’t go back to a boring old pen stand, it goes back to levitating!

Why is it noteworthy?

When done writing, you close the pen’s magnetic cap with a satisfying click and position the pen in its holder that has been magnetized to keep the pen floating in that position. To add to the fun, a simple twist leaves the pen spinning in its place for a good 20 seconds, allowing you to interact with the pen on a whole new level!

What we like

  • The pen is super fun to interact with
  • Quite easy to hold and write with
  • Spinning the pen in certain intervals can be a stress buster

What we dislike

  • We wonder how ergonomic or comfortable would the pen be to use

2. The Outside In

This multifunctional shape-shifting table is called the Outside In, and it integrates beautiful hand-carved grooves into its timber frames, which resemble the raked ruts of Japanese zen gardens.

Why is it noteworthy?

Japanese zen gardens have supplied ceaseless inspiration for designers. While the sheer meditative quality of zen gardens is enough to insight into some new ideas, the artful design of zen gardens rakes its own creative vision for designers. Melbourne-based furniture, lighting, and object design company Sabu Studio found its own creative vision by way of Japanese zen gardens when designing the minimalist Outside In table.

What we like

  • Features a sinuous timber surface that resembles the hand-raked grooves of a zen garden
  • Outside In is a crafty piece of furniture that would look right at home in hospitality common spaces or even event halls

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

3. The Bed Hanger Rack

Called the Bed Hanger Rack, this interesting design is an extension of the open cupboard concept. You can attach the design to your bed, and it creates space to hang your clothes, and racks to store your smartphone, remotes, game consoles, and other accessories you’d want around you while you’re in bed.

Why is it noteworthy?

In addition to the hanging storage and shelving extensions, the hanger rack gets slightly more interesting with its assembly: possible to match the layout of your room. The rack can be installed alongside the shorter front or the longer side of the bed; so that it can attach without having to change the placement of the existing bed.

What we like

  • Allows you to effortlessly store everyday wear on hangers around the bed
  •  Lets you skip the trouble of folding and sorting the clothes in a regular cupboard

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

4. The Trisqucle Scissors

If you’re looking for a pair of scissors that will do their job, while looking pretty on your workdesk then you’ve found the right product. The Trisqucle scissors come in really different and interesting shapes and sizes, in comparison to the regular scissors we see. There is a triangle, square, and circle-shaped pair of scissors, which is probably where the name trisqucle comes from!

Why is it noteworthy?

Aside from cutting things, the accessories can also be used as shape templates with various sizes of circles and as a ruler and compass in case you need it for your office work or school work. The items are made from steel and have various colors for some parts like the holder, circle shapes, etc.

What we like

  • Revamps the traditional scissor
  • Functional + good looking

What we dislike

  • The design may be too modern and complicated to use for some people

5. Jakobsson Lamps

Japanese lighting brand Yamagiwa and late Swedish designer Hans-Agne Jakobsson partnered up to create a collection of stunning minimal lamps that cast a light “reminiscent of a bonfire”. They are called the Jakobsson lamps, and they feature light shades that have been crafted from concentric brands of naturally dried pine wood.

Why is it noteworthy?

The lamps beautifully merge Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics, and in turn, pay an ode to the utilization of wood, and warm-toned colors that give a cozy and inviting appeal to the products. In fact, the lamps are manufactured by Japanese artisans. The artisans artfully dry and bend the pine into intriguing shapes, while paying special attention to the growth rings found in timber.

What we like

  • A beautiful infusion of Japanese and Scandinavian design
  • Comes in three interesting variations

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

6. The G-B001 Line

G-Shock recently added the G-B001 line to their collection. It features the double bezel Capsule Tough features, and these removable bezels are crafted from stainless steel and urethane. It also boasts a resin case and a sturdy structure that has been reinforced with Carbon Core Guard.

Why is it noteworthy?

The capsule design is inspired by those toy capsules that you get in vending machines in Japan you never know what is inside them until you actually open them.

What we like

  • The detachable bezels for all these models of the G-B001 lets you play around with the watch’s look

What we dislike

  • It’s only available in Japan for now

7. The Furoshiki Denim Bag

Blue Ainery’s Furoshiki denim bag was created by using the traditional dyeing and weaving methods of Japan. The compact fashion storage accessory pays tribute to the history and tradition of Japan, which many still follow and apply even today. The bag is an example of how the hard-earned lessons of the past can be used to make something beautiful and sustainable in the present.

Why is it noteworthy?

Almost everything about the Furoshiki denim bag is a nod to Japan’s past culture, design, and fashion. The term “furoshiki” itself is a reference to the traditional Japanese wrapping of cloths for goods, bento boxes, and informal gifts. When worn as a bag, the Furoshiki looks more like an “Azuma Fukuro” that predated today’s modern tote bags by about four centuries

What we like

  • It has a minimalist charm to it
  • Its uncomplicated shape leaves enough room for plenty of items inside
  • Utilizes traditional Japanese methods and techniques

What we dislike

  • The design might seem basic and old-fashioned to some

8. The Japarcana Imabari Towels

The Japarcana Imabari towels are an accurate representation of the fact that you don’t need to spend buckets of money to obtain premium towels. These towels are a delicate and high-quality solution to your quest of finding A-grade towels at an economical price.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Japanese towel industry based in Imabari has long solved this problem, and Japarcana wants to bring that to the rest of the world. Simple and time-proven weaving techniques, high-quality cotton, and strict quality standards all come together to create a towel with excellent water absorption, soft texture, and long-lasting durability. These towels have the imabari towel stamp of approval, something that isn’t just given out to any towel brand.

What we like

  • The towel’s label utilizes an ukiyo-e illustration depicting traditional Japanese baths, clearly pointing to the towel’s primary function
  • Economical compared to other premium towels on the market

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

9. The Chouchin

Styled to look like a traditional Japanese ‘chouchin’ lantern, The Chouchin is a pillar-shaped candle, that is great for your pampering sessions or those days when you simply want to unwind and indulge in some me-time.

Why is it noteworthy?

The candle comes made from two different grades of wax, one on the inside, which burns the way a normal candle would, and one on the outside, which serves as the candle’s exterior, mimicking the effects of a lantern by diffusing the light that passes through it. As the inner wax candle continues to burn, the flame glows right through the outer shell, getting diffused into a gentle, warm light in the process.

What we like

  • The outer shell uses a patented non-melting wax, which lends a beautiful subtle translucency to the candle as the wick burns downwards
  • On the inside sits a more traditional candle, with a burning time of 60 hours – offering a few months’ worths of light with daily usage

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

10. The Japanese Cypress Vās Wood Diffuser

The Japanese Cypress vās wood diffuser doesn’t need any electricity, power, or batteries to diffuse your favorite essential oils. All you need is to put a few drops and wait for it to do its natural “magic”. The design is inspired by the Latin word for a vessel which is vās, normally used to hold flowers.

Why is it noteworthy?

The vās itself is handcrafted from the Japanese hinoki cypress tree, giving you not just a natural oil diffuser but also a decorative object to match your wooden theme if you have one.

What we like

  • Portable and travel-friendly
  • Doesn’t need any electricity or batteries to function

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

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This IoT ballpen uses built-in cameras and sensors to convert all your notes into a digital format

Instead of spending nearly a grand on an iPad Pro and Pencil, the Nuwa Pen is a $179 device (pre-order price) that just actively digitizes your notes and doodles in real-time. Announced at CES 2023, the Nuwa looks just like any other ordinary pen, but comes with a built-in motion sensor and a triple camera array that captures what you’re writing, whether it’s a post-it note or a full-length essay, and saves a digital version of it, sharing it with you through the Nuwa app. All your notes are end-to-end encrypted too, which is more than what you can say for most note-taking apps.

Designer: Nuwa Innovation

The Nuwa pen outwardly looks pretty much like any other pen. There aren’t any wires, the gadget isn’t bulky. It looks sleek for the most part, and just has a slightly bulbous tip, where the sensors and cameras sit. Support for an infrared light sensor also allows the Nuwa to work in lower light conditions. The Nuwa pen is equipped to detect 4096 pressure levels, with the combination of sensors working in tandem to capture a high-quality version of your text in your unique handwriting. “Handwriting represents a deeply personal form of thinking”, says Nuwa’s founder and CEO, Mark Tunier.

The pen runs on a standard D1 ink cartridge that can easily be replaced once it runs out. Replacing the refill is easy too, and can be done without any technical expertise. On a full charge, the Nuwa can provide up to 2 hours worth of use, and can be recharged simply by resting it in its charging stand. The pen’s internal digitizing system only begins working when the pen touches paper, so as to cleverly optimize battery usage.

Notes are digitized right on the device and shared via Bluetooth to your phone. The Nuwa app can be used to sync your notes and take backups of them online, or even share them with team members via mail or through productivity tools. The Nuwa app is free of charge, although it does have a premium paid version that offers additional features like OCR which converts your handwritten text into an editable format.

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This toy-like modular highlighter is inspired by the flexibility of subway trains

We’ve seen dozens, if not hundreds, of designs for pens so far, but these are not the only writing instruments you will have on your desk or inside your drawers. Although some might balk at the idea of leaving permanent marks on a book, highlighting text in documents or notes isn’t an uncommon practice to help zero in on important points. Compared to pens, highlighters don’t get as much attention or love, which almost suggests that there’s no room for improvement or creativity with their design. That’s not the case, of course, but it might require a little more outside-the-box thinking to get something that’s interesting and useful at the same time. Fortunately, there are designers that have taken up that challenge, and this fun-looking highlighter definitely checks those boxes and might even have the potential to be a sustainable design as well.

Designer: Wonjun Jo

Different countries have different train systems, some arguably better than others. Countries in East Asia, like South Korea and Japan, are known for color-coded lines that easily tell where a particular train is going, at least once you’ve memorized which color is assigned to which line. There’s an analogy there in how we also assign different meanings to different colors when we highlight books or notes, with similar colors forming a distinct line of thought or topic. It’s no coincidence, then, that this highlighter design gets its inspiration from Korea’s subway trains, but the way it implements this inspiration goes far beyond just color.

For one, the highlighter is shaped like a train, with the first or front car serving as the cap. A rectangular block like this might be the most ergonomic shape for a pen, but a highlighter can get away with it because you don’t use it for long periods of time. Unlike a real-world train that travels along a single colored line only, the highlighter has removable segments of different colors designed as individual train carts or carriages. And just like a real train, these pieces can be separated and rearranged as needed.

What this means is that you don’t need to have a different highlighter for a different color and only need to move the appropriate card to the front. The design doesn’t explicitly mention it, but there seems to be room to refill the “carts” or even replace the tips. In other words, you’ll only need one highlighter and one highlighter only, making the design more sustainable than regular highlighters, especially single-use highlighters.

The train inspiration can be seen even in the packaging, which mimics design cues from train maps and transit cards. LINE definitely gives this oft-ignored tool a refreshing and enjoyable design, highlighting how there can be plenty of opportunities to improve its experience.

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This gold-capped 3D printed pen’s unique design is making sustainability sexy

There’s a famous Jerry Seinfeld bit from the late 80s that really hits the spot. “They’re manufacturing millions of pens… I must have bought 6000 pens in my life, I’ve used maybe two of them”, the comedian says, ending with the most important question of our time. “Where’s the rest of them??” They’re in landfills, Jerry. They’re either lost under the seat of your car, behind your desk, or in a landfill. The reason this happens is because single-use pens weren’t designed to have a good design or memorable user experience. They’re only made for convenience – a price that the planet finally pays. Deviating from that approach, the ADD-APT pen’s wonderful design gets you to adopt and adapt to the idea of changing for the better. The pen’s form looks nothing like any other pen you’ve seen. It’s elegant and eye-catching, and comes with a replaceable refill design that’ll make you hold onto the ADD-APT for ages. Another little-known detail is the fact that the ADD-APT is made entirely using 3D printing – a process that dramatically reduces the waste created by the pen’s production process!

Designer: Richard Ward

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The ADD-APT name comes from its unique design, which adapts to every user’s style. The pen’s artistic form factor has a unique teardrop-shaped cross-section that be ergonomically gripped by both left-handed and right-handed users (it even allows neutral and inverted-neutral holding styles), and the notched grip provides the right kind of texture needed to provide a reliable amount of friction without requiring a separate rubber/silicone sleeve for a grip.

Each pen comes 3D printed from tough nylon, and docks a Monteverde D1 ink refill in the hollow top of its otherwise unibody design. The pen’s capped off with perhaps one of the most eye-catching caps ever. Each cap is made from cast brass, coated with either gold or platinum to truly make it the crown jewel of the ADD-APT pen. However, this crown jewel has a functional detail too in the form of a tiny hole that lets you grip the pen’s nib and slide the empty refill out before you put a new one in.

Ultimately, as eye-catching, unique, and ergonomic as the ADD-APT is, its sustainability is designer Richard Ward’s prime focus. Mass-produced single-use pens require expensive molds, large factories, and generate a lot of wasted plastic in the injection molding process. The ADD-APT circumvents it all by relying on 3D printing, which generates far less waste and has a much smaller footprint thanks to the fact that 3D printers are much more compact than industrial injection molding machines.

Moreover, the ADD-APT’s beautiful design, coupled with its infinitely reusable nature instantly makes it the kind of pen you’ll want to keep and constantly write with. It’s designed to look beautiful so you don’t accidentally leave it at the bank after signing papers or forget about it in some lone corner of your home. It’s a sheer masterclass in how emotional design can push a user to love and cherish a pen more, making you use it for decades instead of days, and be more sustainable over its lifespan!

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This small metal trinket lets you draw straight lines without a ruler

No one can draw a straight line unassisted, not unless you’re one of those extremely rare geniuses. Even professional artists and designers don’t leave straight lines up to chance or fate, utilizing a tool to ensure those marks keep in line. The most common tool for this kind of drawing is, of course, the ruler, and it doesn’t get any simpler than a piece of wood, metal, or plastic with a straight edge. Not unless you count this odd-looking metal piece with a small cog-like wheel, a contraption that could very well be the simplest way to draw a straight line, one that doesn’t obscure any part of the page or risk accumulating ink and dirt that would later smudge on your work.

Designer: Gihawoo Design (UGLY.DUCKLING)

When you simply want to draw a straight line, technically, any object that you can run your pen or pencil along its straight edge will do. If you need to draw a straight line with a specific length, then you’ll need something that has markings for units of length, which is precisely what a ruler brings to the table, pun intended. But while the venerable ruler’s design is simple and effective, it also comes with flaws that most people simply overlook.

For one, a ruler almost always covers up a chunk of what’s already on the page, though there are also transparent rulers that try to remedy that situation. Running an ink pen along the edge of the ruler also transfers some of that ink to that edge, ink that could smudge on the page when you lift or move the ruler. There are a few rulers that have raised edges for that very purpose, but these are far and few in between.

The Constrained Ball represents a solution that tackles the problem from a completely different angle. There’s nothing that says you actually need a long object to draw a straight line, only that there needs something to guide the pen on that path. This object does exactly that by using a wheel that rolls along a straight line, dragging an inserted pen in tow. Any pen size will do, given how the rubber hole can stretch to accommodate a larger barrel. There’s also an option to have a small LCD display that measures the distance traveled by the wheel based on its rotations to accurately measure the length of the line.

It is admittedly a simple and creative alternative to a ruler, one that reduces the risks of smudging and doesn’t cover up any content on the page. There might be some concerns about how straight your hand can really travel with this guide, or more importantly, you can actually draw parallel lines without being able to “see” the line beforehand, like with a ruler. Still, for most use cases, this rather cute little thingamajig will do, and it will more easily fit in your pouch or tool case better than any foot-long ruler.

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This eerie desk pen holder makes it look like aliens are coming after your pens

Most of us have a favorite writing instrument, be it a specific brand and grade of pencil or, more likely, a specific kind of pen. More avid writers also favor a particular pen design, often of the more luxurious bent, that they put on display on their desks when not in use. Such pen stands and holders are designed to put the focus on the pen itself, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be attention-grabbing themselves. This pen holder design, for example, is truly out of this world, literally and figuratively, as it suspends your favorite writing instrument in mid-air as if caught in a tug-of-war between the Earth’s gravity and an alien spaceship’s tractor beam.

Designer: Hesham El-sheikh

We might have different reasons for putting a pen on a pedestal, whether it’s for ease of reach or simply for display. Most of those simply involves a piece of metal or wood that holds the pen upright, sometimes at an angle. It’s a convenient and efficient way to show off a pen and only the pen, but it’s also a rather boring one, especially compared to this.

The UFO Desk Pen Holder leaves no room for guessing what it does but leaves the “how” a complete mystery. The pen still stands upright, which makes it easy to grab it when you need it. Given how it’s levitating in the air, you can definitely grab it easily, though your brain might have second thoughts lest you risk losing parts of your hand to some molecular transportation device. It’s all a trick of the mind, of course, being that there is no real alien technology at work, or so we presume.

The top of the pen holder is your stereotypical alien spaceship in the shape of a flying saucer. Why extraterrestrials would choose such a design is anyone’s guess, but it is a familiar form and a practical one for this purpose. You could put the USS Enterprise or a Star Destroyer, too, but its irregular shape would break the illusion and remove a bit of the eerie atmosphere surrounding this design.

The saucer also serves as a desk lamp of some sort, its light providing both illumination as well as the suggestion of some retro sci-fi tractor beam. The pen hangs directly below it, of course, though it’s not clear whether it’s coming from or going toward the UFO. How it’s floating without any evident support is even more mysterious. Ironically, the UFO itself is supported by a pillar rather than hovering in the air as well.

It’s definitely possible to pull this off using some transparent support since it would be impossible to keep a pen float using only magnets, at least not with design. We do have “hoverpens” that meet that requirement, though those don’t have the same “retro punk” appeal as a UFO that’s trying to steal your favorite pen away.

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Keep on reading while sipping your tea with this unique book-shaped bookmark

Bookmarks are great for those times you need to put a book aside for a while to do other things. There are even quite a few designs available for these, from simple cards to decorative fixtures or even multi-functional night lamps. But when you want to keep your book open just to reach for a drink or a snack, however, bookmarks can’t do squat. Especially if you actually want to keep on reading the open book. Fortunately, the solution doesn’t require sophisticated designs or complicated mechanics. All you need is some outside-the-box thinking and put a book on a book, just like this rather unconventional acrylic bookmark that, oddly enough, also looks like a book.

Designer: TENT

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There are admittedly a few bookmarks made from clear acrylic, but those run in the more common design of rectangular pieces meant to be inserted in between pages. There are some that are pretty much paperweights to hold a page down, but their design doesn’t really make that convenient or elegant. You might as well just put weights on every corner of the book to keep it open.

The moment you take a look at Book on Book, you know it’s not your average bookmark. It looks like more than just a regular book but an open book at that, a true page-turner if there ever was one. Sure, it won’t lay nicely flat on a desk if you place it there unused, but that’s definitely not what it was designed for anyway. This bookish bookmark is supposed to sit on your book and keep it open so that you can have your tea (or preferred drink) and keep on reading calmly.

The acrylic bookmark’s unique shape ensures that the book not only stays open but also in its natural curved form. It has enough weight at 220g to make that happen, but it doesn’t force the book to lie flat and damage its binding in the process. It’s the perfect way to keep the book open while you use both your hands for other things, like snacking, sewing, or cooking.

Of course, the “bookception’s” transparent body makes it possible to read the text underneath. Its size is perfect for covering a pocketbook from end to end, but it can be used for larger books as well. If it can cover the entire page, it can also protect the page from, say, oil smudges or crumbs. Now you have the perfect way to keep that cookbook open while you toil in the kitchen over a recipe.

There’s no denying that this open bookmark, despite its simple shape, is also a thing of beauty, like a mystical crystal tome that almost deserves to be enthroned on a shelf like any other book. You can definitely do that, but that would deny it its true purpose, a purpose that encourages you never to stop reading, even when your hands are busy with something else.

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This sleek metal desk bar makes opening letters effortless and enjoyable

Letters are a fact of life, especially for those that still receive their bills through snail mail. But even when we receive welcomed mail from loved ones, getting to the contents can prove to be a taxing and vexing exercise in patience. There are, of course, countless types of letter openers, and some have even taken the opportunity to design ones that could be mistaken for an heirloom from antiquity. Others will simply use a box cutter or a pair of scissors that get the job done to some extent and with less finesse. All of these letter cutters, however, work in pretty much the same way and rely on both luck and your skill to make the envelope give up its treasures. In this day and age, that may be too much work than necessary, and this rather handsome chunk of metal fixes that by letting you open a letter with just a swipe.

Designer: Tatsuya Kobayashi for Takeda Design Project

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Letter cutters are practically glorified knives or knife-like tools that behave in the same way, attempting to slice through adhesive or the paper itself in order to reach the letter’s contents inside. Others simply go the more practical route and cut off the short end of an envelope. The former can mess up the envelope, while the latter creates a mess of paper scraps. Neither method is ideal, nor do they remove the friction of simply opening an envelope.

Confocus changes the way you open letters by changing the action completely. Rather than running a blade through the envelope, this letter cutter runs the envelope against the blade instead. If you’ve ever seen a card being swiped at a terminal or have done that yourself, then the movement should be familiar. Granted, it may not be as snappy, depending on the thickness of the envelope, but it’s significantly easier and less work than trying to slice through the envelope yourself.

The trick to this wonder of a stationery tool is that the blade inside only makes an incision on one side of the envelope and doesn’t cut all the way through the other side. It’s like making a slit that’s just the right size to pull out the envelope’s contents. And since no paper is actually cut off, there are no scraps to worry about littering your desk. No fuss, no mess, just a simple gesture to open a precious letter from a family member or a friend.

The letter cutter is a simple block of machined aluminum that is anodized to give it an understated beauty. Even when it’s just on your desk doing nothing, it can look elegant and stylish, like a minimalist piece of decor. Given its heft, you can easily use it as a paperweight as well, calling attention to itself rather than the pile of paper underneath it. And when the blade finally gets dull, you can easily open it up with the included tools and replace the blade. This way, you can use this letter cutter forever, far longer than you’ll be receiving letters.

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Clothespin-inspired mechanical pencil is sustainably made from 100% recycled plastic

Sandwiching the lead between its two halves, the PENTAPA is a relatively simple yet cool piece of stationery that’s also good for the environment. Analogous to a clothespin, the mechanical pencil uses a single-body design that’s made entirely from recycled plastic, dispelling the myth that plastic stationery should feel cheap and be disposable. “Plastic is good if it is used wisely and long-lasting”, says PENTAPA’s designer Konstantin Diehl.

Designer: Konstantin Diehl

Designed to be used pretty much the same way a clothespin is, PENTAPA holds onto leads (or even crayons) the way the pins secure clothes on a clothesline to dry. To load or unload a lead, all you do is apply pressure on the rear pegs and the compliant mechanism causes the front to spread open. Add your lead, release the pegs, adjust its height to ensure you’ve got the right amount of lead peeking out of the front and begin writing!

The best part, however, is the fact that each PENTAPA is made from recycled plastic. While regular pens (yes, even disposable ones) can use a variety of virgin plastic types, with expensive tooling, tolerances, and a lot of wastage as a result, PENTAPA simplifies the entire process by using plastic that was originally meant to be discarded. The plastic is melted and poured into a wooden mold and removed after it’s solidified.

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These guitar scissors will make you feel like a cutting rockstar

We’ve always been warned never to play with sharp tools (unless that’s actually your job), but that never meant these objects themselves couldn’t be playful. No one pays scissors any mind, at least until they’ve gone dull and unusable, and they’re often banished to drawers or containers after use. It’s mostly for safety reasons but also because scissors aren’t much to look at anyway. Not these scissors, though! This pair you’ll want to always be up on display, like a trophy honoring your snipping talents. Or maybe you just want to have it both within easy reach as well as in your line of sight because these stratocaster scissors won’t only help you cut through paper, it might even help you cut through boredom and mental blocks for your next design project.

Designer: Nikken Cutlery

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Just like any tool, scissors give grief when they don’t work properly. The last thing you need when you’re in a rush or in a state of flow are dull scissors that can’t even cut through the thinnest sheet of paper. At the same time, like any other object, a pair of scissors’ appearance could affect your mental state as well. After all, no one will buy want to buy ugly things or beautiful but broken tools. Fortunately, the Seki Sound scissors are both sharp-looking and actually sharp at the same time.

There’s probably a metaphor to be had here about how music can cut through the soul, but at the end of the day, these guitar-shaped scissors speak for themselves, metaphor or not. Taking inspiration from one of the most iconic electric guitar designs in the world, these shears deserve to have a special place on your desk, preferably within easy reach. You might find yourself wanting to cut more often simply because of the joy of having such a unique piece of equipment in your hand.

These rocking scissors aren’t just about looking like a guitar. A great deal of effort was made to ensure authenticity, down to the curves of the body as well as the contour on its back that you will rarely see. There are also six strings and the exact same number of frets that you’d see on a real guitar. There’s even a matching cap that not only serves as the guitar’s head when not in use, it also offers protection by blocking the sharp point and preventing the scissors from being opened when it’s in place.

And sharp, these scissors definitely are! It calls on the history, tradition, and expertise of Seki in Japan, a city once famed for its swordsmiths and now for its cutlery. Each pair of scissors is sharpened by hand using a two-stage process called Kobabiki, where different whetstones are used to sharpen different edges. Thanks to its rust-resistant stainless steel material, these scissors will be able to cut through paper, vinyl, and even tape without breaking a sweat.

With pens and desk organizers getting some time on the stage that is your desk, it’s only fair that other tools get their time under the spotlight as well. Distinctively playful and astonishingly sharp, these scissors will add a little life to your desk and maybe even inspire you to go through your projects like a riffing rockstar.

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