Life itself is the best design teacher

1.61 Soft Goods

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The golden ratio is intriguing because it appears to give beauty a real standard. Any objects that resemble this divine ratio embody the qualities of both harmony and beauty. However, after all, the golden ratio exists only in the realm of Mathematics. In reality, you can only find true beauty by observing every single object in detail and then discovering this ratio in action from your daily observation.

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1.61 Soft Goods原本來自洛杉磯,從2017年落腳在日本東京,是一個製作包袋和收納物品的品牌。以黃金比例作為品牌象徵,1.61 Soft Goods喜愛他們祖父母時代的物品,因而設計品項都以天然類物料為主,當中又以皮革產品,最能突露他們的美學思維。撇開包袋和皮夾類的商品不談,筆記本的皮革周邊配件,可算是他們型錄中最特別,又最吸引我的商品。

First established in Los Angeles, 1.61 Soft Goods is a manufacturer of bags and storage items. Since 2017, the brand has been running its business out of Tokyo, Japan. Embodying the concept of golden ratio, 1.61 Soft Goods prefers items from their grandparents’ generation. That is why the products they designed are made mainly from natural materials, and their leather products, in particular, can best showcase their aesthetics. Bags and leather products aside, the leather accessories for notebooks in their catalog seem to me the most special and appealing.

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1.61 Soft Goods的筆記本皮革周邊配件,主要分Field Notes和Traveler’s Notebook兩個系列。往時用Field Notes筆記本,薄薄的紙質封面,在防水和保護上略嫌不足,現在有了這個「Field Notes Book Cover」,就能好好保護本子。此外如果要同時攜帶兩本Field Notes,還能用這個「Field Pouch」,能同時收納筆具,另外圈繩式封口的經典設計,也是一個加分的細節。

The leather accessories for notebooks designed by 1.61 Soft Goods fall mainly into two collections, namely Field Notes and Traveler’s Notebook. Given Field Notes notebooks’ rather thin paper cover, it falls a bit short in terms of water resistance and protection. But now, the “Field Notes Book Cover” can give the notebook proper protection. If you want to carry around two Field Notes notebooks, the “Field Pouch” will come in handy. It can also hold writing utensils, and its classic leather tie closure design is a detail that adds to its appeal.

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來到Traveler’s Notebook系列,則有兩款不同的皮革插頁,「Portfolio」皮革插頁設計極簡約,前後幅可塞入各種收據和小票等紙品,至於「Essential」則是前者的升級版,前幅有兩個插卡位,可塞入數張信用卡大小的小卡,後幅則是附拉鏈的袋子,可以放置需要妥善保管的小物,也可以放置小量文具,為Traveler’s Notebook帶來筆盒的功能。而不得不說,這種由愛用者從實際使用中獲得體驗,繼而設計推出的周邊商品,卻可能更勝於官方的商品;證明許多時候生活的本身,才是最優秀的設計老師。

The Traveler’s Notebook collection, on the other hand, features two different leather inserts. The “Portfolio” leather insert is minimalistic in its design, with folder pockets both on its front and back for holding a range of receipts, notes and small-sized paper items. The “Essential” leather insert is an upgraded version of the former, with two card slots on its front pocket for inserting a few cards the size of credit cards while its back is equipped with a zippered pocket for holding small items securely. Alternatively, the pocket can also be used to hold a small amount of stationery, thereby equipping the Traveler’s Notebook with the function as a pen holder. It is also worth mentioning that these accessories have been brought to fruition thanks to patrons’ experience from actual usage, and thus, they might potentially outshine even the official products. It goes to show that life itself is the best design teacher.