⟨ Misc ⟩

Mizushima paper goods


Familiar yet entirely new

Text / Ron Lam
Translation / Iris Heung

東京吉祥寺一家名為36 Sublo的文具店,內裡的選物,都有一種既懷舊又嶄新的奇妙氣氛。店主村上幸獨到的眼光,引領她在2006年12月因機緣巧合,與產品設計師植木明日子成立了文具品牌水縞。「水」是取自日語中的「水玉」,即波點圖案,「縞」則是條紋圖案的意思,正好暗示了創辦者的個人喜好。

36 Sublo is a stationery shop located in Kichijōji, Tokyo. The stationery picked by the shop owner Yuki Murakami there are all retro yet innovative at the same time. Murakami’s unique vision somehow connected her with the product designer Asuko Ueki back in December 2006, when the two founded the stationery brand Mizushima. “Mizu” comes from the Japanese word “mizutama” that means polka dots, whereas “shima” means stripes. The brand name itself seems to have explained a lot about the founders’ preference.

水縞的產品類型甚為豐富,其中的紙品文具,尤其看到出設計師的心思。植木明日子不單著眼於圖案的設計,更重視其質感。紙質極厚的信封、輕薄得半透明的包裝紙袋、在稻草造成的和紙上印了厚顏料的信封套裝⋯⋯,圖案雖然同樣可愛,但透過素材的質感,呈現出截然不同的氣質。

這個當代文具品牌的紙品,不少都緊扣著日本的傳統文化,像是一種名為「のし」(音:Noshi)的摺紙,送禮時用作包裝的裝飾,使包裝顯得莊重,同時亦象徵了送禮者對收禮者的尊敬。現在不少のし都直接印在包裝紙上,但水縞卻推出了獨立的、傳統的のし。

水縞的產品理念是「似乎一早已存在,卻不存在的東西」,富親切感的、以為是大家都熟悉的,回過神來卻發現不曾存在過。不管是素材嶄新的信封、紙袋,又或是のし,都將他們的理念展現了。

Mizushima features quite a great variety of products, among them the paper goods are particularly interesting. While focussing on the pattern design, Ueki considers the texture and material with equal attention. The adorable patterns she designed can look recognizably different when being printed on different material, like the extra thick envelope, the translucent wrapping paper, or the washi (Japanese paper) writing paper and envelopes set made from straw and heavily coated with paint.

Interestingly, a lot of the traditional Japanese elements can be found in this stationery brand, which was founded only slightly more than 10 years ago. A good example is Noshi, an origami fold that is attached to gifts to express respect and good wishes. While most of the brands would simply print the pattern on their paper, Mizushima persists on making the detachable traditional noshi.

The brand concept of Mizushima is to make things that seem familiar yet entirely new. Although the products appear as if they have been existing for long, a second thought would reveal the fact that they were never made before. Looking at their envelopes, paper bags and noshi made using innovative materials, the brand concept has been successfully proven.