⟨ Object ⟩

Neat vocabulary flashcards


Words / Phaedrus Lam
Illustration / Furze Chan
Translation / Ian Tsang




Having entered the workforce for such a long time, everything related to school life becomes inevitably unfamiliar. A case in point is a small stationery item called flashcard, which is commonly used as a studying tool. One writes a question on one side and an answer at the back for learning via a question-and-answer format. For me, who back in those years still needed to memorize new vocabulary mechanically, as well as for any one studying alone or without learning partners, this item is an indispensable partner.

The annual design award organized by Kokuyo, a manufacturer, is a key event among stationery enthusiasts every year. So outstanding are the winning designs that they will usually be turned into official products under the brand. “Fleeting, beautiful” (儚く、美しく ) featured here before is a good example. Kokuyo has recently announced its decision to turn “Neat vocabulary flashcards” (すっきりとした単語帳), the winner of the Kokuyo Design Award in 2015, into a product.

“Neat vocabulary flashcards” comes in two different designs, one in white and the other in blue, consisting of a stack of flashcards held together by a metal ring. Despite its modest appearance, one should not underestimate its metal ring design, which not only allows you to smoothly flip the cards, but also lets you park the ring at the indented space while at the same time tying the flash cards together while not in use. Designed for neat and tidy storage, they make for comfortable and easy usage. In my opinion, such designs, which are not flashy but clearly elevate the usage experience, always seem precious. Not only do let the value of traditional stationery items live on, but they also demonstrate that the function of traditional stationery items in the present day goes beyond simply decoration for establishing a personal style.