⟨ Object ⟩

Neat vocabulary flashcards

Kokuyo

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

出社會的日子久了,不免對學生時代的物事感到陌生,比方說這個叫「抽認卡」的小文具,它通常是用於教學輔助,使用規則是正面寫問題、背面寫答案,作自問自答之用;這對當年仍要鯨吞死記單字的學生的我,抑或是任何缺乏學伴、需要單獨學習的人,都是個不可多得的好幫手。

由廠商Kokuyo辦的年度設計大賞,是文具迷之間的年度盛事,其得獎作品的設計極其優秀,而往後都會被品牌吸納為正式商品。之前報導的「儚く、美しく」就是一例,至於這次的「すっきりとした単語帳」則是2015年度的大賞得主,並在剛剛獲得到Kokuyo將之商品化的決定。

「すっきりとした単語帳」擁有白色、藍色兩款設計,厚厚的一疊抽認卡以一個金屬環緊扣相連。而儘管外貌看似平凡,但是不要小看這個金屬環設計,那除了讓你在翻頁時更順手,在抽認卡不用時,還能把金屬環收在頁面凹槽處綑住活頁;收納得妥妥貼貼,就尤其使人安心。而我認為,這種屬於不大起眼,又確實提升使用體驗的設計,往往都顯得彌足珍貴;其既延續了傳統文具的價值,也證明傳統文具在這個時代,可不只有樹立個人品味的裝飾作用。

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.