⟨ Misc ⟩

Good design is as little design as possible

File Folder (Mask)

Words / P Yue
Photography / Courtesy of PAPERIST
Translation / Iris Heung

在消費主義的年代,事物的本質經常被掩蓋,就例如是設計師,本來是為了解決生活上各樣疑難雜症,而甚或是昇華如有生活體驗,讓人類活得更好、更自在的存在,而不是以激發購物欲去設計商品,為商家企業謀取利潤的角色(而通常錢也不會落到設計師口袋)。

在全球疫情蔓延的當下,來自香港的PAPERIST,原為明日設計事務所在2017年開展的企劃,以往專攻紙品和平面設計,近日卻推出了一套口罩收納套「File Folder」,為每天吃飯或休息時,不知道口罩該放哪而煩惱的人們,帶來一個貼心的口罩暫存方案。

The intrinsic nature of many things can be easily overlooked in the age of consumerism. For instance, the job of a designer is to solve troubles that people face in their lives or to improve the quality of life. Their duty is to provide users with a more enjoyable and carefree life, instead of merely stimulating the desire to shop. Many designers seem to be employed by corporations to help drive the company revenue, without actually making much salary into their own pockets.

PAPERIST is a paper product and graphic design project initiated by the Hong Kong-based graphic design studio Tomorrow Design Office back in 2017. As a response to the pandemic, PAPERIST has launched a new product named File Folder (Mask), which is specially designed to be used as a portable container for keeping your face mask temporarily, when you need to take it off for a meal or a break.

設計所在香港由劉建熙(Ray)設立,向來以簡單、直接但實用的平面設計為標誌式。就像是在2016年,為中華書局重新設計的《中華新詞典》和《中華新字典》。原本廠商只要求他們設計封面,可劉建熙覺得,必須連同字體、排版、用色,而甚至是紙質也得重新設計,才能一脫中文字典古板木納的印象。最終的成品讓人驚豔,設計不過度張揚,卻處處能發現設計細心的地方,很能體現出事務所的行事風格。

Tomorrow Design Office was founded by the Hong Kong-based graphic designer Ray Lau. Simple, direct, and practical are the iconic characteristics of his designs. The two Chinese dictionaries he redesigned for Chung Hwa Book Co. in 2016 are great examples to illustrate his style. He was initially commissioned by the client to redesign the dictionaries’ covers, but Lau believed that the dictionaries deserve a holistic facelift to shake off its old-fashioned image. So he took the extra mile to revamp the dictionaries by redesigning the fonts, the layout, and the colors altogether. He even chose a new type of paper for the new versions of dictionaries. Thanks to his thoroughness in giving the dictionaries a new appearance, they are finally given an engaging look. The success of the end products was a surprise to everyone. His designs are never too bold or extravagant, as his strength lies in his attentiveness to the minute details.

而回頭說這套新出的「File Folder」,只有300克的輕盈重量,材質用上可清洗、更換的Tyvek®製作,沒有耐用度與可持續性的疑慮。外形極之簡約,外層使用單色設計,分別有九種顏色的選擇,然而更簡約倒是「File Folder」的使用方式,只要把橡筋鬆開,把口罩往內放,重又把橡筋套回去即成;大概是不能再簡單的設計,但最符合臨時需要暫存口罩的生活情景,而且怕裡層髒掉的話,也可以直接跟他們買替換裡層;設計面面周到,且總是保持簡約輕盈,大概也最符合Dieter Rams面命耳提的「好的設計,就是盡量少的設計」。

The newly launched File Folder (Mask) is only 300g in weight. The washable and replaceable insert is made by Tyvek®, which is a guarantee of durability and sustainability. The single color folder has a remarkably clean design and offers nine different colors for customers to choose from. The way to use the folder is actually even simpler than its design, all you need to do is to remove the elastic band, insert the mask, then put the elastic band back on. The design is remarkably simple, but isn’t this the most optimum solution to storing our face masks? After using this for a while, users can even get an insert replacement from their shop. The PAPERIST File Folder (Mask) is useful, understandable, and designed thoroughly according to the users’ needs. These qualities make it an impressive exemplification of the principle “Good design is as little design as possible”, once advocated by the influential industrial designer Dieter Ram.