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Founded by one of Kyoto’s most well-established traditional stationers, TAG Stationery was established with the aim of blending the traditional with the modern.  TAG was tasked with continuing to develop and sell proprietary “Kyoto-esque” ink colors, and to that end they partnered with the Kyoto Kusakizome Research Center, a traditional kimono dyeing concern located in the same area.  This collaboration was a success and they were able at last to formulate natural dye recipes that deliver beautiful color.  In order to properly mark this achievement and celebrate the birth of the new brand, TAG Stationery turned to o-lab to help design a fountain pen with which to debut these groundbreaking inks.


At o-lab we started by looking at the characters that make up the brand’s concept – To write letters is to dye paper –, and shaping those characters into the branding strategy.  The logo mark depicts the brand name and is reminiscent of a pen nib, a drop of ink and also a leaf – the very symbol of plantlife.  There is an emotional aspect to the ink colors being made from natural dyes such as gardenia and lichen.  That, combined with the technology behind this innovation was key to communicating the brand theme – that of nostalgia and experimentation.  Removing the lid from the packaging of the ink bottle evokes the opening of flower petals, as well as revealing product and brand information.  In contrast to the conventional approach, we decided to forego having a label on the side of the ink bottle so that the beauty of the ink color speaks for itself – the way a glass jar of fruit juice does.  The physical and aesthetic gentleness of the fountain pen design was based on the concept of spreading fountain pen culture beyond its current scope, and acts as a fresh counterpoint in a market overly dominated by masculine fountain pen designs.  The product of skilled craftsmanship features a precisely machined brass body finished with a simple wrap of deer- or cowskin, in which the leather edging is unconventionally left exposed so that one is able to appreciate the natural material as is.


There is honesty in these materials; FUMISOME inks and pens are a new and engaging way to write and draw on paper.




go to : 文染|FUMISOME Design gallery





Design For Asia (DFA) Bronze Award (2019), Design Intelligence Award (DIA) Honorable Mention (2019)

brand naming, branding, copywriting, creative direction, logo design, print design, product design, web design