ITO BINDERY Co., Ltd.
Representative Mr. Masaki Ito
Memo Block and Drawing Pad . Their products created by using expertise in paper processing were awarded the Good Design Award in 2010, and are drawing attention at overseas exhibitions as well as domestically.
Quality lineup of Memo Block and
“My grandfather founded a book binding company in 1938. Since then, we have been providing services such as book binding, cutting, folding and so on, mainly for commercial printed materials in Sumida Ward.”
ITO BINDERY Co., Ltd. specializes in paper processing. Although the company was in its prime at the time of the late representative, as demand for commercial printing decreased due to digitalization, after seeking measures to differentiate their company, they decided to develop their own products.
“We thought about what we could produce using the machinery we already had. In 2008, we had planning meetings to develop our own products. Although, we had the processing skills, we did not have the know-hows for product development or sales. After several meetings, with an addition of a designer in the next year, many test products were made.”
The addition of a designer mentioned above was based on “Monozukuri Collaboration ”, one of the policies by Sumida Ward and a project for collaboration of creator. Ideas were heatedly exchanged without compromising with an aim of creating attractive products.
The Drawing Pad and Memo Block were finally created after some trial-and-error.
“Craftsmen would bind scrap paper to use as a memo pad, which gave us a clue. By putting together beauty that paper originally has and our processing skills, and by improving them from design aspect, these products came to completion. “
Each product is completed by
skilled professional’s hands.
The characteristics of the Memo Block are using thick paperboard obtained from recycled cardboard. Each Memo Block is carefully made from the initial material selection to the finishing process. The side view of the Memo Block shows a beautiful contrast of two colors; the paperboard and the paper sheets, and shows its presence.
Similarly, recycled cardboard is used for the Drawing Pad, which provides stability for writing. The binding side has micro-perforation which allows one to tear off sheets into standard sizes. The Kraft type uses craft paper that is left unbleached during its paper-forming process. It gives it strength and a pulp-like texture.
The products were awarded the Good Design Award in 2010 for “quality stationery finished with the original texture of paper and with biding technology.”
“Our products are a result of our search for perfection. This is the reason why we do not think of adding products to our product lineup. We aim to produce standard products each of which will be used regularly for a long time.”
At the international interior exhibition,
Maison & Objet
Products of ITO BINDERY Co., Ltd are popular overseas as well. Their efforts to expand to the world market includes annual exhibitions since 2012 at the international interior exhibition in Paris, Maison & Objet Paris , a trade show in New York, NY NOW , in 2014, and a design event in Singapore, Hidden: Unveiling Japanese Design .
“Exhibitions overseas provide us with an opportunity to directly hear users' thoughts. Our products were spoken as being very Japanese in design, and seem to be popular especially with people in the architectural industry.”
The simple and complete design of their products has led to collaboration projects with fashion and interior brands, and their products have been also used for important displays as part of a picture building strategy at an automobile maker. Their products are available for individuals online via their website.
Moreover, ITO BINDERY’s products were taken up at MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art, New York) known as the Hall-of-Fame for modern art, in 2011.
To the world. The stamp
“ITO BINDERY” on the products
Sumida Ward has long been a place where craftsmanship was actively practiced, and it is crowded with small to medium size companies in various fields. Certification of “Sumida Modern” is a project to expand the excellent craftsmanship within and outside the area since the opening of TOKYO SKYTREE . Under this project, products that have the branding value of the Sumida area and that convey the passion in Sumida are selected for the certification every year.
In 2011, the Memo Block was selected as one such product.
The Sumida Ward also operates “Frontier Sumida school”, a private-school styled business school with the aim of nurturing human resources for the next generation to succeed small and medium size companies.
“I am one of the forth batch students at Frontier Sumida school. I learnt management strategies and product development throughout the curriculum in one year. It also provided me with an opportunity to actively exchange ideas with people in the same situation, and to communicate with our neighbors. Development of the Memo Block could not have happened without my experience at this school.”
Communication with the locals cannot be ignored as a benefit in start-up in Sumida Ward. The stamp of ITO BINDERY is pressed on their products with an ambition to expand with the world market in mind, and it is pressed with a pressing machine handed down by a press processing company that Mr. Ito knows.
“In Sumida Ward, we enjoy this culture of craftsmen supporting each other including technical and repair assistance. We hope to continue the craftsmanship of Sumida by helping and learning from each other.”
Mr. Ito says his dream is to have many customers use their products around the world. His passion is carried in the stamp on the products, hoping to meet more customers in Japan and overseas.