Hello, I am Akiko Sekimoto, an art director. Presently, I’m working with “Iwai Tags,” a product line of a company in Okayama called the Iwai Tag Printing Company. Today I’d like to share with you the development and design of their product that I’ve been working on called the “bean parcel.”

The Iwai Tag Printing Company is a printing company in Okayama that specializes in printing tags and labels. Originally, tags and labels were things that people wrote addresses on for things that they mailed.

Although there are gift cards in the shape of tags that have appeared on the market, recently though, tags with their original purpose of “things that people wrote addresses on for things that they mailed” have disappeared from our daily lives, with that role going to shipping tickets issued by delivery companies.

Generally, the use of tags have declined, but they are still being used in many places such as factories and production sites (for sorting materials), in fish auction sites, and in used cars sales lots.

In my research for my work with tags, I found out that we can still mail things using tags. I decided to test whether a package with a tag on it would indeed be mailed. When I opened my mailbox and saw that the package was inside, I was so happy that it really arrived! Aside from this happiness, I wanted to share the fun and excitement of receiving things in the mail with other people.

So this was how I came up with the “bean parcel” product. This product is composed of a bean-sized box of about 5 centimeters, a tag, and a piece of wire. You can put a small gift or a small letter inside the box and mail it.

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Moreover, a tag has a paper on the eyelet for reinforcement. In Japan, machines can only make tags with eyelets sized 14 millimeters in diameter. Therefore, I designed the box’s graphics with polka dots the size of the eyelet, and I made the colors red and navy blue to make the tag’s form stand out. These colors are also appropriate for either men or women, and are great for celebratory occasions.

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It’s now more common to contact each other using email or social media, so isn’t it already a special gift to say what you want to say in a hand-written letter that you mail?

The “bean parcel” will be available in stores after the fall, but I’m already hoping that the most number of people will enjoy this product. And with my work with the “Iwai Tags” product line, I’m going to think of further ways of expanding the roles of the Iwai Tag Printing Company and the tag printing industry through design.

 

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