With the start of the New Year comes a renewed drive to streamline our working lives. Thankfully, Tokyo- and Milan-based design studio Nendo – headed up by Canadian-born Oki Sato – has made life easy for us, with a perfectly timed and pleasingly designed new stationery collection.

Sato's philosophy is to re-imagine quotidian objects and needs in a way that provides what he epigrammatically calls a small ‘!' moment. To wit, the one-time Wallpaper* Design Award winner offers a neatly realised set of desk essentials that has plenty of those, including everything from a bottomless ‘outline’ pencil tray to a traditional Japanese gift-giving envelope and a cubic rubber band.

The designs may be simple, functional and clean but, on closer inspection, reveal clever conceits. The ‘contrast ruler’, for example, features markings that fade from black to white (making it easy to use on both dark and light surfaces) while the ‘circle tag’ playfully transforms traditional sticky notes into pie chart wedges.

The stationery collection will be released under Nendo’s own brand, by | n, which recently made its debut with a set of chocolate paints.

TAGS: NENDO, OFFICE ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN