FROM CONTEST TO MARKET

Manga Packing Tape

<2016 Merit Award>

Every gift contains the feelings of the giver, and a story.
A tape that is printed with comic panels, speech bubbles, and speed lines, and you can draw in pictures and words to convey the feelings that you want to get across.
Why not use it to deliver a special gift to a loved one?

  • Manga Packing Tape
  • Manga Packing Tape
  • Manga Packing Tape
  • Manga Packing Tape

Introduction video about products : https://youtu.be/dVvScULdr2U(YouTube)

*Only available for purchase in Japan.

FROM CONTEST TO MARKET

"Manga Packing Tape" is a plastic tape printed with comic panels, speech bubbles, and speed lines. Responding to the KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2016's theme of "HOW TO LIVE," the artwork was proposed as a tool to visualize the feelings of the sender of a gift to its receiver, as well as the stories behind it. It won the Merit Award, as "It is designed to send feelings".

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Mr. Kazuhiro Minami, presenting about "Manga Packing Tape" in the Final Judging.

Mr. Kazuhiro Minami, the creator of Manga Packing Tape says, "I was glad to hear, soon after receiving the award, that my work would be commercialized." KOKUYO's staff played the central role in pushing forward the commercialization, while Mr. Minami made requests regarding the graphics and materials as he checked the prototypes and brushed up the product. "I think the commercialization went very smoothly. The part that I mainly improved was the graphics that are printed on the tape. I reviewed the shapes of the comic panels and speech bubbles to make them easier to use, based on the user survey".

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Left: Entry prototype. Right: Commercial product. The shape and number of speech bubbles were altered to be easier to draw in, based on the user survey.

The user survey was conducted by having about 30 students from the university where Mr. Minami's brother works draw pictures on samples of the tape. As a result, Mr. Minami learned that either too many or too few speech bubbles would make it difficult to draw. So, he adjusted the graphics, a pattern (approx. 52cm) of 10 comic panels, while keeping an eye on the balance of the number of panels.

Moreover, he remembered the advice he received from a judge (Mr. Yasuhiro Suzuki) at the time of the Final Judging: "The details, like the type of comic panels you use, will become important if this is commercialized." He studied the speech bubbles in comics such as those by Osamu Tezuka and Fujio Fujiko. "It's hard to draw if they're too quirky, so I tried to find speech bubbles that are universal, but also stand out and become pictures themselves, and make graphics based on those." In addition, it was assumed that, unlike with actual comic manuscripts, users of this tape would mainly draw with permanent markers, and so keeping that in mind, he paid attention to the thickness and strength of the outlines of the comic panels and speech bubbles.

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He chose a thin paper that allows the comic panels underneath to be seen, because he wanted to bring out the feeling that the comic is continuing.

At the time of entry, Mr. Minami used paper tape for his sample. However, paper tapes are difficult to print on, and there was also the issue of durability, so we decided to use plastic tape for the commercial product. We examined how the graphics look when printed and pasted, using several samples provided by KOKUYO. In the end, we decided on a material with which, when it is pasted on cardboard boxes, the white base looks as neat as possible, and, when the tape is on the roll, the comic panels underneath can be seen, to give the impression that the comic keeps going on and on.

Mr. Minami usually creates products for prosumers, and upon seeing the commercialized Manga Packing Tapes lined up in stores, and hearing about people using it on SNS or from acquaintances, he comments with pleasure, "I really feel the joy of craftsmanship."

Although various difficulties may entail in the commercialization of KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD-winning works, the Manga Packing Tape Project proceeded smoothly, with consistently positive interactions from the beginning. In particular, please note the ease of drawing and the appearance of speech bubbles and comic panels unique to the form of a tape, which Mr. Minami worked very hard on.