Friday, May 21, 2010

Sometimes you need to reinvent the wheel or in this case the rubber band...

About three years ago, I came across bright colored animal shape rubber bands. I thought they were fabulous and quickly brought them to my office to see how our clients could use them to promote themselves. I was thinking of all sorts of ways to use them, but everyone at my office said, "sure they are cute, but so what it's still just a rubber band". So, I brought them back home and stuffed them in my drawer with all the other sketchbooks I fill with all my ideas and there they sat until last week.

Last week, my 9 year-old son asked where the animal rubber band were. There were only a few left, so I gave them to him. He told me all the kids were wearing them and trading them at school. Now they were available in all sorts of shapes, colors, and some even glowed in the dark and had scents! When my son told all his friends that the animal shaped rubber band had been in his house for years, none of his friends believed him so I decided to find out more about the designers and where they originated.

The first animal rubber bands were designed by Y. Ohashi and M. Haneda in Tokyo Japan who established a design firm called Passkey Design. in 2002. The reason they came up with the animal rubber bands was to keep people from throwing away a rubber band after a one time use. They though if people became attached to the rubber bands they were less likely to throw it away... brilliant!

Featured above in the center (turtle and pig), are the rubber bands I originally purchased in 2007 they came in a box along with with a ducks, cats, dogs, and rabbits. They were the second round of shape designs, the first being zoo animals. However, they were much smaller then the rubber bands now selling that nicely fit around a wrist.

I am so glad to see that the stores can't keep these items on the shelf. Proving that there is always a market for good design. So happy it has green intentions...

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