When you come across various PLOTTER tools, you’ll find that they are all quite “simple.”
PLOTTER creates “tools” for creatives that are simple, intuitive, and long-lasting. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and in fact, there are many craftsmen behind the creation of such simple tools. From the iconic 6-Ring Leather Binder to the minimalistic Refill Memo Pads, each product had been through the hands of experts who perfected their craft through years of experience.
As you look at PLOTTER tools around your tabletop, we invite you to savor the efforts that go behind each tiny detail.
RICH AND MEANINGFUL LEATHER STORIES
The star of PLOTTER products is the leather that goes into making PLOTTER’s iconic ring leather binders. Liscio and Pueblo leather is sourced from long-established tannery BADALASSI CARLO in Tuscany, Italy, using only the rarest part of the cow leather: the shoulder portion. Not only is their legacy over 1000 years old, but they had also perfected the ingredients and the expertise that makes high-quality leather with chemical-free vegetable tanning processes verified by the Italian Vegetable-Tanned Leather Association.
We chose the oil-smoothed leather material as the base for our ring leather binder not only because it looks good, but for its longevity and the natural beauty that comes of the material as it ages with the user. You might notice the enticing scent of Liscio and Pueblo leather as you hold it in your hands, and that is because of the time and effort it takes to soak and infuse the leather with rare cow leg oil. To create the lightest and most convenient form factor for the final product, we withstood the painstaking process of tanning and straining the leather, so it becomes uniform in thickness. That is the sophisticated and rustic variations of Liscio and Pueblo leather you see today.
As for our iconic Shrink ring leather binders, the material comes from North America but is processed by skilled craftsmen in the Himeji region which produces the finest cow leather in Japan. A fine embossing is performed on the surface to create a luxurious texture, and further smoothened out with polished stones. The stone-polished technique is almost extinct in today’s leather process, but we utilize it to allow the Shrink to maintain a shiny and lustrous surface to touch.
MANUAL BUT PRECISE CRAFTSMANSHIP
Most people associate products with mass manufacturing processes. However, PLOTTER products are different in that it involves many craftsmen’s manual expertise to execute. A few examples are the construction of the PLOTTER backplate, screen printing the various Lifter designs, and assembling PLOTTER refill Memo Pads.
Let’s start with the backplate of PLOTTER ring leather binders. Anchoring the ring leather binder is a seemingly simple brass rod. First, someone must shave the rod to the accurate length and width. Another craftsman engraves the original PLOTTER logo with the right depth. Then there is the daunting task of brazing a tiny hook with the width of 3mm with precision to the thin backplate body.
Throughout the whole process, the expert must examine each component regarding its hardness, to adjust the pressure applied onto the brass material. Finally, it is finished with the correct color plating, all by different people who gained such skillset through years of experience.
Now, let’s look at PLOTTER refill Memo Pads. Turning the pages, you’ll notice how sturdy the pages are held together at the spine so that you can use it as a notebook. At the same time, it is easily peeled off to detach it as individual sheets. While people think about bookbinding as a machine-made process, the bookbinding of PLOTTER’s Refill Memo Pads is done differently.
Employing a technique called “Ten Nori Book Binding (天ノリ製本)”, the glue that forms the binding of the booklets are painstakingly painted, pass-by-pass, by craftsmen. Dozens of books are stacked and sandwiched between weights, then being applied natural color paste using a brush. It is through the expert’s hand to ensure that the paste is applied evenly yet strong enough to hold the book together. After the glue dries, the expert wields a knife that slices through the stack to separate each layer.
Another accessory well-loved by PLOTTER users not only because of its function but also because of its motivational designs is PLOTTER Lifters. They are useful dividers for your pages with the added functionality of a band to securely hold the book close or attaching a pen holder to carry a pen with your binder.
The sophisticated designs of the world time-difference table, calligraphy samples, and sizing charts are inspirational tools that can motivate and affect the emotions and drive of creatives. And it is executed through the meticulous skills of silkscreen printing craftsmen to realize all the fine details.
WATER IS THE ORIGIN OF EVERYTHING
It may come as a surprise, but water is immensely important to produce superior stationery products like paper and leather. Just as good water quality makes superior soba, whiskey, tofu, the nature of the water in different parts of the country creates products with its own individuality.
As we mentioned earlier, the Shrink leather is produced in Himeji, which is also an area also known for clean and soft water from rivers that flow down the mountains. And in making leather, tanning is an important step that utilizes water to make leather soft and easy to use. At the tannery that makes PLOTTER leather, you’ll be greeted first thing by huge barrels made of Hinoki wood. High-quality water is used in the large cypress barrels which rotates and tans the leather materials.
The production of refill memo pad paper also requires a large amount of “clean” water. Our paper factory draws from clean and prestigious rivers in Japan, utilizing tons of water that pumps through a complex filtration tank to make it purer. We then blend the raw materials of paper, wood pulp, with such water to create the base of the final paper product. The result is a thin, light, and durable DP paper that you see in PLOTTER paper products. It is awe-inspiring to see the cream white sheets of paper, void of any impurities, come from the origin of “nature”, which is water.
SIMPLE BUT COMMITTED TO QUALITY
Being simple is much more difficult than being complicated. Through repeated dialogues, trial and error, and experiments with such craftsmanship, we can finally reveal the final product to be beautiful and “simple.” Beyond that, you’ll also feel the warmth of the process that can only be created through human hands, and hopefully, pass on to the users’ experience.
PLOTTER products combine sleek designs with advanced technology by skilled craftspeople in Japan and around the world. Not only do we e source quality and authentic materials from reliable partners, but our craftsmen focus on every single detail to create each and individual parts that make up PLOTTER tools.
We will continue to create materials and tools that are simple but meaningful for PLOTTERs.