In the same way that going abroad and getting lost in the candy aisle is so much fun, getting lost in a foreign stationery store can be equally exciting. Now, thanks to the internet, instead of having to go to Tokyo for your Mitsubishi bank paper, those in the market for new school supplies or office accoutrements can find loads of international pens, notebooks, staplers, and turtle paper clips on Amazon. (And for hard-core foreign-stationery geeks, might we recommend perusing the amazing website Rad and Hungry.)
A beautiful set of scissors from Japanese stationery company Craft Design Technology.
Interesting story behind this pad of paper: “Bank Paper,” which was made exclusively for Japan’s Mitsubishi Bank, was taken off the market but reintroduced in 2007 by the stationery company Life. The super-high-quality paper is manufactured in the same Mitsubishi Paper Mills as the original.
Writer Hannah Morrill on her favorite notebook: “The paper stock is thick enough that felt-tip pens don’t bleed through, but not so luxe to feel precious, like you’re jotting your Time Warner account number onto the Magna Carta.”
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A handsome pencil case from Delfonics Stationery.
A set of minimalist pens from Ganssia.
A rainbow of pens (which are ideal for coloring) from Nagoya, Japan–based Artline.
This super-super-fine pen is from Ohto, responsible for manufacturing the first ballpoint pens in Japan in 1949.
MT is the premier maker of Japanese washi paper tape (a strong but thin masking tape) that can be used in so many crafty ways.
A design so iconic it’s in the MoMa.
The most Instagrammable pen around.
Here’s a fun and weird video showing how these premium-quality erasers are made.
This brass pencil sharpener, from Dux, a German company founded in 1908, comes with a lovely little leather case. It has three settings (sharp, medium, and round) so you can sharpen your pencil to whichever level your heart desires.
This perpetual calendar designed by Enzo Mari for Danese Milano is inspired by rail signs with display cards that easily spin around to indicate the date.
A handheld stapler that’s been produced for many years in the town of Cologno Monzese, and can handle up to 16 pieces of paper at a time.
Crown Mill has its roots in 1478 Belgium, when the emperor allowed the monks of La Hulpe Monastery to build a paper mill on the Argentine river. The company went on to supply stationery for the Belgian royal family, and still has a devoted following.
From the Czech Republic
A stately pencil from Koh-I-Noor, an art-supply company founded in 1790 and based in Ceske Budejovice.
First manufactured in the 1920s and still made at the same Paris workshop built by Gustave Eiffel, this desk pad will give your midday scribbles and phone-call notes a more handsome look.
From South Korea
Memo pads, packaged in wonderful mini milk cartons.
Each one of these beautiful pens, from Livework, has a highlighter point on one side, and a fine-tip point on the other.
A straightforward, minimalist monthly planner from Jstory.
Quite possibly the cutest sticky bookmark tabs we’ve ever seen — you get a selection of sheets featuring eightcharacters (penguins, bees, chickens, cats, etc.) with each order.
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