ystudio: exploring vanishing culture

Founded in 2012 in Taiwan, ystudio is a young vibrant brand which aims to explore vanishing culture through their series of minimalist writing tools. Each piece is crafted and manufactured in Taiwan and have been described as “lifetime stationery”.

Each piece is made using traditional and durable materials that age perfectly, adding a unique character to every design. Ystudio use strong materials including bronze, pure solid brass, metal, rustic wood and copper: “We select special materials which will change and age beautifully with time. Bronze and wenge wood are both light, fresh and pure in the beginning, but will become darker with use, fused into the writings of the user. We draw inspiration from the “warmth of writing” and the users individual styles”.

Ystudio marks each piece with ‘The Weight of Words’ as a reminder to the user to be fully responsible for every character written down. Ystudio is the go to brand for refined stationery and designs. They are unique and sophisticated and yet, the brand retains a young artisan spirit and high quality craftsmanship. 

Meet the designers behind ystudio

1. How did ystudio start?
Ystudio was founded in 2012. We (Yi and Yanko) used to work in the same company before. We share the same design idea and hope to remind people of those beautiful things that have been forgotten as time goes by. Ystudio started to get people’s attention since their early product – camera lamp, which is modified from an antique camera. And then in 2013, we launched a new series of stationery called ”The Weight of Words” and started to share our writing culture.

2. How has your background shaped the work you do?
Yi studied mathematics at first and then continued advanced studies in industrial design, while Yanko has an industrial design background. Our different backgrounds shape us to have independent thoughts and make us see things from a different angle. This allows Ystudio to reach a balance between sensitivity and rationality while designing our products.

3. Can you tell us about your approach to design?
Our design concepts all come from our lives. Instead of considering the product itself, we derive design concepts from life experiences. Ystudio wants to lead people to find their own lifestyle and feel the goodness of life.

4. What are your favourite materials to work with and why?
Our favorite material is brass. After establishing the main concept of “The Weight of Words” for stationery series, we think Brass is the most suitable material. We think that using heavy materials like brass makes people feel the value of this concept. Moreover, our idea is to build the connection between objects and people. Brass will change its color and show oxidation as times goes by. Through this effect, our products create a unique connection with their owners. We think that is a cool thing.

5. How long does it take to create your products from start to finish – before they go on the market?
It depends. If we work with a factory we’re familiar with, the whole process is much easier, we can get the manufacturing completed within 6 months. But sometimes we encounter technical problems and need to change factory or design, and the production time will be really long. Take our new fountain pens, for example: it took us more than two years from start to finish.

6. Which one of your products was the most challenging to create and why?
Definitely the fountain pens. As a young brand, we didn’t have a background and experience unlike older companies. Everything is new for us. From researching information at the beginning to the production in the factory, each step is a challenge for us. Moreover, we wanted to create a fountain pen which gives totally different impression from the ‘traditional’ fountain pens. That’s why we derived our design from “lifestyle”, and decided to have a desk fountain pen and a portable fountain pen.

7. What do you feel is ystudio’s strongest feature?
Ystudio is a brand that values its own concept and produces every product along with it. We also run writing events in Taiwan to share our concept directly with people. People have a chance to know their brand and furthermore recognize our brand values.

8. What does “the weight of words” mean to you?
The meaning of writing to modern people has gradually changed: it is no longer a necessity. Writing has evolved from a way to convey words to a medium to express emotions. Writing to someone we cherish or writing down important things becomes a special way to record our feelings. More and more people feel the same way and recognize our brand values and support us.

9. What’s next for ystudio?
Ystudio will keep developing stationery in the future. We will introduce ourselves to the world through videos and website. In 2017, we are planning to hold writing events in unique bookstores and shops to keep sharing our ideas with the world.