Excuse us as we casually geek out over a Japanese bookmark. The Bookmark Light by Yyouei Design, to be specific— a half bookmark, half reading light that is as thin and light as a piece of film.
Go ahead and make fun of us for loving a bookmark. But when is the last time your bookmark won a prestigious German Design Award? (A feat Bookmark Light earned in 2017). Did your reading lamp get chosen for BMW’s i3 & i8 concept exhibition? (Bookmark Light was.) Have any of your book accessories been exhibited in a museum? (Bookmark Light got space in Toyama Prefectural Art, nbd.)
So you admit, Bookmark Light may be the coolest thing since, well, books.
It’s a display of Japanese minimalism at its finest, with a clean and simple design infused with smart functionality
The thin and malleable rectangle is made of a special flattened film. This keeps your place in any book. However, the surface of the film is also printed with nanoparticle ink that transmits electricity. An LED light built into the thin film shines when one lithium coin battery (sold separately) is attached to the end and the bookmark is bent so both ends touch. Once the ends are put together, the circuit printed by the ink carries an electrical current, and presto, you’ve got light!
Kouichi Okamoto is the mastermind behind the product, and co-creator and Head Designer of Kyouei Design. Okamoto was born in Shizuoka City where the company resides and splits his time between modern product invention and music producing.
When’s the last time your bookmark was designed by a techno DJ mixer?
Other design concepts from Okamoto include a melting table lamp— a bedside light that looks like a bucket of paint being knocked over.
It’s as common to see Kyouei Design products in a museum as it is in everyday life. Many of their pieces are concept pieces commissioned by galleries, like a series of 504 individual music boxes which play delicate sounds in reactor to visitor movement at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Other inventions are made to be dragged through the mud like outdoor deformation shelter tents and trekking-pole chairs.
Bookmark Light is still our favorite.
Designed in Japan, Bookmark Light only runs about $19.43 USD and ships worldwide.