Great design often appears in unexpected places. Like office supplies. (No, really.) And when it comes to functional beauty, there’s one that stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Can you guess my favorite? It’s not the paper clip. I’ll grant that it has its own classic style, but it’s not particularly strong or versatile. And then there was that Microsoft character (ugh).
The post-it note is pretty fantastic, but what will it do for you when you rip your pants?
And what else does a highlighter do? Talk about a one-trick pony.
No, my favorite office product is…
the humble binder clip.
It’s so versatile, so elegant in its simplicity. And yet so strong. Two handles and a strip of steel put the world in your grasp.
With its handles folded back, it looks up at you like a puppy ready to do a trick — expectant and practically bursting with potential energy.
The binder clip is SO versatile, you can use it…
(Oh, and you can use it to hold papers together.)
Fun fact. The binder clip was created in 1910 — 1910!! — by Louis Baltzley in Washington, DC. So it’s not surprising that is has a certain Arts and Crafts flair. What was it William Morris said? “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” The binder clip is both.
And it comes in a multitude of sizes (and these days, colors). It’s like a family — the ties that bind.
What deep lessons does the binder clip hold for humanity? Only that simple ideas are still the best. Louis Balzley probably didn’t imagine all the different ways we would use it today. And no doubt it holds as-yet undiscovered uses for the future.
On the desk, under the desk, or behind the desk, the binder clip is my loyal companion.
Absolutely love this, Doug…so fun and playful and INFORMATIVE! You do have a super eye and a terrific way of expressing yourself that makes life more fun for the rest of us, too.