We’ve heard it a said a million times: Form follows Function. Beauty on its own—style without substance—simply does not last. And that’s probably why the world has been so captivated with Apple; its products have a simple, timeless aesthetic that is born out of the functionality of each device. In fact, where the iPhone and iPad are concerned, it’s sometimes difficult to separate style from substance. That’s great design.

The Plus+d Folio

If Apple were to design a tissue box, this would probably be it. Designed by Hirohisa Shimura in Japan, this product is the ultimate marriage of form and function. In the designer’s own words:

“We see tissue boxes all the time. And yet when it’s bent it looks completely different. The Folio is a simple tissue case that’s bent at a right angle. If you just use it as it is, it’s more compact than a normal tissue box. Because it has two openings, if you position it on its side you can take out tissues from either side. And what about sticking it in a corner? Changing the things we always have with us in our homes can really be refreshing. I hope you’ll find a way to use the Folio that will fit your home.”

By simply bending the form of a tissue box and creating two openings, it solves many problems that we’ve come to live with:

  1. It saves space with a smaller footprint
  2. The right angle allows it to placed snugly in corners
  3. It allows tissue to be dispensed from both sides

The form, defined by its function (and vice-versa!), is painfully simple and yet stands out because it is so unexpected and different. In typical Japanese minimalist fashion, there is no fluff, no eye-candy and no unnecessary embellishments. It’s just an awesome idea and a beautiful design that is a joy to use.

Jony Ive states it so beautifully in this Charlie Rose interview, why a designer should care for how his work will be used. After all, design shouldn’t just be about making things more beautiful, it should also solve problems and improve the way we live and work:


Founder/Creative Director of Mustard Seed Creative. Andrew has been 'practicing' as a creative professional since 1992 and 'preaching' as an educator since 2004.

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