Essentials, Tools

LAMY Noto Ballpoint Pen by Naoto Fukusawa



They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but here at GiB we’ll settle with whichever comes in black. We still haven’t managed to find a suitable sword to feature on the site but as far as pens go, this one is a great contender to the throne of simple, elegant, functional and minimal pens: The LAMY Noto ballpoint,  designed by Naoto Fukusawa.

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“Heidelberg, January 2008. The designer, Naoto Fukasawa created the LAMY noto.

A ball-point pen which is simply a ball-point pen. And that is exactly the challenge of the designer result. The customer, C. Josef Lamy Ltd. from Heidelberg, Germany, developed a new product generation with the LAMY noto series in the segment of ball-point pens. Teamwork which has been stamped with mutual respect – right from the start.

He speaks of having had the chance to be allowed to design a writing utensil for Lamy. His name is Naoto Fukasawa, born 1956, a japanese designer, who has already won 50 international design awards and having completed his studies at the Tama Art University (1980) and the management of IDEO Japan, has run the “Naoto Fukasawa Design” Studio since 2003. Naoto Fukasawa, the designer, who prove, with the legendary MUJI CD Player, that good taste and first class design do not have to be expensive.


Fukasawa has admired Lamy for over 25 years, that was the first time he held a LAMY safari in his hand and fell in love with the style of this designer piece. A personal letter from Dr. Manfred Lamy, which landed on Fukasawas desk in 2003, triggered the teamwork, which resulted in the production stage in October 2007 and carried the name LAMY noto. To describe the product; it is a plastic ball-point pen with a matt-finished surface, which is available in four colours. However, design lovers like Fukasawa and Lamy were enthused by this writing utensil for totally other reasons: The ball-point pen is a ball-point pen. It invites one to write – full stop. And that is exactly the challenge of the design result. It is entirely reduced to the essence, so simple and functional, which the unique basic characteristics of a ball-point pen are shown in the design work. Naoto Fukasawa describes the task therein, to create a ball-point pen, which is so simple, that it is cannot boring. He sees the LAMY noto as novel and enriching for the Lamy design, which has, however, picked up and underlined the established Lamy philosophy with its style since 1966. The LAMY noto should always, and in every situation, be usable, and at the same time be distinctive and timeless – and on no account did Fukasawa want to provoke or become too specific. The designer confirmed, with his result, that he had understood the task given to him, had used the time which Lamy had emphatically allowed and that he had passed on the experience of the Lamy philosophy as artist for the LAMY noto.”


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