Friday, July 6, 2012

Staplers: Commonplace or Uncommonly Cool?

When you ask people about office supplies they'll usually talk about pens, post-its, and staplers. Everybody has their own take on pens and what qualities they value most. Conversations on post-its, or adhesive notes if you prefer, usually center about the color, regular vs. accordion fold, and brand name vs. generic. Ask somebody about their stapler and you'll usually get a blank stare.

With the exception of people who have gone out of their way to find a red Swingline stapler or have an electric stapler most people just have whatever is in their desk. Not everybody has a need for a Commercial Grade Stapler all the time, but maybe it is time to appreciate staplers and give them their just deserts (not desserts, sorry).

I'm not too proud to say that the stapler I keep at work is nothing more than the lowly Swingline 545 Economy Model (technically it's a 545xx, but that's a story for another day). When it is time to buy staplers I'm still of the mind that you should go for an all metal stapler. It is priced competitively to similar plastic model, although it is less ergonomic.

Recently, a Tumblr blog was setup as Brand Spirit where 100 objects were spray painted white and photographed so that people could compare how easily certain objects were identified when they lack all form of identification.  They do have a stapler that they label as a prime form of the Swingline brand.  I'm not sold though. Swingline has been building their 747 model, the classic stapler so classic they actually call it the Swingline 747 Classic Stapler.

Look at the silhouette of the Brand Spirit Swingline and the 747 Swingline and tell me which is the most "classic." I'm no expert, but the actual, unpainted, Swingline feels like the prime example of 50s function over form.  The Brand Spirit Swingline has the sloping back-end that might as well be painted avocado green to me. This could be a case of reinventing a product so it appears older and more classic than it actually it, so feel free to leave a comment and prove me wrong.


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