Materiality has created an immense amount of over-redundant products masked by their customisable appearances. Consumerism puts a halt to many advancements in designs and productions, even in the littlest and most familiar objects. Therefore, it was a great pleasure for me to encounter the Approach Notebook System created by a Seoul-based lifestyle brand of the same name: Approach.
The Notebook System is their first project to launch on Kickstarter, after two years of researching and curating. Taking on a well-known product and to improve it functionally is not an easy job; with it comes the biggest obstacle of changing the way users view and utilise a norm and re-direct them towards a newness. While the Approach Notebook System takes on a minimal appearance, the special features lie in its innovative add-ons that enhance user experience through customisation. The four add-ons include index stickers, bookmarks, sticky notes, and highlighting stickers. Using stick-on mechanics, Approach had come forward with the ways that a notebook can be organised, marked, and stored with impermanence. The ability to go back and undo, with highlighting stickers and sticky notes, is one of the most prominent features of this system in my opinion. While these components can be found separately in stores, it is more efficient for them to be composed into one whole package—simply and beautifully so.
The role of designers in the current market of mass-production is to filter out what is needed in order to fulfil their thoughts of improving existing products. By conducting careful and thorough analysis similar to Approach, it is entirely possible to push a product into the spotlight and towards a necessary evolution.