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wax to create a weathered look. The idea is
the scratches that occur on the bag during use
show through, so the bag looks more antique
as time goes on.
Adole Leather's second collection is named
Quest and combines canvas and leather for
a neutral coloured range of backpacks, bags,
wallets and luggage tags. "Because the
concept of the Quest collection is to search
for yourself, is that you take on a journey and
have to look for yourself, which is more like a
natural feeling, so we've focused on the earthy
colours which is khakis, green or grey," says
Cindy Chen, international department sales
specialist Adore Leather. "We chose canvas
because through the journey you must come
across forest or other places... [while] looking
for your true self."
Although bag design brands were a
standout, visitors at Giftionery Taipei were
obviously most impressed by office and
stationery gadgets with iThinking taking out
the Most Popular Product Award for the Huku
screwdriver. The cute owl shaped product
has a set of screwdriver heads neatly hidden
within and comes in six colours. There are also
variations available such as Huku with torch
and Huku with screwdriver extension bar.
"We found for families it's hard to find tools
when they want to use them so we want to
solve this problem and created our fun tool,
which also can be decoration," says Iring Chao,
brand and marketing manager iThinking.
For those interested in a larger screwdriver
set, the Birdie is an option. It is inspired by a
bird keeping watch over the eggs in its nest
with each egg in the device holding a different
screwdriver head. iThinking also distributes
landscape and rowboat stationery sets---
both feature elements of Chinese culture in
a fun and calming way to evoke a sense of
relaxation while at a desk.
Over at TreAsia, product design inspiration
comes from one of humankind's most
problematic traits---laziness. The company's
first attempt at solving this issue was the
EZ cutter and cutter light tape dispensers.
These products ensure consumers never again
struggle to find the end of the sticky tape roll
or need a pair of scissors.
But the star of TreAsia's 2014 Giftionery
Taipei booth was the magnetic cable dot
and holder designed to keep phone and
tablet charging cords tidy and tangle free.
"Sometimes we are too lazy," says Weili
Hsiao, designer TreAsia. "The cable will fall
down on the floor and sometimes... we are too
lazy to pick up so we made this cute and easy
to use combined together."
Design brand Mondo was another brand
keeping things plain and simple at the
trade fair. Exhibiting as part of the Polylight
company, Mondo is a multi-Red Dot Design
Award winner and a recent arrival to
Australian stores after being picked up
for distribution by Designer Gifts for Men.
Products include clocks, kitchen timers,
calculators, a magnifying glass and torches.
"Mondo means world in Italian and it's
what our company and products are about,"
says Tobias Behning, Moto Design Co sales
manager. "There are so many different
cultures and different lifestyles in the world
and with the Mondo collection we try to
overcome all differences, because we make
the reduced design they can blend in pretty
much any environment.
"Mondo considers the forms of products all
around us and believes that they should be
designed in a natural, unforced manner. We
believe that each object has a form that fits
its intended purpose. Sometimes objects are
in the corner out of the way; sometimes they
assert themselves just a little. We believe that
people who use our products that fit in the
surroundings will feel cosy with them."
With Taiwan known for its ceramics,
Giftionery Taipei showcased some beautiful
pieces from a variety of companies. The
standout piece was the Red Dot Design
Award winning nest pot from Cocera. It is
a casserole dish made from potter's clay
and gravel sand. Shaped like a bird's nest---
symbolic of family sharing a living space---the
pot allows heat to be spread evenly for long
periods of cooking. The nest pot comes in two
colours and two sizes.
Cocera also displayed a delightful flower-
inspired collection of mugs, tea-for-one pots
and rice bowls. The pieces have longer
handles to make them lighter and come in
pastel colours. While the brand's products
are distributed in Asia and Europe, it would
like to find out more about eating habits of
people living outside Asia before continuing
"We have been coming to this show for
about five years and customers know us
more," says Amy Wu, creative execution,
Cocera. "We like to [come back] to this show
to meet customers and keep this relationship.
I think this gift show, Taiwanese study more
to make something traditional to be new so
if foreigners come here we will know more of
what they like."
Ceramics are also promoted by the
Taiwanese Government through the
National Taiwan Craft Research and
Development Institute (NTCRDI)'s Good
Craft Judgement---known as the C-mark.
Products with this certification show
consumers that they are of a very high-
standard. Products need to be beautiful and
useful, which is why ceramics are among the
most popular C-mark items.
"The NTCRDI not only aims to the promotion
of craft culture and the cultivation of the
craft industry, but also refines people's daily
cultural taste and stimulates the continuous
development of craft industry through such
contemporary craft devoting energy," says
Keng-Hsui Hsu, NTCRDI director.
Of the 598 applications made to the NTCRDI
for a C-mark last year only 30 were accepted.
The C-mark is not just proof of a product's
standard it also helps the artists with
promotion, exhibition and sales. Products
featuring the C-mark are made from materials
such as wood, metal and porcelain and include
tea bowls, tea cups, bowls, vases, coasters,
plates, jewellery and furniture.
Giftionery Taipei returns to Taipei World
Trade Centre in 2015.
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