14 July 2009

Give me some Japanese phones, please.

Let me tell you about one of my favorite people. His name is Fumio, he lives in Kyoto, and he found me on Flickr at around the time I was starting to learn Japanese. Over time we became friends, communicating only through Flickr comments. It was a pretty cool dynamic, because our conversations were always sparked by something visual.

Anyway. You probably pretty much know that I am into Japan. Or if you are new to this blog, guess what: I am into Japan. Now, here is a wonderful thing. If it is:

a) Japanese
b) cute
c) flat

Fumio will send it. Case in point: a couple of weeks ago, an exciting package came in the mail.

Another gift from Fumio!

That is a preview; I will write about the issue of Brutus in a couple of days. When I wrote this post, I saw two pretty different thoughts happening, so I split them. Stay tuned.

The rest of the package made me a combination of wistful (I miss working on Nokia); jealous (of living in a place with mobile infrastructure about 5 years behind Japan and parts of Europe); and delighted (with everything). Behold a pretty comprehensive collection of carrier catalogues:

So many phones!

Here is a section that struck out at me from the iida one:

A special iida collection

There were a couple of pages with phones in this red /white /dots theme, and that woman was in them also. Fumio let me know that it was Yayoi Kusama. I must a complete twit, because Wikipedia informed me that something of hers recently went for over $5 million at Christie's.

Anyway, the spread displays a line of Yayoi Kusama-designed phones, brought to you by iida. This a really good idea – are you listening, U.S. carriers? Commission a big artist to design a line of phones with a handset manufacturer, and make them only available through you. Do you know how collect-y art fans are? If KAWS were to design a line of handsets, do.you.have.any.idea how many kids would sleep outside of your store in the pouring rain, attracting camera crews, to buy every single one in the collection? Do you know how much eBay would blow up? Please stop releasing skinny phones that play 20 MP3s and do something that people can't get somewhere else.

Back to phones, and back to my jealousy. This design (hardware) and presentation makes me feel like I slept in on a Saturday,

The seafoam one, please.

While this one makes me feel like I'm in an MRI (which Noah described once as feeling like you're in a German techno club):

This blurb (?) makes me want to play with Tinker Toys,

Why can't features offers be this cute here?

And this one:

makes me want to... I don't know, go to a big box retailer or something.

I don't really have a point here, other than to share the delight with you and wish for a bigger culture of cute here. We wouldn't lose our credibility, guys, promise. We don't need Times New Roman on a navy background for credibility. And we certainly don't need stock photography for it, either :B
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