Osaka firm makes big impression with photorealistic clear stamps


mainichi-An Osaka firm’s recently launched photorealistic clear stamps are making an impression on Japan’s stationery fans.

Unlike conventional rubber stamps, Osaka-based Tri-gram Co.’s “To-Mei Han” clear stamps use dots and lines of varying sizes — some as fine as 0.35 millimeters — to express even pale shades and facial expressions. Company President Masaki Yamamoto, 46, said, “I hope people will appreciate the elaborate finish and enjoy using them.”

The stamps themselves are made of a flexible material, photopolymer. They are peeled from their cases and attached onto the transparent acrylic blocks for stamping. Because the surfaces of the stamp faces are hard while the back is soft, the surface remains undistorted, and pressure releases from the back when the stamp is pressed on surfaces, thus ensuring the dots and lines are always sharp and clear. Additionally, because the stamps’ acrylic block is transparent, users can see precisely how the stamp will look when pressing down.

Yamamoto added: “Some users told us they have had trouble finding places to store ordinary, bulky clear stamps in. This product is thin, so it does not take up space.”

The lineup of stamp faces is varied, and includes pictures of a cat, jellyfish, bread, mushroom, a “haniwa” clay figure, as well as family crests and geometric patterns. Original stamps can also be made by combining different pieces of stamp faces, such as characters, symbols and messages. Users can also create more realistic designs by combining multiple colors, made possible by the transparent acrylic blocks and the non-slip properties when pressing the stamps. For example, the strawberry stamp uses black, red and green inks like a block print. The company also accepts custom orders using photos or illustrations.

Yamamoto used to work for a firm manufacturing printing plates, and said the plastic plates’ ability to recreate lines as thin as 0.35 millimeters gave him the idea to develop products familiar to people.

“We’d like to keep making products children can also enjoy,” he said.

Tri-gram Co.’s website is https://tri-gram.jp/ (in Japanese).

(Japanese original by Kaoru Nagasaki, Osaka Bureau)