In November of 1969, Japanese stationery company Tombow released what would go on to become one of the country’s most iconic stationery items: the MONO eraser. Designed by the company’s in-house designers, the simple striped design, reminiscent of a flag, has remain unchanged for the last 50 years. And to celebrate the half-century mark, the company is running several fun promotions this year.
Consisting of blue, white and black stripes, the MONO eraser has become one of Tombow’s best-selling items. It probably would not be an exaggeration to say that there’s at least 1 in every Japanese home. The design was originally the work of in-house art director Nao Ide and designer Chieko Ibata. In 2011, the design won the Long Life Design Award and in 2017 it became the first color palette to ever become trademarked.
To celebrate their iconic eraser, Tombow is running several fun promotions right now. A double-decker bus painted in the MONO color palette will be running through the streets of Tokyo. Consider yourself lucky if you spot it! In July a commemorative set of all the old designs will go on sale. And by participating in the company’s social media lottery. You can keep up with everything Tombow-related by following the company on Twitter.