12.06.11 - Product Tank Paperclip - When I was in university (sadly, many moons ago) one of the discussion topics our lecturer once set was to find and discuss an example of a paragon of design (a design that could not be improved upon). I chose the paper clip as my example, as it's an item so simple and inexpensive to produce, that at that time, I didn't think it could be bettered.
Recently however, I have had to do a lot of filing and have discovered that the existing paperclip design is not that good. It cannot clip a large number of pages together, and if forced, leaves marks on the papers. Paperclips are also laible to spring off pages as you flick though them. Taking the existing wire, I have made an ammendment to the existing traditional design, so it is still as cost effective and easy to manufacture as the original, but now allows one sized paper clip to grip a huge variety and thickness of documents, even gripping an A5 sketch pad. Despite my original perception, product design can be used to improve on (almost) every object.