A form of expression that is not possible with
conventional paper

Light paper produces rich forms of expression.
Paper is a material that is familiar to me.
I sought a form of expression that is possible with special paper containing SWP, which differs from ordinary paper in that it can be deeply embossed.
One of its characteristics is that it becomes transparent and allows light to pass through when it is heated. At the initial stage, the explanation of the material left on me the strong impression of light paper.
I heated the SWP paper and shone light onto it. The soft light on it was quite beautiful.
I had seen the paper in the form of business cards and other cards, but I thought that I should use light to show the appeal of this paper. I therefore decided to use the light transmission characteristics and take advantage of SWP with the aim of creating a product that could not be made with ordinary paper, while keeping the texture of the paper intact.
At first, I thought of creating something that covers a lamp like a lamp shade, but later I came up with the idea of something on a wall like a poster by taking greater advantage of the paper aspect of the material.
I therefore decided to emboss the material in the form of a light tube as a motif that is directly associated with light.
However, it was very difficult … (laughs) … to create the form of the tube, especially that of the connector at the end. It was hard to make it sharp.
The point of this project was to make the light tube look real. Failure to do so would blur the form of expression linked directly to the characteristics of the material. The form of the embossing was quite finely tuned, and trial production was undertaken several times to ultimately imitate the form of the light tube connector. The specifications printed on the tube were created by heating so that light would pass through the characters. SWP is a chemical fiber, but it has a soft texture. This gives the light a gentle appearance. This paper produces richer forms of expression than I expected.
I understand that it has primarily been used for packages to date, but I believe that the range of its applications will be broadened if they are developed with a focus on light.

About the material

SWP, which stands for Synthetic Wood Pulp, is the world’s only synthetic pulp created using Mitsui Chemicals’ unique technology. Like natural pulp, it has a form that branches out in a micrometric size. (01)
When it is added to natural pulp or other material in the paper milling process, it adds special functions to the paper.
Including a high level of whiteness that cannot be achieved by dyeing, thermally induced change into transparency, thermal sealing and an embossed texture for 3D expression, the design features allow material blended with SWP to be used for fashion catalogues, wrapping containers, business cards, greeting cards, book covers, lamp shades and more. (02)

It is highly compatible with natural pulp, it has a high degree of whiteness and it becomes transparent when heated. Along with its unique soft texture, it opens the way for expressing snow-like whiteness and clear transparency like that of ice in a single sheet of paper.

In Europe, its thermal sealing function has led to its use in making tea bags without metal staples, although this application is still uncommon in Japan.
These tea bags can be filled with tea leaves around four times faster than stapled tea bags. They enable a metal contamination test to be undertaken, thereby enhancing safety and reassurance. In addition, they are more useful, as the lack of metal materials means that they can be microwaved.
Actual implementation proves that fewer work processes are required to fill them with tea leaves, that the waiting time is shorter by two minutes or more, and that stewed tea can be easily prepared simply by placing a tea bag into milk and microwaving it. (03)



In this project, we presented SWP to Ms. Kawakami, who had been working to create many different paper designs. She was extremely pleased with it, and selected it.
In addition, her idea was so attractive that it went far beyond our expectations.
SWP brings innovation to traditional paper.
The LED brings innovation to the light.
It is covered with a material that has draping characteristics like those of cloth. It is usually inconspicuous, but always close to people.
Her efforts to express the innovation by combining these aspects have thoroughly highlighted the appeal of the material in a manner that exceeds our expectations.
The selection of a partner with advanced processing technologies was essential to the realization of the concept required by this project. Tsujikawa Co., Ltd. met our challenging request superbly.
We hereby express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone involved in this project, and we will take new steps forward toward emphasizing the appeal of the material.

Eriko Kawakami / art director
Eriko Kawakami is an art director who was born in Tokyo in 1982. She graduated from the Department of Design in the Faculty of Fine Arts of Tokyo University of the Arts and joined DRAFT in 2008. Her major works include san grams for Marumatsu Seichajo and creatives for the Potchiri purse store and Aoyama Flower Market. She won a JAGDA award in 2013 and an ADC award in 2015.
Eriko Kawakami
  • AD+D /Eriko Kawakami
  • Photo/Yasutomo Ebisu
  • Processing/Tsujikawa Co. Ltd.