In the 1970s, most portable radios had a square body, and the market was full of similar models.
The fashionable Toot-a-Loop series of radios was a major success due to its fun design like an art object. The first R-70 model was made to commemorate the Japan World Exposition, held in Osaka in 1970. The world was excited with the coming space age, which had begun with the landing of Apollo 11 on the Moon in the previous year. The Toot-a-Loop's futuristic spherical body with its sharply concave tuner dial made it a big hit. It was also a time in which pop culture was the trend with youngsters. The Toot-a-Loop's design triggered a long series of fashionable and quirky radios. The R-72 model in 1972 was a portable ring-shaped radio that could be wound around the arm. It had a fun design in which you had to twist and open the radio to use the tuner.
In Japanese product designs that tended to stress functionality at the expense of distinctiveness, this series proved that a sense of fun and pleasure is also an important element of design.
1974Consumer electronics seriesLoving color series
A pioneering and colorful series of consumer electronics
Paying attention to the interest of the younger generation in total coordination of living space, the series offered consumer electronics with matching colors. This was a pioneering step: matching series of consumer electronics and color-coordinated products.
Five products: a rice cooker, toaster oven, juicer, electric pot, and toaster were selected. A uniform color was chosen based on the results of a color preference survey. Mainly targeting newlyweds, a package containing a set of five products was also released. The number of items was then increased, centering on white goods, to broaden the series.
At that time, the first baby-boom generation was reaching their mid to late twenties and was creating the second baby-boom era. Colorful consumer electronics for the kitchen and dining room were new symbols of happiness.
1977Radio - Pepper radioR-012
Good Design Award 1977, Good Design Super Collection 1996
Added value with its 'light, thin, short, and small' characteristics
An epoch-making radio only 12.7 mm thick was realized by the development of a new IC chip attachment method called the YM process, a thin speaker, and a thin tuning capacitor. Its size, including 127 mm in height and 71 mm in width, meant that it could just fit into the chest pocket of a dress shirt.
It was designed as simple as possible to directly showcase the charm of its slim and compact body. All the controls are positioned on the top panel to enable the radio's controls to be adjusted without taking it out of the pocket. The metallic silver design represents technical advancement, and its satin finish gives a warm and attractive look.
It was a pioneer in wearable portable audio equipment. It became an immediate hot seller on its sales release, marking the start of the inclusion of the added values of lightness and compactness in product design.
1977Men's shaver - Super RazorES820
Good Design Award 1977
This easy-to-use T-shaped shaver boosted Panasonic's brand strength.
The first shaver to adopt direct drive that converts the motor's rotation into reciprocating blade movement.
Conventional reciprocating blade shavers mainly adopted a vibrator system using electromagnetic coils, which made razors boxy and heavy. The ES820, on the other hand, was a small and light shaver using direct drive, which required only a small motor. The thin grip where the motor and battery are housed provides a good grip during shaving. The T shape that became associated with safety razors remained as a recognizable characteristic of National men's shavers.
The light and easy-to-handle ES820 was a hit product. It dramatically raised the profile of the National brand in the Japanese razor market, which at the time was dominated by overseas manufacturers.
1978Component stereo systemConcise Compo
Good Design Award 1978
A high-grade audio system with an A4 size footprint
In the 1970s, users built their stereo systems by purchasing each component individually, so each component had a standard design to fit neatly into a stereo rack.
The Concise Compo, with its A4-size footprint, was an extremely small stereo set for the 1970s, but with its separate pre-amp and power amplifier, it offered audiophile-level performance. Because of its compact size, it did not require a dedicated rack, so it could be placed almost anywhere in a room, such as on the desk or other furniture. The Concise Compo's cabinet, made of integrally molded aluminum diecast, gives it the sharp and authentic look of high-level audio equipment. The bi-color LED strips replacing the traditional analog meter create an advanced look.
High-grade audio equipment was now freed from the usual heavy stereo rack, meaning that the listener could place it anywhere. This was an epoch-making stereo set that had a significant influence on domestic audio design later.
1978Microscope with lightFF-393
Good Design Award 1978
A new V-shaped product concept
One part is a cylindrical microscope and the other is a battery-powered light. The two cylinders are connected by a hinge, and the light comes on when it is opened. It offered the new idea of a portable 'Light Scope' that could be used anywhere.
The FF-393 could be dropped in a pocket or bag and simply taken out and opened to observe anything interesting. The light shines on the object of interest and the user sees a magnified image. This was a new and fun use of a microscope.
This portability, in addition to making the FF-393 useful for observing nature close up, benefited professionals responsible for precision manufacturing, such as in the fields of printing and high-precision processing,. It was a long-seller for over 20 years and was selected for inclusion in the MoMA collection.
An intimate pool of light at the dining table for family meals
A lighting fixture designed for use over a dining table. The lamp fitting can be moved vertically with a handle. During meal times, the lamp can be lowered to brightly illuminate the table. Later, it can be raised to fully illuminate the room.
A switch is provided on the handle, so all operations, including moving the lamp up and down, can be done in one place. The handle with a switch, which can otherwise look rugged, is given a soft appearance by effectively using a gentle curve. The lampshade can be easily removed to clean off any dust.
In the 1970s, the Japanese lifestyle became increasingly westernized. The family gathering space changed from cushions and low tables to chairs and the dining table. The reel pendant light fitting was a new departure from stereotypical fixed lighting fixtures and represented new household pendant lighting fixtures for dining rooms.