The renown of Japanese design firm Nendo was built upon a signature degree of poetic minimalism – forms allowing function delivering small moments of joy – something beautifully displayed in their latest Nautilus Paper Knife.

A 3D printed resin paper knife takes both its name and shape from the marine cephalopod, a simplified spiral housing with a hidden blade inside. When an envelope is passed through the slit on the side, the interior blade positioned within the inner spiral is guided under the flap to precisely slice open the envelope.

Despite the seemingly simple exterior form and the accessory’s singular function, repeated testing was required to develop the complex interior blade housing and to discover the optimal shape, angle, and distance from the slit for precise paper cutting.

The Nendo Nautilus Paper Knife is now available at nendo house for about $114 and available in either black or white.

Photos by Akihiro Yoshida.