Japanese Designers Put A Friendly Face On The Humble Screw

In the gadget world, proprietary screws are anathema, el diablo. Used by the likes of Apple specifically to prevent customers from fixing their own devices (and thus, forcing them to pay much higher in-store repair fees), screws with nonstandard heads (i.e., not Phillips or flathead) are much reviled.

Perhaps these smiley screws–called, appropriately enough, the Screw:)–will put a better face on the nonstandard screw. Designed by Japanese studio Yumakano and Komuro Manufacturing, these screws have an emoji where the head should go, and a smiley face for a screwdriver head.

Look, we’re not going to lie: As far as having a screw that works, there are a lot of problems with this design, even outside of the whole proprietary nature of it. For one thing, even proprietary screw designs are usually symmetrical across multiple axes, to make it easy to line up the screwdriver and the screw head. Not so the Screw:). Then there’s the fact that there’s simply no way to screw these in and guarantee that the smiley will be right-side up, kind of making them pointless.

But hey, on the plus side? If you’ve ever experienced the maddening frustration of trying to remove a stripped screw, the Screw:) design looks like it would hold up pretty well. And you’ve got to admit, they’re a lot cheerier than the humorless flathead and the overly zealous Phillips designs.

Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be available for sale, except perhaps to corporate clients with more money than sense. Which is kind of perfect: If Apple did start using these, wouldn’t you feel a little better about not being let into your Mac?JB