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</p><p>Designed as a functional, wind-proof lighter, the sparse yet ultimately masculine Zippo lighter has gone on to become a design icon. And, it’s not just thanks to its design, but the fact that it’s a mini canvas in metal that can be adorned with creative and iconic imagery.</p><p>
The Zippo is a lighter that has become an icon for an era – from boosting James Dean’s sex appeal to taking out terrorists in Die Hard II – the little lighter that could has set the world of design aflame at many levels.
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Iain Tait

Creative director – Poke, www.pokelondon.com

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James Stirling

Senior designer – Start Creative, www.startcreative.co.uk

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A smoker always remembers his first Zippo. Mine was bought on typical English summer’s day in 1996 at the V festival: it was about 12 degrees and a force 9 gale was blowing. There is only one lighter in a crisis like this – the Zippo. From a practical point of view it’s faultless – it lights no matter what the weather. As for the looks, if it was good enough for Clint Eastwood then it was good enough for me. Just the act of lighting up made me feel like Steve McQueen; that clink as it opens, it’s not designed, it’s just the way it is. Maybe the Zippo’s lost a bit of its cool these days, I don’t know, I’ve given up smoking, but I still have that Zippo; god knows where the clipper went.
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