What is it called?

I use post-its for a lot of my “wall work”, but we ran out of walls at the office, so I bought 98″x42″ sheets of 0.5″ thick black foamboards. We’ll use these to create impromptu project war rooms and I’d like to add more than post-its (mostly just regular A4 sheets of paper) to them, without permanently damaging the boards.

I know that there is a product that allows me to attach things the way I want, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it is called, much less where to get it. I have a hard time even describing it (lacking the right vocabulary in English I believe) – Eddie and Aparna tried to help me and I think they figured out what it was but they also couldn’t think of a name.

It’s a type of non-stick adhesive (?), not a tape, but some kind of dough (?!), often gray or white used to adhere paper to various surfaces. Eddie said it was big in the 80’s in the US. To me, it looks sort of like epoxy, but that’s not quite it since most epoxy products harden permanently fairly quickly.

This substance is really flexible, like molding clay, except you can reuse it over and over (eventually, after a lot of exposure to oxygen it hardens. If you keep it closed in a plastic bag it lasts for ages). You take a little chunk, roll it into a little ball and press it between the sheet and the surface you’re adhering to.

I’ve roamed two large art supply stores in vain. I have a faint memory that the original package was from the UK; I recall seeing it used at the British Council in Sao Paulo in the early 90’s (Yikes, I wish I had used that memory cell for something else…)

This is driving me nuts, so please help me if you can. Thanks!

13 thoughts on “What is it called?

  1. Josue

    I think its called sticky-tack. You can find it in craft stores, or in office depot or other office supply stores.

    Would you post some pictures of your “war room” walls? I’m curious to see your brainstorming process.


  2. Chase

    I’ve always called it Sticky-tack, which may be one of many possible generic names. Looks like the key word ended up being “tacky”.

  3. Livia Post author

    YES! Thank you so much everyone (I can sleep at night again). BlueTak from Botik is the one I was familiar with – recognized once I saw the box on leisa’s link. It should be easy to find it now – I’ll also check out the other recommendations, thanks.

  4. George Girton

    So, I have a question about this basic method, tacking up all those sheets on big posterboards.

    Does it really help? Isn’t just writing down all the ideas on a big sheet of paper, by which I mean a text file on a big monitor, just as good? Or is there something about “wall work” that involves hands/eyes/serendipity that makes it kinda breakthrough?

  5. Livia Post author

    I don’t think there is anything inherently good about posting things on foamboards, I just like to have things up on a wall so they can be viewed, discussed and manipulated in a more visual/tactile/quick manner – and I don’t have enough walls to do that, thus the foamboards.

    There is, however, the benefit of mobility. If you have a lot of projects at the same time or if you have a small office space, it’s easy to take your entire “project discussion” to another room and continue there, or move it to presentation room to walk other people through it.

  6. dgm

    it’s called blu tak but there are half a hundred competitors, pink, yellow, green

    personally I go for connectedness diagrams that need lots of colors and lots of sheets of paper glued together to get the structure right.

    Glueing menas you can paste a new page over a section if it has to change

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