Valentine’s Day approaches. You can’t give them chocolates because they are on a diet. Flowers die so quickly. Tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway? Yeah, right! Why not try Grids & Guides (Red): A Notebook for Visual Thinkers instead? This type of gift says,”I know you are a creative, thoughtful person, who needs to express yourself. Write it down, then share it with me later over cavier and souffles.” Or something like that. Ideal for architects, designers, or anyone who likes to sketch, the 160-page, cloth-wrapped notebook includes eight repeating graph paper patterns (including some new grid designs) and a variety of useful charts covering knot-tying, logic expressions, perspective projection, a world map, and more. $16.95 from Princeton Architectural Press and other book sellers. Images courtesy Princeton Architectural Press.
At an event held last month at the company’s shop in Manhattan, Kikkerland presented finalist designs from the Kikkerland China Design Challenge, an competition held in collaboration with Beijing Design Week Organization and Redstar Design Fund. Held during Bejing Design Week 2014, the theme of the challenge was “A Passage Into Design,” which encouraged young talented Chinese designers to present unique ideas based on Chinese heritage, history and mythology. The ideas also had to exhibit the quirky sense of humor and wit characteristic of Kikkerland Design. Nearly 1,000 design submissions were received, from which 30 were selected and prototyped during a workshop with professionals. Ultimately, 17 finalists were chosen from the challenge. During the New York event, an award was presented to challenge winner Zhou Yi, who designed the Hutong Eraser, an eraser that represents the disappearing traditional architectural style that was once prominent in Beijing. “As the streets of Beijing are filled with more and more high-rise buildings, there are less and less Hutong style streets left,” says Yi. “The eraser will disappear as you use it, like the the disappearing Hutong.” The eraser, along with eight other finalists’ designs, will be produced and sold worldwide …
If you have a thing for mechanical pencils, then you should meet Penxo, a minimalist 2mm lead holder with no springs, buttons, or mechanical parts. Designed by Brian Tong Tak, Penxo recently took home a Red Dot Award in the stationery category and fulfilled its Kickstarter goal in less than a day. So how does this magical writing utensil work? Each pencil, which is pressure-milled from a single block of aircraft-grade aluminum, uses a center window gap which functions as a lead trigger release when gently squeezed. This window also allows the user to read the lead color, brand, hardness labels, and most conveniently, check the amount of lead left inside. Expected to ship in July, the pencil will sell at a MSRP of $35 and initially be available in two colors — Dark Black and Rebel Silver. All images courtesy of Penxo.
The AllSwell Notebook is a slim, travel-friendly journal made in the U.S. from recycled materials. Launched by Laura Rubin, founder and creative director of Left Left Right (LLR) Consulting, the 8.5” x 6.5” notebook is essentially two journals in one, including a lined “WRITE” side and a unlined “DRAW” side perfect for sketching. A percentage of the proceeds will go to A Walk on Water, an organization that provides water therapy through guided surf instruction to specials needs children. The notebook has 96 blank pages: 48 lined and 48 unlined. The interior covers feature custom designs by illustrator Alessandra Olanow. $21.00. http://allswellcreative.com/pages/find-us All images courtesy of AllSwell Creative.