March 29, 2012
You dig your Nelson Swag Leg desk. You rave about your SAYL chair. But when was the last time you bragged about your stapler? Spread the love to the desktop tools you use on an everyday basis by exploring these go-sites for well-designed office supplies. Read more
Balance, Design, Products
January 5, 2012
Not interested in investing in a brand-new calendar every time a new year rolls around? Save yourself some time with one of these perpetual picks.
1. Calendar Tin, $9.00 Multitasking at its best: the three swiveling compartments of this container let you stay up to date, and the inside lets you store small office supplies. Get it: monkeybusiness.co.il
2. ThreeSixFive Calendar, $17.99 Inject a bit of color with the bright blocks of this easygoing wood design. Get it: joannehudson.com
3. Futuro Perpetual Calendar, CAD$29.99 The 14 double-sided inserts included with this smart calendar by designer Pieter Woudt help you stay on schedule. Forever. Get it: morba.myshopify.com
4. The Calendar Wall Decal by Ferm Living, $126.50 Change the look of your workspace in a flash with this decorative WallSticker, which can be personalized with post-its and chalk. Get it: velocityartanddesign.com
5. Perpetual Calendar, ¥9,345 Keep up with every day (every year) with this simple creation hailing from Japan’s “More Trees” organization. Get it: rumors.jp
Images linked to their sources within the numbered text
September 19, 2011
Remodelista has put together a nice round-up of stylish office supplies including this ceramic pencil holder from Anthropologie (above) and this pen and paper holder (below) from the O’Brian Muehleisen Architecture Studio.
August 23, 2011
1. Papermate White Pearl Eraser (Set of 12), $9.99 Even the handwriting font on this premium eraser is a classic. Get it: Discount School Supply
2. Know-It-All Pencil Set, $10.00 This smart set of No. 2 pencils would have been your number-one pick during pop-quiz time. Get it: ReForm School
3. Hand-stitched leather pencil case, $40.00 Keep your writing utensils in chic shape with this case crafted from vegetable-tanned Italian cowhide. Get it: Zenok Leather
4. X-Acto Ranger 55 Heavy-Duty Pencil Sharpener, $28.99 Give your modern workspace a twist (or, we should say, a crank) using this retro design. Get it: Amazon
5. Chalkboard Tablet, $22.00 List-making gets easier (and eco-friendly) when you create them on tablets made from high-school bleachers, reclaimed black leather, and chalkboard paint. Get it: Peg and Awl
Want more product picks? Check out my various collections and random finds on Pinterest.
August 11, 2011
1. MUJI Tape Dispenser, $4.00 Is it just us, or does this simple design feel a bit mischievous? Get it: MoMA Store
2. Tetu Cast Iron Tape Dispenser, $150.00 Japanese product designer Makoto Koizumi formed this office staple from cast iron and walnut. Get it: Emmo Home
3. Stikit Tape Dispenser, $18.50 The “Stikpad” on the bottom of this dispenser grips any surface so it won’t budge when you go to grab the sticky stuff. Get it: Uma
4. Claustrum Tape Dispenser, $100.00 The futuristic-meets-retro combo shape of this heavy-gauge stainless-steel dispenser lets you pull tape with just one hand. Get it: Canoe
5. Wave Tape Dispenser, $125.00 Watch out: this hand-made walnut creation by Brooklyn designer Todd St. John might inspire you to ditch work for a quick beach day. Get it: Igloo Store
Design, Products, Technology
August 2, 2011
1. C Shelves VoonWong&BensonSaw designed this series of C-shaped steel tables and shelves to be combined, stacked, or placed back to back. Get info: vwbs.co.uk
2. Aurora Display Case, $49.53 per unit 500 colored pencils (available by subscription) become a piece of artwork when you display them in this conversation-starting case. Get it: glb.felissimo.jp
3. BURO Desk Set, $150.00 Reminiscent of wooden building blocks, these desk accessories by London-based DesignWright come in green, purple, or gray. Get it: Lexon
4. Gear Tie, $4.49 and up Put a twist on wrapping up loose ends (like computer cords and ear buds) with these bright organizing solutions. Get it: Nite Ize
5. QABLE, $39.00 These unique cable extensions work especially well when you’re wall-mounting an item that requires a visible power line. Get it: Biegert & Funk
June 13, 2011
For a few months now, I’ve been eyeballing the folks at Poppin, the new office-supply retailer aiming to transform dull desktop items into fun, candy-colored design pieces. I’ve already been wooed by a smart marketing campaign (when I followed them on Twitter back in February, they sent a direct message asking for my address so they could mail me a gift. A few weeks later, I received a box of turquoise ballpoint pens—completely cool. And, turquoise!). This week, I’ve been charmed by a look at their launch products on the Poppin site (still in Beta).
Nicely designed and brightly hued (you can shop by color), the line ranges from funky retro pens to preppy laptop bags to a selection of I-probably-don’t-need-it-but-I-want-it-anyway rulers. Take a quick peek here—your desk might just thank you.
November 16, 2010
With more people looking for environmentally friendly products, bamboo has become a popular material for making all kinds of things. There are definitely some legitimate concerns regarding the processing and possible over use of bamboo, however I stand by the belief that we are better off with as many alternative sources for materials as possible – it’s a good way to ensure we avoid the depletion of any one source. Let’s take a look at some really cool bamboo office supplies.
Three by Three Seattle makes some incredibly well designed and beautiful supplies. Their Large Bamboo Dry-Erase Channel Panel (31.5” x 15.75”) is one of my favorites. This great looking dry erase board is made from real bamboo that is specially treated so it acts as a dry erase board, and it has plenty of extras like a bamboo pen cup, magnetic strips, hooks, and a mail slot to help organize yourself. It is available in two sizes, and also in a plain and accessorized version. $40 – $100 via Three by Three Seattle
Retro 51 makes a line of very popular pens called the Tornado that come in tons of different colors. They recently introduced a bamboo version that I’ve had the privilege to try out, and not only does it look fantastic, but it also writes flawlessly with a super smooth feel as it glides across the paper. For each of these pens that are sold, Retro 51 makes a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation to rescue 250 square feet of rainforest, and the habitat it protects. $40 via Goldspot
You may not be able to tell that these notebooks are made from bamboo just by looking at their colorful covers, but they have a little secret. The pages inside of these notebooks are all made with 100% sustainable bamboo pulp. Unlike some environmentally friendly paper, the paper in these notebooks has a strong sturdy feel, and holds up well to many different inks. They come in multiple sizes ranging from pocket sized to full letter sized. $5 – $10 via Amazon
Chair mats might be one of the ugliest, and one of the most environmentally unfriendly items I can think of, but thankfully the folks at Anji Mountain turned the once ugly item into something that looks so nice that you almost feel bad putting it on the floor. These bamboo chair mats come in a dark and light shade and in multiple sizes and shapes, so you have plenty of options once you ditch that ugly old, yellowing, and probably cracked, plastic chair mat. $120 to $350 via Amazon
Everyone has a USB flash drive, but not everyone has one that is environmentally friendly like this 4 GB Bamboo USB Flash Drive from Staples. With a comfy 4GB of storage, and a magnetized bamboo cap to keep the USB plug securely covered, you cant go wrong with this great looking little storage solution. $25 via Staples
Illustrations by Jordan Awan.
September 17, 2010
I’ve had the misfortune of using some pretty bad highlighters in my life, and all they really highlight is how hard it can be to actually find something that is long lasting, with bright color, and doesn’t have a tip that gets mushy and streaky. Here are cool highlighters that I’ve used that avoid some of those common problems.
If you are an avid note taker, these Post-it Flag Plus Highlighters are for you. Not only do they give you great bright and bold highlighting ability, but they also come stuffed full of Post-it flags to further enhance your note taking. The chunky body and comfortable rubber grip house a pretty generous ink supply as well. $7 for 3 via Amazon
For a more professional and refined highlighting experience, take a look at the Zebra Stainless Steel Refillable Highlighter. With a full stainless steel body, cap, and clip, this highlighter has a very stylish look to it, plus it can take a pretty good beating. Inside the stainless steel body resides a replaceable ink cartridge similar to the ink cartridges in fountain pens. $3 via Buy.com
The Textsurfer Classic Highlighters from Staedtler offer the ability to highlight directly on inkjet print without smearing, which is a very impressive feat. In addition to highlighting inkjet text well, they are also available in a bevy of colors for those of you who like to color code with your highlighters. $8 for 12 via Amazon
Anyone who is a fan of fountain pens has no doubt tried to fashion a highlighter out of one of their fountain pens. Pelikan has made it easier with their new translucent yellow M 205 Demonstrator (Demonstrator is just fancy-talk for see-through in the fountain pen world) that comes with a big wide nib. The nib isn’t quite wide enough to highlight the entire height of a standard 10 or 12 size font, but it will still be wide enough to make your text stand out. Not available in the US quite yet, but it should be here soon. See it at the official Pelikan website and expect to drop about $120 for it when it does become available.
Lastly if it’s durability, environmentally-friendly, long-lasting ink is your thing, check out the Platinum Preppy highlighter with Noodlers Year of the Golden Pig highlighting ink. This one requires a little DIY (Do it Yourself) spirit, but if done correctly, the 4.5 oz bottle of ink and replaceable felt tips should get you through years of highlighting. About $20 via Writers Bloc
Illustrations by Jordan Awan.
August 3, 2010
Let me make this clear from the start, although I do hate writing with pencils, I’ve also got a favorite one that is the only one I’ll probably ever write with. For years I refused to use one because I hate the inconsistent, soft, and fuzzy line and I hate how quickly the points get dull. If those things don’t bother you as much as they do me, here are a five different kinds of pencils based on the type of pencil user you might be.
For the pencil chewer, Smencils are probably your best choice. They are made from newspaper so they are environmentally friendly, but even more important, no wood means no splinters for your tongue or lips. Smencils are scented with 10 different scents, so as you chew on your pencil you can daydream of root beer, watermelon, black cherry, cinnamon, cotton candy, grape, bubble gum, orange, berry, or tropical fruit…P.S. don’t really chew your pencils, it probably isn’t very safe, and I don’t want to get sued. $12 for 10 via Amazon
For the traditionalist, you cant go wrong with the Paper Mate Mirado Black Warrior. High quality lead and premium cedar wood make for an excellent writing experience that is actually surprisingly better than that of your cheap-o low quality pencils. With wood grain that is designed to make sharpening easier, and a Pink Pearl eraser that is highly effective and wont rip your paper, for the price, you really cant go wrong. $4 for 12 via Amazon
For the environmentalists out there, you might want to check out the Dixon Ticonderoga Renew pencils made from recycled car tires. Now to be fair, I don’t know the exact process used to break down the tires and shape them into pencils, but I do know that it doesn’t require cutting down a bunch of trees, and it does something useful with the over 2 billion tires sitting in US landfills alone. $6 for 10 via Amazon
This is where I see myself, the practical pencil user. I want it sharp, I don’t want it to break, and I want it to write with a thin consistent line all the time without stopping to sharpen it. The Uniball Kuru Toga is probably the most technically advanced pencil out there. It is a mechanical pencil that actually has a tiny clutch mechanism built into the point, and as you write, the pressure from writing and then lifting the pencil off the paper engages the clutch mechanism that rotates the lead for you. This auto-rotating mechanism not only ensures a constantly sharp point, but it also results in far fewer broken points because of the evenly worn lead. $9 each via Amazon
A true pencil enthusiast would probably do just about anything to get their hands on even just one unused Eberhard Faber Blackwing Pencil. They stopped making these pencils in 1998, however there is still a bit of an unused stock out there that many people covet, horde and pay dearly for. Why? Well, the motto stamped on this pencil tells the story, they say “Half the pressure, twice the speed” so in other words, these things are supposed to write beautifully and effortlessly. Their soft high quality lead puts down a smooth dark line, and many people are also as fascinated with the simple design as they are the writing experience it provides. You can pay up to $40 for ONE pencil these days, and eBay is your best bet.
Illustrations by Jordan Awan.