Saturday, 26 December 2015

On the 2nd Day of Christmas...

... this blogger gave to thee...
... two fancy pens...
... and a lego man made of a tree.

How many times a day do you pick up a pen and write? 

Probably less frequently now that everyone has a computer, tablet, email and phones. Sometimes, after a prolonged period of not picking up a pen and handwriting something, you can feel it in your wrist, as it aches in a particular way that only occurs when you have your hand pressed into the writing position.

Personally, I handwrite every day, keeping lists of jobs that come through work, notes on issues and scribbles of designs. That said, I also handwrite a long on my tablet, my favourite app being a sketchbooks app I tried to write a post on, then they completely reformatted it and I haven't sorted out... perhaps I'll do it as a comparison/review in the New Year.

Never the less, when you're writing by hand, your pen is incredibly important. Do you prefer a roller ball, fountain or fine line tip? Cheap plastic every day pens or specially bought favourite? Currently, my favourite is a Pilot V|Ball 0.5 which I got on offer in the supermarket, it's a little scratchy, but it has a fine nib which keeps my cursive neat. So today for day two, I've got two interesting pen designs to show you, both of which have a unique slant to the traditional implement.

Align, a twist ballpoint pen, has been designed by Poetic Lab for London Based design house, Beyond Object, with a unique dislocated twist mechanism for raising and lowering the pen nib. Otherwise this is a very simple, elegant brushed metal pen, beautiful in itself, but the mechanism, jutting out from the main body of the pen tempts you into making its sculptural form functional.
Made out of aerospace grade aluminium, with internally fitted brass gears similar to those used within the movements of watches and clocks, when the middle section is aligned with the main body of the pen, the nib appears, when it is disjointed it disappears. A simple and elegant movement and unlike your traditional Biro. Within this moveable middle section, there is also a cleverly concealed clip, made to sit flush into the body of the barrel, allowing you to slip your pen securely into a pocket, or atop a notebook without damaging the aesthetic. 
Sculptural, simplistic and elegant, the Align Pen still retains one important aspect of a pens functionality... the ability to nervously retract the nib whilst processing your thoughts.

Unlike the Align Pen, the POLAR Pen created by designer, Andrew Gardner of Indiedesign, is all about the multi-functionality of the simple writing implement and the playfulness often sought for whilst you're thinking about your next sentence or drawing.
Externally, it looks a simple enough design, an elegantly formed, relatively common place aesthetic which looks not dissimilar to a jazzed up fine liner, however it is within the construction of the product that the Polar Pen begins to come to life.

Made up of thirteen gold, gun metal or silver plated neodymium rings which are slipped over the ink cartridge, fitted with a pen tip, clip, caps and if desired, a stylus tip, it is the magnetic nature of the neodymium - a rare earth metal - which gives the pen its playful and curious quality. It brings that ability for nervous fidgeting and compulsive disassembly, many of us subconsciously do as we use the humble pen.

Initially prototyped to find a way around the traditional productions techniques such as gluing, compression fittings or threads. By incorporating the magnets Gardner not only managed to achieve this, but created a pen which not only self constructs - to a point - and self caps through its own magnetism, but can transform into a compass or spinner, part of a projectile launcher or battery powered circuit, it's limited only by your imagination and level of procrastination/boredom whilst working.  

I think most people would end up spending more time on the playing aspects of this pen than their penmanship.

Both designs are unique, though the Polar Pen in looks alone is very reminiscent of those swap point pencils the kids I was friends with in the nineties were obsessed with, and they're both beautiful in their simplicity. But one of the nicest aspects of both these pen designs, is the fact that they were both Kickstarter projects, which were successfully funded into fruition by their fans and admirers and are not purchasable products in the world.

That's nice.

Merry Christmas! Part three tomorrow...

Link || Align - Twist Ballpoint Pen via Beyond Object
Link || Align Pen by Beyond Object via Design Boom
Link || Align - A Minimal Pen With A Twist via Design Milk
Link || POLAR Pen Website
Link || Polar Magnetic Pen via This Is Colossal
Link || The Amazing Magnetic Pen Will Take Hours From Your Life via Wired
Link || Polar, Modular Pen and Stylus Made Out of Magnets via Laughing Squid
Link || A Pen With Magnetic Appeal via Core77

Listening: Dirt Sledding ft. Ryan Pardey, Richard Dreyfuss - The Killers

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