Pens

Slide Over With HMM

I spend most of my day working on a computer in programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, and Premier and on my iPad using apps like Art Rage, or Sketchbook. These tools allow me to create everything from illustrations to motion graphics and video. As great as all of these tools are, they can’t replace the tactile feeling of putting pen to paper and actually drawing.

As a designer, I am always looking for quality drafting tools and drawing implements. That pen or pencil with the right weight balance, and feel in the hand. While it seems like something that should be easy it’s not. The right tool makes all the difference and you can feel it as soon as you pick up a pen or pencil that has it.

Recently I discovered HMM, a Japanese company whose goal is to make “The Ordinary Classy”. The name stands for Human-Mechanic-Method and they specialize in the manufacture of finely crafted coffee ware and office accessories.

“We focus on polishing the details that make utensils unique and human. With selected materials and craftsmanship our products are classic and timeless. They are ready to embellish your daily life.” HMM

What I picked up from them is “Slide“. A winner of this year’s iF Design Award, Slide is a stylish and multi-functional ruler and pen in one. Finely crafted from milled aluminum, and coated in a matte black finish.

The sleek tool features a unique magnetic structure that allows the pen and ruler to be split up into two pieces, or be reassembled back into one with a feeling that is fluid, and smooth.

Slide has a triangular shape to the body with one side that is distinctively flat while the other two roll into a gently curved edge. It feels really comfortable in my hand. The pen writes and draws beautifully with smooth ink flow allowing for a lighter touch and more control. The pen can be used independently from the ruler or with it by simply pushing it forward to expose the tip. With the ruler attached to the pen, the back takes on the same gently curving arch with an almost indistinguishable seam between the pen and the ruler.

The ruler is all metric measurements. That makes sense since it is a Japanese product designed for the world market. That doesn’t bother me at all though. I’m not going to be using it for doing much measuring, I’ll be using it to help me draw straight lines when I need them.

The packaging is impressive as well. Well thought out and executed with sustainable materials. Slide comes in a matte black cardboard sleeve. Inside there is a stacked chipboard container that has been cut to hold the device in place. The container is wrapped in a black paper liner that contains simple instructions on how to refill the pen and use it.

Along with the packaging, there is a really well-designed catalog of HMM products. Minimal layout and simple type treatments really round out the emphasis on the quality HMM put into their product and package design.

Advertisements

“Pens”, Amnesty International.

TBWA Paris, has produced a powerful and visually stunning spot for Amnesty International. Directed by   and co-produced by Troublemakers.tv the full CGI two minute commercial uses motion capture to create a fluid piece that epitomizes the potential of your signature. “Pens” highlights the voice that each person can bring about in the birth of a social movement. The animated short builds through visuals of protest, followed by oppression with a voice over that punctuates the power of freedom and liberty. As the short reaches it’s end it concludes with the words “your signature is more powerful than you think”.  The look is unforgettable, with a cool black and white finish, and a production quality that hooks you and keeps you watching until the very end.

Client – Amnesty International
Agency – TBWA Paris
Vice President – Anne Vincent
Account Management – Laure Lagarde
Account Management – Isabelle Dray
Clients – Bertin Leblanc, Arnaud Humblot
Creative Director – Philippe Taroux
Creative Director – Benoit Leroux
Art Director – Ingrid Varetz
Head of TV – Maxime Boiron
Agency Producer – Amer Zoghbi
Production Company – troublemakers.tv
Director – Onur Senturk
Producer – James Hagger
Production Manager – Aurelie Chevalier
Production Manager – Cecile Alvarez
Production Assistant – Charles-Philippe Bowles
1st Assistant Director – Thomas Bidart
Motion Capture – Mocaplab
Motion Capture Shoot Director – Remi Brun
Motion Capture Supervisor – Frank Vayssettes
Motion Capture Editor – Charles Fourgeront
Motion Capture Assistant – Ahmed Turki
Motion Capture Actor (Hero) – Romain Ogerau
Motion Capture Actor – Franck Pech
Motion Capture Actor – Charles Lelaure
Co-Producer & Post Production – One More
Post Producer – Benjamin Darras
Art Director – Johnny Alves
Post Production Coordinator – John Meunier
VFX Supervisor – Eddy Richard
3D Artist – Francois-Xavier Gonnet
Modelling, Setup – Gwenhael Glon
Layout – Romain Durr
Animation – Jérémie Vidal
Layout, Lighting, Renders, Compositing – Jérome Rouvelet
Layout, Lighting, Renders, Compositing – Thomas Rodriguez
Layout, Lighting, Renders, Compositing – Tim Lebon
Layout, Lighting, Renders, Compositing – Victor Besse
R&D Supervisor – Alain Xerri
Editor – Nicolas Larrouquere
Additional Editing – Romain Bouileau
Flame Operator – Hervé Thouement
Music – Paolo Nutini, Dave Nelson & Charlie Chaplin
Music Art Direction – Philippe Mineur, Ferdinand Huet
Sound Producer – Benoit Dunaigre
Head of Music & Sound – Olivier Lefebvre