Archive for the ‘Office’ Category

Organize Like a Ninja

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Proclaiming its devotion to making “creative and delicate design stuff to share with people all over the world,” proudly Taiwanese brand Bone has also been making a name for itself, with an ever-expanding collection of quirky gadgets and accessories to help keep your technological life in order.

Take the Ninja Driver, a feisty little (red dot design award-winning) USB stick with a flexible one-piece design that’s both casing and cap – no extra bits to lose. Or their D.I.Y. options (we’ve got the Kung-Fu Master and the Queen’s Guard): self-assembling USB drives with Lego-like, action-figure appeal; perfect for wasting time at the office. Each $34.95.

Bone’s other “design stuff” includes a novel assortment of stands and cases for the now pretty much ubiquitous iPhone and iPad. You’ll find a selection of the best at Swipe, including the origami-inspired New Folding Stand and the streamlined silicone-and-aluminum-alloy Angles Stand Pro (fully adjustable from 0 to 135 degrees, for typing and viewing comfort), both for iPad. New Folding Stand $14.95, Angles Stand Pro $43.95.

Keep your tablet warm and cozy in the iPag: this cleanly styled carrying case has a concealed back pocket for stowing essentials like your charger or phone, and comes in Nylon (black/grey) or Microfiber (grey/green) versions. And for that precious phone? The Phone Scribble and Phone Cell Plus are innovative, silicone-embossed pouches: stylish, soft-lined, bump-proof cocoons with a handy drawstring and a little extra space for accessories. Nylon iPag $39.95, Microfiber iPag $49.95, Phone pouches $24.95 each.

Want more? Check out design darlings – winners of both the red dot and iF design awards – the Horn Stand Portable Amplifier and its bicycle-mountable counterpart, the Horn Bike Portable Amplifier. Each is crafted from a single piece of silicone, amplifying the iPhone’s sound by up to 13 decibels without any need for an external power source. It’s what happens when gramophone and silicone collide… $19.95–$24.95.



If all this cleverness is too much (or perhaps it’s not enough?), you can always keep things simple – and your earphone cords under control – with a Mummy Earphone Wrap. Dead cute. And just $5.95.


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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto locations, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or email us at info@swipe.com.

Drinking Water, on Tap

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Okay, so filling a glass bottle with water and whacking a flip-top seal on it is hardly revolutionary, but the folks at tap water are determined to relegate plastic-bottled water to the annals of shame. Buying bottled water is an indulgence; it’s wasteful; chemicals inevitably leach into what you drink; producing the bottles and breaking them down again uses up a hefty chunk of natural resources; fewer than 20 percent of bottles are actually ever recycled; and it’s bad for the fish (not to mention everything that eats them, including us).

The tap water website has more information on all of this. And we have the tap water bottles. They’re simple, sleek and sturdy, with a clean design. They’re made from resilient but lightweight glass, with strong clasps and rubber seals. And unless you smash them (and you’d have to make an effort), they’re the ultimate in reusability. Available in three sizes – the large 1 litre, the medium 500 ml and the super-cute little 250 ml – they’re equally at home on your dinner table, your office desk or in your handbag or backpack.

So if you’re not already a convert to glass, come and check them out. And if you are, then maybe you can convert a friend. Or a co-worker. Or your parents.

tap water bottle, large (1 L / 32 oz): $19.95
tap water bottle, medium (500 ml / 17 oz): $14.95
tap water bottle, small (250 ml / 9 oz): $11.95

The Bane of Antiquarian Booksellers Everywhere (Highlighters That Is, Not Conceptual Artists with Goofy Want Lists)

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

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Stabilo Boss Original Highlighter
? 1971: Dr. Hans-Hoachim Hofmann

The introduction of the Stabilo Boss highlighter in 1972 represented the invention of an entirely new product category. The Boss was the first overwriting highlighter, created to exploit the properties of what were, at the time, newly developed fluorescent inks. Stabilo claims that the distinctive oblong shape, which will not roll off a desk, was the result of an anonymous industrial designer having squashed a conical clay prototype in frustration. Well, perhaps. What is undoubtedly true is that Schwan-Stabilo recently had their German trademark on the product’s unique shape upheld in a case against the Beifa Group, a Chinese look-alike manufacturer. As with Kenji Ekuan’s iconic Soya-sauce bottle for Kikkoman, the form of the Boss is synonymous with the brand.

Stabilo Boss Highlighter, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red or Pink: $1.99

And now a more Swipe-o-centric note about highlighters:

Swipe alumni and Canadian art ortus astrum Derek Sullivan has, for several years, collected used copies of one specific college English Lit. text: Gulliver’s Travels. In the process, Sullivan has compiled an informal typology of idiosyncratic highlighting and marginalia, with the patterns of congruity and variation, both academic and personal, standing in for the anonymous reader. How (or if) this material will ever become art remains to be seen. Derek’s work is also the subject of a newly published catalogue, We May Be Standing on the Shoulders of Giants but Some of Us Are Looking at the Stars, which documents a solo exhibition at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge last spring. Beautifully designed by the ubiquitous The Office of Gilbert Li, the catalogue does surprising justice to Derek’s unassuming oeuvre. (2009: Southern Alberta Art Gallery; ISBN 9781894699426)

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We May Be Standing on the Shoulders of Giants but Some of Us Are
Looking at the Stars

2009: Derek Sullivan & Pamela Meredith cdnmapleleaf

$19.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

After 20 years I discovered that design is just language and the real issue is what you use that language to say. – TK

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Tastes change. Movements and ideas that once seemed sublime, when seen through the lens of time, often appear ridiculous … or not. Happily, the design and the professional practice of Tibor Kalman continue to offer inspiration to any young designer well enough informed to be familiar with his work. In the early 1980s Kalman, and his New York City design practice M&Co, pioneered the ‘no compromise, no apology’ approach to design that so many small studios now aspire to. More than a decade before the fashionable design manifestos of the late ’90s, M&Co consistently created iconoclastic, progressive and culturally relevant work driven foremost by the designer’s personal values (we will consider the formidable cultural contributions of his partner Maira Kalman in a separate post). As Editor-in-Chief of the Benetton™ magazine Colors, Kalman created a body of work that is among the most powerful in American graphic design history, before he was forced to leave by his (ultimately-fatal) non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1995. Kalman was also the prototypical design entrepreneur and produced a series of subtle product designs under the M&Co brand, a few of which are still in production from the Museum of Modern Art and Projects™ of Bedford, Mass.

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M&Co Wristwatches

? 1984: Tibor Kalman, Maira Kalman & Alexander Isley

Originally conceived as a line for ‘80 design retailer Sointu, the M&Co watch line was quickly brought in-house and became the most identifiable product bearing the M&Co brand. Watches were designed on a collaborative basis during studio downtime (thus the engraved motto “Waste Not a Moment”). The present versions are faithful reissues produced under license by Projects and feature a black electroplated aluminum case, Swiss quartz movement by ETA, a scratch-resistant mineral glass crystal, and a top-stitched, glove leather lined band with matching black buckle.

M&Co Askew Wristwatch: $147.95

Askew is typical of M&Co’s playful approach to the logic of analog time representation: as long as the familiar twelve is at the top of the dial, the location of the remainder of the numbers is irrelevant.

M&Co Ten-One-Four Wristwatch: $147.95

The first and most acclaimed of M&Co’s watch designs, Ten-One-Four again plays on the conventions of the watch face. From Maira’s sketchpad, the three random hours provide the minimum markings necessary to accurately pick out the time of day.

M&Co Bodoni Wristwatch: $147.95

The most traditional design to come out of the M&Co watch program, Bodoni celebrates the first great modern serif typeface design by Giambattista Bodoni in Parma, Italy in the late 18th century.

M&Co 5 O’Clock Wristwatch: $147.95

5 o’clock is the best time. Time to go for a drink. Time to go home. Time to see friends and family.

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M&Co Sky Umbrella

? 1992: Tibor Kalman

Introduced in 1992 and one of MoMA’s perpetual bestsellers, this witty umbrella sports an eternally cheerful sky designed by Tibor Kalman.

M&Co Sky Umbrella: $74.95

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M&Co Paperweights

? 1984: Tibor Kalman

A paperweight that empathizes with the fate of most of the paper it holds down. Made from rigid vinyl, silk screened and hand-crumpled so that no two are identical.

M&Co Paperweight, Legal Pad or Blueprint: $39.95

Unfortunately the excellent monograph Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist edited by Michael Bierut and Peter Hall for Princeton Architectural Press is, for the time being, unavailable. We have, for several months, hoped in vain for a swift reprint.

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

Global Design from Replogle

Friday, February 6th, 2009

The largest globe manufacturer in the world, Replogle Globes of Chicago has recently shown an interest in applying design principles to an otherwise very conservative product category. These lines, while far from revolutionary, are both admirable for their understanding of contemporary aesthetics and their attention to detail.

Mikado 12″Globe & Spectrum 6″Globe

? 2004: Claus Jensen & Henrik Holbæk

Mikado, with its slate gray oceans, high-contrast metallic silver map, and unique angular brushed stainless steel base is a truly striking globe. Designed exclusively for Replogle Globes by Copenhagen based Tools Design, Mikado won a Advancing Design and Innovation Award in 2005. The 6″ Spectrum features the same slate-colored oceans and high-contrast metallic silver map as the award-winning Mikado, set on a circular stainless steel axis base.

Replogle Mikado 12″ Globe: $189.95
Replogle Spectrum 6″ Globe: $39.95

The Frank Lloyd Wright Collection

Licensed from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation these globes adapt some of Wright’s most famous architectural details and furniture designs as bases for premium quality globes.

Frank Lloyd Wright Barrel 16″Globe

This globe stand is an adaptation of one of Frank Lloyd Wright most universally recognized furniture designs. It is a modified version of the famous Barrel Chair originally designed in 1903 and modified for Wright’s personal use at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin and for Herbert F. Johnson’s home, Wingspread, in Racine, Wisconsin in 1937.

Frank Lloyd Wright San Marcos 12″Globe

This 12” antique ocean globe features a stand adapted from a small hexagonal accent table designed by Wright for the Dining Pavilion of the San Marcos in the Desert Hotel in 1928.

Replogle Frank Lloyd Wright Barrel 16″ Globe: $849.95
Replogle Frank Lloyd Wright San Marcos 12″ Globe: $399.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.