Leather – February material of the month

Hell bent for leather

Unless you are of the vegan variety, you probably have quite a few things made of leather, mostly footwear and luggage.  Leather is a wonderfully versatile material, and I’ll always pick it over its plastic substitutes.  Working with leather requires skill, but is incredibly satisfying, provided you have the right tools.  In the last few years laser cutting has become more and more prolific as a tool for manipulating leather, and now features prominently in many everyday leather items.  We’ve featured some laser cut and laser engraved fashion previously, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Leather in fashion has seen its peaks and troths, and it’s definitely at its peak currently if the catwalks are the vogue yard stick.  Laser cutting is behind much of that popularity, and as always the fashion trend is driven by the hi-fashion avant-garde designers who push the concepts and boundaries of material use and perception.  Some of the notable ideas come from Visbol de Arce’s Anatomy collection, current king (or in this case, queen) of the fashion mountain Iris van Herpen’s Synesthesia, and a selection of rather unusual bags from James Platt.

More sweet leathery goodness under the cut:

(more…)

Current top 3 customization ideas for I Want It Customized! contest

Vote now for your favorite ideas & submit your own

Just one weekend into our I Want It Customized! contest, and we’ve already got 25 excellent ideas. Take a look at the 3 most popular ideas so far:

1. Flat pack house or a slice form camper shell for my toyota tacoma
Inspired by an Atlanta community project to provide shelter for the homeless, Ressie wants a customizable camper shed for her truck.
Vote for this idea!

2. My Clip-IT board
Looking for an on-the-go writing surface, GPD suggests a customizable clipboard that has a section to attach a Post-It notepad and a pen.
Vote for this idea!

3. Moleskine-size notebook with pages I’d like in it
Tired of being limited to just one kind of paper, tterb’s idea is a customizable notebook. Choose your own combo of blank, lined, and graph paper.
Vote for this idea!

Do you have a great idea for a customizable product? Let’s hear it.

And don’t forget to vote on your favorite ideas. The 3 ideas with the most votes will win some mighty fine prizes.

The contest closes Wednesday, May 11th at 10pm Pacific Time.
Full contest details HERE.

Design Your Own Moleskine Covers

laser engraved leather slip covers

Being a design blog, talking about Moleskine in some way or another is inevitable. And actually, we already featured Engrave Your Book here on the blog, but that was way back when we didn’t have a tweet button.

So here’s the redux version.

Engrave Your Book lets anyone upload a design to be laser engraved on a leather notebook cover. The covers are made to fit perfectly over Moleskine’s “legendary” notebooks. And each one is handmade from vegetable tanned leather in Portland, Oregon.

The artist series features artwork from designers like Christopher BettigCole Gerst, Dan Funderburgh, and Justine Ashbee. But my favorite designs are in the customer-made gallery.

(more…)

Custom Edition Moleskines

moleskine0

I am a notebook junkie. I have quilted and embroidered notebooks, minimalist Muji sketchbooks, canvas covered John Robshaw journals, books with handmade papers and manual bindings, sketchbooks designed by fellow SCAD alumni, and of course, a few Moleskines.

My first Moleskine was a custom edition for Target when I was a product designer for the pets department. Turns out that Moleskine creates custom notebooks for all kinds of institutions and events, from universities and non-profits to festivals and art shows.

moleskine1

My favorites include commissions by Francis Ford Coppola, the ADC Young Guns, Sapporo, and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

(more…)

Love Messenger

llove messenger
Cedric Ragot brings a simple wooden Moleskine modification kit the likes of which Matisse and Hemingway would love to shoot love letters with all the live-long day: the Love Messenger!
Composed of flat pieces of wood and designed to aid the charity Vaincre la Mucoviscidose for cystic fibrosis, the Love Messanger is the gift you can feel good shooting off all day long!
love messenger
Via Yanko design

Engrave your heart out

via Platformdesign.org

I had no idea one could use a laser to engrave so many things. Joe Mansfield offers you the chance to engrave anything, be it laptop, phone or Moleskine – yes, Moleskine, and they come out a rather nice sepia too. It started with Engrave your tech, dealing purely in engraving peoples’ gadgets, and now you can buy ready engraved Moleskines over at Engrave your book.

Mansfield also accepts submissions for designs from artists, offering 15% royalties on every purchase. There are some really impressive pieces on display on the Engrave your tech website, and over at their Flickr account – from the ornate, to superfine Beatles, to tongue-in-cheek cartoonism!

baroque.jpg

beatles.jpg

Images from Engrave your tech

This is mass customized, manufacture-on-demand in practise, albeit at a basic entry level platform, made possible by the recent affordability of laser cutting/engraving.