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Design Tool Box

All the goodies I keep in my little book-box on my desk

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Design Tool Box

Design Tool Box

  • 17 Pins

Here's the basic Xacto knife for all your detailed, paper cutting needs.

It's silly, I know, to actually buy these faked out boxes posing as books. I like that it makes my space look more like a somewhere I want to think and work on ideas, rather than an Office Max catalog. I use the big book to as a monitor stand and a place to store completed sketchbooks and the mid-size book as my toolbox. Plus they're $5 or something at Ross. Find a container that you want to see on your desk every day!

Until I get an iPhone 5, I'll be an ABC person: Always Be Charging

  • John Erik Metcalf
    John Erik Metcalf

    It doesn't end when you get a 5. Get a Mophie pack.

For design sketching, I love these thick, but soft mechanical pencils. The led never seems to break and you can adjust how much of a tip you need by the simple twist. The led seems to erase easily. They're cheap, simple and just work.

Steadler wins again. They make soft, non-destructive white erasers and don't crumble.

This is the least sexy tape of them all. It's great for quickly taping mocks up on a white or foam-core board and later taking it down. You can rip it with your hands and it just seems to never run out. Unlike scotch tape, it won't rip apart the fibers of the paper when you need to get back to sketching. I also love using this kind of tape when wizard-of-oz paper prototyping.

People love pointing on our screens and gifting us their fingerprints. In addition to a screen protector, I keep one of these handy, especially for keeping mobile devices smudge-free. Almost any microfiber cloth will do.

The ruler I have and love is 12-inches, clear with a metal edge. The metal edge is key for cutting paper and tracing lines (it also keeps ink off your paper). This one is a close comparison but has 90s style Marker-Felt font and dark lines. It's clear, has a metal edge and is on Amazon Prime. It's not sexy but it gets the job done.

I've taken these pens everywhere with me since 2010. They last forever, are fine tip, have sharp colors and seem to never, ever dry out. They're the ultimate color-sketch pen.

Some good ol metal scissors. They cut well and will look good next to all your other design goodies.

I've tried all the dry tapes of whiteout. But paper mistakes for designers don't happen in straight lines. The foam applicators from liquid whiteout have never let me down.

White post it notes are great for taking notes and also for making quick Wizard of Oz dynamic paper prototypes.

The double sided sharpie is wonderful! Get thick and thin lines make your sketches sing.

The double-tip hexagonal Muji pen was a happy accident. The grip has a soft touch and the shape means it never rolls off the table. It's double sided so you can get a thick and thin tip which is great for wireframe sketches. The ink is a bit softer and won't bleed through paper like sharpies.

I love the hexagonal anything from Muji. The grip has a soft touch and the shape means it never rolls off the table. These pens come in all colors, and the full set includes its own carrying case. I stick to the black 3mm pen for my daily ball-point writing.

If you are in or have friends in Japan, hunt down the Nanuk sketchbooks. The page is a soft cream color, with thread binding and absolutely no branding or logos anywhere. Unlike most sketchbooks (even those from Muji) these are nice and tall which is ideal for note taking and designing for web and mobile apps.

The A6 Muji Dot Grid notebook is my go-to. Like all Muji products, it's unbranded and has all the attention to details you require. It's tape and thread bound, with a soft cream and a faint dot grid that helps your work stay tidy but won't cramp your style.

High Quality Easy-Open Notebook A6 - Dot