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

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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!

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Amazon.com - Benzara Beautifully Designed Wood Leather Book Box, Set of 3 - Childrens Bookends

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Robot Check

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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.

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

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