New products created by SVA students and alumni offer everything from quick ways to capture ideas away from the glare of screens to handy cards for entertaining and educating kids before bedtime.
A new, low-tech product line by two recent alumni is bringing the art of storytelling back to basics. Pam Jue and Rae Milne (both MFA 2014 Design for Social Innovation) created their own brand of notepads, called Sticky Jots, as a way for today’s creative professionals to step away from the screen and develop ideas the old-fashioned way: hands on, with pen and paper.
Each Sticky Jot pad is scaled to the dimensions of a smart phone or tablet computer screen, so when you’re sketching out an idea, you’ll automatically be working within—and thinking about—the particular device’s parameters. And every sheet in a pad has a strip of adhesive backing (a lá Post-it Notes), so you can easily lay out, arrange and rearrange sketches as you think through a story arc, or an app’s sequential screens. For more info, visit stickyjots.com.
During his time at SVA, Joey Cofone (BFA 2013 Design) noticed that his fellow students were carrying around different sketchbooks, yet all using the same laptop computers. So Cofone, along with his friend and business partner Adam Kornfield, formed a company, Baron Fig, and developed a sketchbook of his own. Called the Confidant (watch the video below), it’s about the size and shape of an iPad Mini, with 192 pages (blank, ruled or dot-grid styles) between its attractive, gray fabric cover. The acid-free, fine grain paper is just right for satisfying drawing, line work or note taking, and a specially stitched binding ensures that the pages lay flat when the book is opened. For more info, visit baronfig.com.
Story time is great for children, but it can sometimes be a challenge for parents’ narrative skills, particularly when no books are handy. Anke Stohlmann—an MFA Interaction Design student and principal of Li’l Robin, a design studio specializing in written works, both print and digital—and her husband, Richard Baker, discovered this firsthand when their daughter’s unceasing love of stories eventually exhausted both parents’ memories and imaginations.
In response, the couple devised Li’l Stories: themed sets of 5×7 cards, each bearing five to 10 facts that serve as starting points for entertaining, informative tales (for example, “Before becoming president, Lincoln worked as a shopkeeper, postmaster, and general store owner”). The cards can also be combined, for more fanciful and/or ridiculous plot lines. The sets include Awesome People (featuring such historical figures as Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King and Albert Einstein), Cool Places (the Egyptian pyramids, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal), Great Animals and Mysterious Objects (the steam engine, gramophone and other pre-modern-age inventions). Cards may be bought at store.lilstories.com; bulk discounts are available.
For more info and products, check out the latest issue of the Visual Arts Journal.