About this project
The basis for the branding, WINK, was derived from the concept of using “wine as ink” but the pen can be loaded with virtually any liquid that possesses a staining property.
The idea of using raw inks was something I thought of while working on a concept for a sustainable printer, during which I learned that inks—even those made with vegetable and soy—used in traditional printers are not 100% biodegradable. From the printer project, I re-evaluated my approach toward product design as a whole and began taking into consideration the full cycle of products; everything from how materials are first sourced to the manufacturing processes, as well as environmental foot prints pre and post-consumer use. Being inspired I ran with the idea of integrating alternative inks leading me eventually to the creation of the WINKpen!
In essence, the WINKpen was born from the desire to create a sustainable alternative to something that many of us use in our daily lives. Traditional pens are, more often than not, disposable products; once the pre-loaded ink stem is exhausted, they essentially just become empty plastic cases that inevitably wind up in a land-fill somewhere. With with the WINKpen, however, an ink reload can be found right there in your kitchen.
Reusable, sustainable, and long-lasting. Helps mitigate “throwaway” culture and there's also the added benefit of having inexpensive ink available virtually anywhere!
Everyone! My goal with WINKpens was to create an innovative and simple product people could use and re-use in their daily lives. In many ways, this pen can be a new addition to your creative arsenal, allowing individuals to experiment and express with untraditional mediums. It can be a unique purchase for the creative in your life or just as easily serve as an elegant and customed promotional gift for your business. It is a “low-tech” product that marries modern aesthetics and environmental awareness with traditional function.
Over the last year and a half, I've devoted the majority of my spare time outside of work to the creation of the WINKpen. Like the creation of anything worth-while, it wasn't exactly easy! There was a lot of sleepless nights spent sketching, designing, and just tinkering in the shop; utilizing everything from 3D printing, sanding mock-ups, jumping on the lathe, using saws, sourcing various materials that were within reach, and reverse engineering. There was a lot of back and forth with sketching, prototyping, and testing. Whenever a prototype failed to meet expectations, I'd start again from square one. While I've poured a lot of my time, and personal finances into the project, I wasn't without support. I contracted others on board when necessary—such as my engineer, who explained to me what was feasible and what wasn't—all of which have aided me into bringing the best solutions into constructing the most user-friendly product possible. Thank you to everyone who's encouraged, advised, and helped me along the way... because without each and every single one of them, I certainly would not be where I am today.
The WINKpen is built to be as modular and user friendly as possible. All components fit snuggly together with the use of rubber o-rings, and can be easily pulled apart and pushed back together for ease of cleaning.
A double-sided glass nib features an angled tip for calligraphy and also a conical tip for finer penmanship. The glass replaces the metal tips and ball-points in traditional pens, removing the risk of corrosion and making it easy to clean. Spiraled grooves in the glass nib elegantly feed ink to paper while also boasting a beautiful aesthetic.
The interior of the coupler is lined with an elastomer which acts to hold the glass nib securely in place. The elastomer lining, in combination with the fine feeding tube also aids in the steady flow of ink.
Diplomat's piston design allows for a simple twist refill and ink release system, making it a simple process to controllably unload and load the pen with various inks of your choosing.
Our logo will be beautifully etched on the outside of the glass housing. Customizable options will be available in the near future however, as part of this kickstarter you can get yours personalized NOW!
** see pledge perks for details**
Check out WINKpens rewards for contributing! The connection I have to this product and startup is something I would love to also share with my supporters, thus I will happily be spending time sketching with beer and wine myself for some unique perks!
** International Backers - YES I can ship to you!:) However in order to cover this cost, please add on $25 to your pledge - contact me with any questions**
After getting the first version of this product into the world for people to use, plans for the future of the product include sketch pads, inks, and customizability options; such as cosmetic sleeves (wood, metal, etc.), colored glass nibs, business logos, and personalized names.
- WINKpens' vision of an innovative new tool that will open up new avenues of creativity.
- Upfront tool cost and materials. 30k is needed for tooling alone!
- Allowance for large-scale production.
- The very first order and run of our product!
- Continued support for business development, strategies for production, growth, and order management.
- A few hours of shut-eye for the designer!
Hi, my name is Jess! I'm an industrial designer and contemporary artist located in Portland, Oregon. Creativity made its way into my life early on in a number of ways. Growing up, there was so much in the world that inspired me: nature, colors, and objects that provoked my natural desires to express and problem solve. It wasn't until very recently did my career of choice really begin to emerge to combine all of my experiences into my current path of becoming an entrepreneur.
My diverse background from teaching martial arts and personal training to business marketing, customer service, construction, freelance and design--has all contributed to the creation of product that I'm beyond passionate about. Martial arts instilled in me the fighting mentality to relentlessly pursue my goals, business provided the applicable knowledge, construction gave me the hands-on experience, and freelancing as an industrial designer and artist taught me how to better manage and deliver quality products. In a way, each major experience has been a stepping stone to who and where I am now.
For me, design is all about solution and utility, while art is expression – together, they provide endless opportunities and create stories of growth all their own. The potential to touch another person, to ignite that spark in them that might blossom into something great, and the daily opportunity to just provide new experiences is what eternally fuels the love for my craft.
From the very bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for your support and sharing this project with your friends and family!
AN EXTRA SPECIAL THANK YOU to this awesome crew for your expertise and support!
Matthew Malone - Engineer
Kurt Rassos - Graphic Designer
Donald Chan - Editor
Blacklist Media - Film
Risks and challenges
With the creation of any product that includes manufacturing processes and hand-made glass components, there can be a number of unforeseen risks and obstacles. As of the kickstarter launch, I have working prototypes and all of the technical drawings ready and approved by manufacturers. The current models are 3D printed to provide a functional dimensioned proof of concept; however, this funding will allow us to incorporate injection and overmolding, cover the costly upfront tooling costs, and utilize all the correct quality materials.
When I first began this project, I set out to design the WINKpen with integrity. I've put my best foot forward since day one and adamantly refuse to compromise quality. I've hand-selected excellent companies and am constantly learning from mentors and other experienced professionals in an effort to maintain product progression and business growth. I will personally review each pen to ensure that it is the best possible product and will not ship them to you until the pens are at its best.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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