Project Note (Feb 10): Due to the tremendous reception of the Spoke Pen project, we've closed 'June Delivery' rewards and added new 'August Delivery' rewards. Our goal remains to get everything done as quickly as possible and beat our listed delivery dates. Thanks for the support!
We know what you are thinking, and we will go ahead and answer it for you. Yes, Kickstarter does need another pen project. Especially this one.
Say hello to the Spoke Pen.
The Spoke Pen is a collaboration between Brian Conti of Spoke Design, and Brad Dowdy of The Pen Addict. And, most importantly, is built to specifically fit the best gel ink refill in the world: The Uni-ball Signo UM-151, also known as the Uni-ball Signo DX.
The Signo DX is a smooth-flowing, clean-writing, rich-color gel ink pen. Its quality among its competition in unsurpassed, yet on Kickstarter, the Signo DX has been mostly overlooked.
Spoke brings an instantly recognizable design: A streamlined geometric-deco style in a world of minimal cylindrical machined pens. We're not knocking minimal design, but everything can't be minimal!
The Spoke Pen features aluminum barrel construction, grip materials in aluminum or titanium, a magnetic cap for secure closure, and wide range of anodized aluminum colors. For you tech-spec geeks out there, here are the specifics:
As important as the specifications are, it was very important for us to get the feel of this pen right. We started prototyping all of the parts in June 2018, and went through many iterations to get to the final result we have today. The Spoke Pen feels light, but substantial. It is rock-solid and durable, but gets out of the way when writing with it or carrying it. It is high quality, and comfortable. The Spoke Pen is your new favorite pen.
The goal of the Spoke Pen campaign is to make the best barrel for the Uni-ball Signo DX on the planet. And, to have fun doing it by offering a wide range of colors in this campaign. Assuming it all goes well, after we successfully fulfill the Kickstarter we plan to periodically release future Spoke Pen 'editions' with more unique color combinations and materials. And yes, we may eventually make it for other refills too, such as the Pilot G2.
Spoke Pen Classic Series: $60 Aluminum Grip / $65 Titanium Grip
The classic colorway has matching anodized barrel and cap, with black anodized accents (clip, ends, and slot see-through). It is available with a black anodized grooved aluminum grip or a machined grooved titanium grip. The Titanium grip is slightly heavier than the aluminum... and as a bare machined part it is a bit 'grippier' than the aluminum.
Barrel color choices: Black, Blue, Red, Lime, Purple, Orange, and Rub/Brushed Aluminum
Spoke Pen Edition Series:
1) The Joker, $60
Purple Cap, Lime body, Black Aluminum grip, Black clip, Purple sleeve, lime top cap, purple end cap.
2) Orange Crush, $65
Orange body, Titanium grip, Nickel clip, Aluminum see-through, Aluminum end caps (metal stamped Spoke 'S' on cap end).
All pens ship with a Uni-ball Signo UMR-1-05 Black 0.5 mm gel pen refill.
We've concepted, prototyped, and iterated using 3D printing and machining. The design is now complete. Brian leads the manufacturing stage and has extensive experience with prior Spoke projects. While he has the ability to make prototypes and product in small quantities, we choose to work with professional machine shops to produce production quantity parts. While Spoke has traditionally utilized only domestic shops, the Spoke Pen will use a combination of US and overseas shops. Brian has lots of experience with overseas shops from his corporate days. The overseas shops have a good ability to deal with anodizing a broad range of colors over a relatively small quantity of parts. The plan is to use a specific shop in Shenzhen that Brian has experience with for the aluminum parts requiring anodize and the US shop Brian traditionally works with for the straight machined parts.
Each Pen has 10 custom parts. These will be brought in individually and everything will be inspected, assembled, packaged, and shipped out by Brian & Brad. There's quite a bit of work that goes into assembling each pen, and we'll show the process as the project moves along.
A high level overview of the timeline is as follows ...
Brian Conti is a design engineer and founder of Spoke Design. Brian runs a small product development company with his brother Dan (Conti-Bros, Inc.). Their brands include Strong Like Bull Magnets, Yaket, and Baux.
Will <insert refill here> fit the Spoke Pen?
- Yes: Uni-ball Signo 207/307, Uni-ball RT1, Pentel Energel, Zebra Sarasa Clip
- No: Pilot G2, Pilot Juice, Pilot Hi-Tec-C, Pentel Slicci, Pentel Hybrid Technica, Parker-style.
Will <insert refill here> EVER fit the Spoke Pen?
- At some point in the future we will design a Spoke Pen model to fit other refills.
Does the pen cap post on the back the pen?
- No, it doesn't. This is to reduce length in use, lower writing weight, and provide better weight distribution and balance.
Thanks for visiting the project. We look forward to getting Spoke Pen into your hands!
Risks and challenges
The Spoke Pen project brings together two veterans of running successful Kickstarter projects. As noted above, we've spent a good amount of time prototyping to get the design to a production ready point. We have good experience producing machined pencils and other products, and we have good experience with the overall Kickstarter process (funding/manufacturing/fulfillment). The main 'risk' is the delivery timeline. We'll be working with outside supplier partners, and so at times we'll have somewhat limited ability to 'push' to get things done. Overall, we're confident we'll get the project done with great results.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)