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Pen Type-A is the original stainless steel ruler sleeve and ultra minimal pen.
Pen Type-A is the original stainless steel ruler sleeve and ultra minimal pen.
Created by
4,048 backers pledged $281,989 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates


sunshine, bagels, great people ... oh and pens !

Posted by cw&t (Creator)

hi backers.  you are amazing.

Brunch update + HUGE THANK YOU

Yesterday's brunch was such a rewarding part of this experience.  We were blown away by your kindness and awesomeness.  We feel so lucky to have been able to meet such an amazing group of people. Thank you for making the trek out to spend the day with us.  For those of you who couldn't make it.  Our doors are always open and feel free to be in touch anytime.

A ginormous thank you goes out to Taylor's Mom + Dad who jam packed the trunk of a car with baked goods and Montreal bagels and drove for 1 day to NY to be with us.  They get the superstar parent award.  (yes we are biased, but those who were there might also agree).  Mom+Dad were blown away by how awesome you all are too.

We are buzzing with happy.

production is ramping up !!!

We spent last week working with our fabricators to figure out how we can crank all of your orders out by April.  The fabricators hired and are currently training 20 new employees and also bought new machines.  It will take around 2 weeks for them to be at the accelerated capacity.  Our fabricators have acknowledged their shortcomings in the past and are FULLY committed to making these pens.  They were at the brunch yesterday (supportive as always), brought cookies and stuck around after to help us clean up.  They want this as much as we all do.  But it has really been the backer support throughout this whole process that has convinced them that these two nit-picky, anal, perfectionists (us) are worth working with.

Quality Control Clarification

We wanted to clarify one thing from the previous update about the quality control of the first shipment of pens.  Yes, we went through disassembled, fixed, washed, reassembled and tested and packed all 310 pens from our first shipment.  Every single pen was checked by us to make sure that they have no blemishes and that their drop times are not too fast.  Out of those 310 pens, 280 passed and will ship.  


As a separate quality control measure, of those 310 pens, we took a random 60 pen sampling to do a range of measuring (with callipers, scanners and timers) to capture data on the pens.  We did this so that if ever we start to see a trend in something wrong with the pens (now or in the future), we have a quantified baseline to measure against.

Surveys + international shipping

Most of you have filled out surveys, if not, please do it.  

If you live outside the US, and haven't already sent us $5 for international shipping, please send it to through paypal.  Include your kickstarter name and email so we know where the monies are from.

Shipping pens

We are shipping the remaining pens to our fulfillment company today.  They should be in the mail to you soon.  If you were one of the first 280 backers you will get your pen even if you were not at the party.


We were overwhelmed by the whole thing yesterday and stupidly didn't take very many pictures.  ARG! and sorry. But if you were there, please send them to us ( because we'd love to put them in this post to share with everyone.

We stole a couple photos from instagram, thanks @kthread, @slavin_fpo + @zoodzilla!

much love.

che-wei + taylor

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sunday brunch and quality control stuff

Posted by cw&t (Creator)

Hi backers,

Hope you are all doing well!  We have a couple of updates today, some info on the party, quality control stuffs, the survey (you guys are awesome), international shipping.  blabbity blah.  scroll if we bore you.

The party

Here is a link to the FANCY invite with instructions and everything.

We can't wait.  1 backer was so excited he came a week early, which was cool because he helped us reassemble pens.  (Don't worry he didn't go home with one and he'll be back this week).  In other news, T's parents are coming.  They are bringing Canadian snacks.


Quality Control and the pens

We spent the weekend with our fabricators going through the pens and making necessary fixes.  Allen and Diana were incredibly diligent and supportive.  They were with us helping until 4am on Saturday night.  Overal, we are happy with the throughput.  Out of 310 pens.  We have 285 good ones.  (Which is pretty good for a first run.)

We are still talking with our fabricators on speeding up production.  The rates right now are unacceptably slow.  We know this and so do they.  More info to come.


Most of you have filled them out.  Thank you!  If you haven't.  Now is a great time.

International Backers

If you haven't had a chance to send us $5 for international shipping, you can send it through paypal to

Quality Control Details

To give you an idea of what we did in terms of QC for the pens.  We did our tests on a random sampling of 60 pens (around 20%).

- The ruler sleeve was measured in 8 positions.

- The ruler sleeve opening was measured in 4 positions.

- The cartridge holders measured in 28 positions.

- The ruler etchings were scanned and measured.

- We took video of the pens dropping into the sleeve to record the drop times.

- Tip piece go/no go check on the cartridge.

Smelly pens

The crappy news was all of the pens still smelled like machine oil because they hadn't been properly cleaned.  It is obviously not cool to ship you smelly pens.  So we washed, dried and reassembled them for you.

Tip pieces

We found a small problem with all 310 tip pieces.  They had a small metal tab from being machined too quickly and it was getting stuck on the ink cartridge.  Che-Wei fixed every single one of them by grinding away at the tab with a file and a drill.  He is a rockstar.

After cleaning and making fixes to the tip pieces.  We reassembled each one and did a final spot check.  Tonight we are going to put them into their cardboard tubes so they are ready for all of you!

If you read all the way here.  Yay!

We can't wait to meet you sunday.

Thank you for being awesome.

exs and ohs

taylor + che-wei

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Oooooooops February not November

Posted by cw&t (Creator)
Partay is going to be on February 5th not November 5th.

We've got some pens!

Posted by cw&t (Creator)

We’ve got pens!  310 pens !

This is less than we were expecting today, but better fewer good quality pens, than getting extra ones that we would need to reject.

Considering everything so far, this is a HUGE and promising start.

We are going through them now and so far they look great! That is good news.

Next steps …

Quality Control

This weekend our fabricators are coming to NYC so we can all go through a sampling of these pens together.  We will be taking measurements, and doing quality control tests so that we can make sure that we are all on the same page for ongoing quality control.

Speeding things up

Our next challenge is ramping up production.  Up until this point, we haven’t put pressure on the time issue because our number 1 priority is quality.  We are going to have a conversation this weekend with our fabricators about how we can start to speed things along.


We are going to be shipping pens in order of when you placed your pledge.  Yes, this will take time.  Yes, you are the most patient peeps in the world!  We are all hoping that this will start to move faster.

The Survey

We are going to be sending out a survey to collect your shipping address very soon.  We have to send all of the surveys in one shot.  So please try your best to give us an address that isn’t going to change too soon.

The partay!

We are going to have a little brunch next weekend at our studio in Greenpoint.  You are all invited!  Hopefully we will have a chance to meet a bunch of you who are in the area and we can say a big THANK YOU in person.

Where : 1205 Manhattan Ave. Suite 214  Brooklyn, NY

When : Sunday, November  5 from 11AM-2PM (we'll be hanging out for the afternoon)

EDIT: Sunday, February 5 from 11AM-2PM

We obviously won’t have all the pens at that time, but if you were one of the first 310 to have pledged.  You can pick your pen up in person.  Otherwise we will ship it to you.

Please RSVP to this party in the survey so we know how much food items we need.

Yes, there will be food items!

How do I know if I’m in the first 310?  
Great question!  If you ordered a pen in the first day and a half of the campaign, you are in the first 310.

Tea with backers

For those of you who pledged for this reward, we will be having tea with backers in person or on Skype.

Here is a link to sign up for tea:

You are welcome to come to our studio or we can meet you if you are in NYC.  If it is skype, please put your skype name in your time slot!


If you got one of these, you are in for a treat.  (or at least we think so.)  More on that in the survey.

Ok that was a lot of logistical info.  Thank you everyone. Thank you if you are awake.  You look nice in those jammies.

You will be receiving surveys tomorrow. Sleep tight if you are in this part of the world.

hugs and other drugs,
che-wei + taylor
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It's a go!

Posted by cw&t (Creator)

We've waited 6 months and over a hundred production samples to say this.

The 10 production samples we just got in the mail are perfect.  The problems with the coin screw piece are fixed, and the new pieces look fantastic.

That being said, we recognize that we still have a ways to go.  Our inexperience with large scale manufacturing has made us really bad at predicting problems before they cause delays.  We acknowledge this (trust us!) and we try to do better every day.  Thankfully we have learned a ton, especially from fellow backers.  We are also thankful for you all for your patience and understanding.  Because of your support, and appreciation of something that is going to last forever (and therefore must be perfect!!!), we have never once even thought about making a compromise with quality.

Such a privilege.

moving along ...

Xin nian kuai le!

In a recent comment to our last update, a backer pointed out that we should expect delays because of the Chinese new year.  We have heard warnings of this before, that sometimes factory workers do not return after the holiday, or that positions are filled with untrained staff.  Thank you for the heads up!  We are preemptively talking to our manufacturer about this.  We don't want them to rush things and hire inexperienced staff.  And of course we want to make sure that everyone one gets a proper holiday!

The plan

We are expecting to receive our first shipment of 500 pens in Brooklyn in about a week.  We are not sure what this is going to be like, but we will keep you posted.  We are thinking heavy.

Quality control on the ground

We (and hopefully we can convince some friends to help) will be going through and checking the quality of every single one of your pens before you get them.  If anything is wrong with a pen you will never see it because it will be flown back to China business class with vegetarian meal option.

We will then be packaging them.  Our packaging came from a tube company in Illinois, which in retrospect was kind of a crazy thing to have done, but who cares! They are awesome!  And it means we get to touch all of them!

Oh yeah and the party!

There will be a party where you can pick up your pen.  Let's just get the pens first before we make any crazy plans that involve perishable food objects and human time commitments.

Oh yeah and the drawings!

They are in the works.  We have been using them as our sketchbooks for the past couple months.  More on this in the survey.

Oh yeah and the tea meetings!

We are going to figure out a way to have a sign up sheet for appointments.  More on this soon.

Oh yeah and the survey!

We are going to send this out at the last possible minute so that we can be sure to have your correct shipping info.  It will come!


Taylor + Che-Wei

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