Design is not a one dimensional step in product creation. Good design takes into account form and function. It’s not just the planning and the purpose but also the presence of the product. Without all elements, a design will not connect with the user. The more personal the product, the more this holds true. Sometimes the design is constrained by outside influences, like material and overall function. Sometimes outside influences are molded to the specifics of the design. Knowing all of these fundamentals made our design journey for the Decograph that much smoother. We knew going in that our design would need to be tailored to specific materials. That it would draw upon Art Deco features but be realized through modern machining. That it would be a representation of a simple, yet complex design motif. Ultimately this knowledge allowed us to move through the design and prototype phases quickly and smoothly with no outward changes to our original concept; a classically inspired pen utilizing modern material and machining techniques.
History was a major influence in the Decograph from the first moment we sat down plan out the project. We paged through books and online resources taking in pen features from the past, but also the processes used by the pen manufacturers of yesteryear. The Decograph pays homage to classic pens from the 1930’s through the 1950’s but does so with nuance when taken in as a whole. Gentle curves combined with sharp angles give the design a feeling of movement often seen in the classic pens of the fountain pen heyday. Our goal was to make the pen familiar in both look and feel without making it directly resemble any current or former pen. History was part of every step of the design process even down to the name Decograph. Combining two words to make a new word was a common naming process in mid-century American product development. We chose to come back to Art Deco and take the Deco portion and combine it with graph, a word from the Greek graphos that means “written, writing”. We find it a fitting name that captures everything about the pen.
Two of our greatest assets are technology and experience. The advanced machinery we employ on a daily basis as a machine shop has benefited us greatly in the production of writing instruments. Decades of experience with complex programming and machining can be seen in every product we manufacture. CNC lathes and mills allow for precise tolerances, unique design elements, and more direct product control. The Decograph and its packaging feature eight separate machined parts. The main features of body, cap, and grip are turned on advanced CNC lathes, as are the upper and lower metal finials. The clip is machined in custom made fixtures in a CNC mill. Our unique pen tub package uses both lathe work and milling in its creation. All told, the Decograph has more machining than any of our current pens.
The Deocgraph Signature Fountain Pen combines thermoplastic and metal machined parts in a classically inspired form. It features a smooth writing Bock #6 nib in polished steel, with upgrades in nib material including Titanium and 14k Gold. It utilizes a Schmidt standard international cartridge converter, and ships with the converter as well as five black Monteverde ink cartridges with ink sourced from Austria. The pen is packaged in one of our unique, fully machined pen tubes. The tube is made from 6061 aluminum, the same grade of aluminum we use in our other pens. The package features our K Shield logo that has been milled into the upper portion of the pen tube. The amount of protection provided by the Decograph packaging might be considered overkill, but we wanted the package to be elegant and reliable while being an homage to our manufacturing past.
The standard Decograph Signature Fountain Pen will retail for $165.00 and will be added live to our website on September 15th, 2017. It will be available in standard Deco Black and Deco Green