design

RIIND's Aluminium Penmanship

Aluminium is already a key component of everyday products, like foil and beverage cans.
19 December, 2016
While some aluminium products are made to be recycled, others are designed to endure.
When MIT graduates Paul Fathallah and Clayton Poppe decided to launch their company, they envisioned a business focused on reimagining everyday products and designing them to last.

Their emphasis on attractive, high-quality products finds its first expression in the pen. "We're not inventing a new pen but we're taking a tool that everybody uses and making it better," explains Poppe.

That pen is now being manufactured by RIIND – a name that's pronounced to rhyme with find, and is meant to evoke the organic sense of the peel that protects the creative essence of the fruit within it.
Image: Ed Jelley
The pen itself carries rind-like design detail in a $95 product meant for those who find that quality pens enhance their creative experiences and love using them. "The purest transfer of our mind's content to the world happens when you connect pen to paper," the team explains on their Kickstarter page. "Through invention, advanced engineering, and precision manufacturing, this pen was designed to inspire confidence in all you put forth; it was designed to rewrite them all," they explain.

It doesn't really have a name, but the anodized aluminium and machined pen is distinctive enough to not really need one. The ContinuousCam technology invented by the Riind team describes the elegant and omnidirectional twist feature that opens and closes the pen with a simple half-twist from any point. Unlike other pens, with specific clicks or twists, the Riind pen operation appears fluid and seamless.
The grip features a knurled texture that is delivered with precision in the aluminium machining process, and then repeated as a design detail at the knock. That's also where the simple, subtle branding is found. The pens come in raw aluminium, or in gray and black. There's also a black-on-black version for those who want the clip to stand out a little less – although it's easy to understand why not everyone would. The pen clip has an original and asymmetrical design that adds to the clean lines of the instrument.
Image: Sumally
With their MIT engineering backgrounds, Fathallah and Poppe delivered a conical pen that is 142.2 mm long, 11.4 mm in diameter, and weighs just 29 grams. The aluminium construction keeps the pen very lightweight, a feature the designers want to protect for users whose writing and drawing needs to flow freely. It stays comfortable for longer periods of time, and creates less stress on the fingers and hands.

The pen comes loaded with a Pilot G2 black ink cartridge, but the pen is built for a full range of compatibility when choosing ink refills. The 110 mm ink cartridges from Pilot, as well as Mont Blanc, Schmidt, Avant and other manufacturers, will work based on customer preference and ink style.

The Riind pens are manufactured in the United States, but they are available to the international market and shipped all over the world. The team wants to ensure their product is accessible to all, and that's in keeping with their sense that despite all the technology that surrounds us, nothing has replaced the pen.

"The pen never needs batteries, an outlet, or a USB cable; it's always ready–to–roll," they said. It's still one of the most powerful tools in the world, one that Riind hopes it can make a little better with thoughtful design.

Banner image: Kickstarter