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One of the reasons why I didn’t enjoy Maths in my school days is the geometry sets. I find the compass tool dangerous (seriously, you have no idea) and the protractor too tedious to use. It made me wish for a tool that could simplify things so as to make the subject more bearable. If you’re a designer or a 2000s kid, you’re in luck.
There’s a new campaign happening now on Kickstarter, and it is ingenious. Named DesignLiner, it is a “modern multi-tool stainless steel ruler that replaces the need for many other design sketching tools.” Long story short, this is what it can do:
Is the DesignLiner considered a Mathematical instrument? After all, it eliminates the compass and protractor entirely. Regarding its functionality, this is what creator Charles Williams has got to say:
“My original intent was to make a ruler that could make accurate and beautiful drawings. The more I see the response from people, the more I can see the DesignLiner could be all you really need instead of those often poorly made geometry sets we would all get during school.”
The concept behind DesignLiner reminds me of the dot-to-dot puzzle I used to draw when I was a kid. To refresh your memory, we basically draw lines to connect the dots to form the outline of the desired object. In short, this all-in-one ruler is pretty rad. Is it mean of me to say that it brings geometry sets to shame?
Created all the way from Canada, the DesignLiner has hit its $6,000 goal in just a couple days. With 248 backers and 23 more days to go, it’s still not too late to grab one for yourself. But before you do there, take a look at this following interview to find out more about the ins-and-outs of the project!
Charles, you own Charles Williams Company and you’re working as an Industrial Designer. Are you doing this full-time? Is the DesignLiner your first product?
I decided at the beginning of November this year to give it a go on my own full-time as an entrepreneur. The DesignLiner is not my first product, but it is the first one being sold to the consumer market.
I can’t help but notice that the logo of your company — a lion! Is there a story behind it?
There is definitely a story behind the logo. On my first trip to Africa, I climbed Mt.Kilimanjaro. I decided to bring 12 pounds of camera gear on top of the daily supplies I needed for the climb. To get the right angle for a picture I wanted, I decided to hang off the edge of a cliff face with one hand while holding my full frame DSLR on the other.
When I lifted myself back up with one hand, one of the porters said in Swahili “Masungu Simba” (which means white lion). The name stuck during the rest of the climb and inspired my logo. I also feel a lion represents who I am very well. I am strong, a Leo and a natural born leader.
How much does the DesignLiner weigh? Could you share why you chose stainless steel instead of plastic?
Good question on the weight! I never took the time to weigh them separately, but both the large and the small DesignLiner together weigh about 0.5LB (454g) at the post office. When picking up the DesignLiner you can instantly feel the weight and the build quality compared to any other ruler you have used before. It is funny you ask this question because my kitchen scale broke just before the launch of the DesignLiner and I am waiting for a new one to arrive!
I chose stainless steel instead of plastic, because I wanted a product that wouldn’t easily break if put in a bag at a weird angle or dropped on the floor. Also the added weight of the metal help makes the ruler stay in place when drawing. Lastly I have ruined too many edges of plastic rulers when using an Exacto knife.
What’s the Aha! moment like? How long did it take you to create the DesignLiner?
The Aha! moment for me was when I was cleaning up the main table I sketch at. I dropped a plastic protractor on the floor. I then broke the protractor in half when the wheel of the chair I was sitting on rolled over it. Looking at the broken protractor it clicked that this could be incorporated into a ruler. I then thought back to all the design tools I constantly used during school. I drew up different combinations of ruler designs to see how I could incorporate as many functions as possible while still giving the ruler a nice aesthetic look.
It took me about a week to finalise the design of the DesignLiner and another two weeks to find out the best manufactures I could find locally to create the first prototypes. It took about 100 hours of work to get the DesignLiner from idea to Kickstarter.
And finally, how would you describe DesignLiner in one word?
In celebration of the launch of DesignLiner, Charles is organising a giveaway! Like this Facebook post and stand a chance to win a set of 1 large and 1 small DesignLiner. To back the Kickstarter campaign, drop by here.