Designers are a unique lot, always interested in what's new and what is old. I'm forever researching design classics for a historical perspective and studying new technologies, user behaviors, and demands as a source of design inspiration. Imagining the future is a complex and ongoing task. There are several design tools that I seem to have with me pretty much everywhere I go. They help me to create what will be new. My ThinkPad, at least one sheet of blank paper and my pen are indispensable. Maybe the pen and paper seem old-school to many, but not to me.
The pen I choose to carry is a very particular one, and has been for well over 25 years. My wife gave it to me for a birthday present back when we still lived in Kansas. It was a good one. My pen of choice is a Lamy Safari; charcoal in color, and filled with black ink. I can't even imagine drawing with blue ink, ugh. I love the Safari's robust design and no-nonsense appearance, sound familiar? I retired my original several years ago due to some wear issues, but still have it tucked safely away. The cap on the original pen is so worn it barely stays attached and the barrel texture is for the most part worn totally away. I guess you could say it has character. Over the years the Lamy Safari has become a sort of personal trademark for me, some jokingly referred to it as my scepter. Funny.
The design of the Lamy Safari is one of my favorites
Maybe there is a day in the not too distant future where I will be able to reduce the number of core design tools I carry? I would love to be able to naturally sketch, draw and diagram directly on a ThinkPad screen. I've spoken and written before about the importance of drawing as a tool for the designer. This never changes. Sadly, my trusted Lamy pen will miss me when this comes to pass.