You may remember another product I designed called the Cord Taco. Since then I’ve attempted to come up with new concepts and reimagined existing ones. Back in the 90's some of us carried the Franklin Planner aka Filofax. Prior to that we also carried the Trapper Keeper from Mead. I loved those products. That said, clearly they needed an update. Here’s my shot.
The Mod is a full design system — not a singular item. It’s a new space to stow and carry items that are in your life. The concept was inspired by those old vintage portfolios that allowed for tricking out the interior with phone books, pencils, notebooks and little things. The Mod takes that concept and updates it with respect to modern day gear and today’s adventurer. ‘Mod’ifiable means you’re covered for your day job, after hours, weekends, alter ego, and dreams.
The modern day adventurer is leading a seriously interesting life. They have a day job, they blog, they shoot photos from their mobile, they have a bunch of people waiting for their next Instagram and VSCO Grid shot, they draw, they invent, they take up less space, they’re trying to be more organized, they’re looking for that next destination or AirBnB to travel to to snap some great pics, they’re leading double and triple lives, they’re thrill seekers, they’re designers, they’re educators, they’re flying solo, they have kids and or pets, they make music, they make love, they drink a lot of cold brew, they get their news from Vice, they laugh their asses off, they have 5 jobs but outsource 3 of them, they’re homeless yet living in luxury, they’re artists, they’re connoisseurs, they’re lifestylers, they’re poets, they’re all of us and more.
Mods from the 60′s were also interesting, but this isn’t all about them.
Our brainstorm & sketches led us to departing from the nostalgic yet not-so pretty three ring binder and instead we chose to include seamless magnets to hold different leather inserts based on the user’s needs. The vegetable tanned leather shell is designed to handle core universal items — phone, a tablet, cords, cards, stylus, and of course the Pencil by FiftyThree.
Once Nisha started prototyping from sketches, we tested and tested which led to six iterations before we reached a final prototype.
Our observations and refinements were about ergonomics, safety, gender, size, psychology, beauty, peace of mind and a whole bunch of other factors that we love to obsess and debate on. We reached a point where it was ready to share over social media to see the reaction and invite people to help us test it out. We were really excited when interest started to come through, not only from how many expressed interest but how interesting the people that were interested appeared to be.
As far as my personal testing goes, I am excited to finally have a case that has all my stuff (big and small) that I can carry in one hand. While deliberately unisex, it is exciting that guys have another option in a world where there aren’t a lot of options for guys. That said, with a simple switch of how it’s carried, it becomes quite cute and feminine.
For me, the most exciting part about the Mod (and the reason I called it a system earlier) is the modification the inserts possess. We’ll be launching with a bunch of inserts that are designed with specific people in mind. Kind of like Breakfast Club. There’s one for the musician, the artist, the writer, the prom queen, the photographer, the jock, the camper, and a few others.