Brian Holmes

  1. Litmus Test #5 - Pursuit Of Excellence

    Litmus Test #5 - Did we exhaust ourselves in pursuing excellence?

    When designing products, you can travel a few paths as a brand. The first is making a product predominately practical.  There are many examples of this, from laptop stands to iPhone cases. We know that in both of these examples, there are very practical, useful designs that are...well...not attractive. There is a place for these designs, but not a road we choose here at Pad & Quill. 

    Another path is designing a product to be predominantly beautiful and stylish.  You can create and manufacture a beautiful accessory. Still, if it’s not that practical or, even worse, not at all that durable, then you’ve made something lovely to look at…but not very good at being useful in a practical sense. 

    The path we pursue here at Pad & Quill is to merge practical beauty with stylish and beautiful historic design.  We like to call this 'Good Art.'

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  2. Litmus Test #4 - The value of the past merged with the technology of today

    Litmus Test #4: Have we maintained our dedication to preserving what is valuable from the past while merging with the remarkable technology of the present?


    There is something romantic about taking classic designs of the past and merging them with the daily needs of today. When we started Pad & Quill, our first product was designed to look like a handsome moleskin-style journal that hid and protected a brand-new first-generation iPad.

    The key for us has always been how do you preserve the beautiful designs of the past while creating something new for today's technology and, equally important, something that will endure for years due to proper technique and materials.

    A few examples of our preservation of the past and merging that with today's technology include:

    -The Bomber Strap for Apple Watch Ultra

    We designed a leather watch band that took its design cue from

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  3. Litmus Test #3 - Stewardship Of The Planet

    Litmus Test #3: Is our product organic and in keeping with good stewardship of our environment?

    We strive to make the majority of our product materials from organic matter. This includes leathers, hardwoods, recyclable shipping, and simplified packaging material.

    Stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care. We believe that being inhabitants of planet earth means taking care of this amazing planet we’ve been given. This includes utilizing materials not designed to wear out but endure for decades. The fewer landfills filled with cheap technology accessories, the better. We work with an award-winning tannery in Leon, Mexico. LeFarc has won numerous awards for its environmental stewardship in producing durable, high-quality leather.

    Here is a review o

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  4. Litmus Test #2 - Something our friends would be proud to own

    Litmus Test #2: Have we created something that our discriminating friends and family would be proud to own?


    Our first product was a handmade book bindery-style iPad case replicating a journal with an elastic strap. The idea was whimsical, practical, and in fact, quite stylish.  When our friends would inquire about the products in our early years, one of these three features was generally referenced. Statements like, “That is a cool case!” Or “Wow, that must offer great protection!” Or “Now that is a handsome leather bag.”

    We were not trained designers here at Pad & Quill when we started. Truly! We were passionate about making stylish, beautiful tech and lifestyle accessories that provided a level of sophistication that our group of friends would appreciate.

    That’s how we came to this litmus test. When we head to design a new product or update an existing o

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  5. Litmus Test #1 - Handcrafted Quality

    Litmus Test #1: Is the Pad & Quill product made with handcrafted quality by well-trained and cared-for artisans?

    One of the best parts of holding handcrafted leather good in your hands is that you can see and feel the quality that went into each piece. The first question we ask ourselves when design starts on a new leather product is; Does the item we are about to make exude handcrafted quality, and is it constructed by well-trained artisans?

    As we sourced partners to help us bring our design ideas to reality, we always look to artisan experts within each field we are crafting. This includes traditional bookbindery folks, craftspeople in luxury leather goods, and partners with high-quality polymer and wood case-making experience.

    For example, we use traditional handcrafted leather techniques to make luxury cases adorn the iPad and iPad Pro. These hands have spent decades working in leather and understand the nuance of different

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  6. The Litmus Test - Our Core Values At Pad & Quill

    The Litmus Test at Pad & Quill

    We are starting a 5 part blog series on our Pad & Quill litmus test. The litmus test is a series of 5 essential questions we, designers and manufacturers, must consider when crafting new products. Once we feel confident we have met these rules, the product can be burnished with our ampersand and brought to production, eventually becoming a valuable and beautiful part of our customers’ daily story.

    We designed these internal rules to inspire new and unique luxury accessories, continually improve existing products, and push the boundaries of contemporary leather accessory designs. The litmus test helps us stay grounded in our pursuit of enduring products with thoughtful designs constructed of handmade quality.

    The Pad & Quill Litmus Test

    • Is the Product made with handcrafted quality by well-trained artisans?
    • Have we created something that our discriminating friends a
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  7. How To Clean Your Laptop

    This short guide provides a three-step process for cleaning your laptop. Special care is needed for cleaning the various surfaces of your laptop safely to minimize the chance of accidentally damaging your computer.

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  8. How To Clean Your AirPods Pro

    The AirPods Pro are such an amazing accessory for your Apple devices. They work so seamlessly between iPhone, iPad, iMac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, so you can take calls, enjoy music, listen to your favorite podcasts, (or even tune out your co-workers or the noisiest members of your household). 


    To keep your AirPods Pros looking and lasting their very best, it’s important to clean them regularly. And if you’re reading this article and thinking “Uh-oh, I’ve never cleaned my AirPods even once,” don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.


    First of all, your AirPods Pro are probably dirtier than you think. Most of us know that our phones pick up a lot of bacteria throughout the day as we put them down on counters, desks, restaurant tables, etc. Your AirPods Pro can also gather bacteria from your daily use. Whether it’s moving the charging case from your gym bag to your desk or your kitchen counters, the c

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  9. How To Clean Your AirPods Max Headphones

    AirPods max case

    The AirPods Max are Apple’s newest entry into the world of wireless headphones following the very successful AirPods and AirPods Pro. They offer exceptional sound quality, noise cancelling technology for noisy environments, and, of course, the pair seamlessly to all your other Apple gadgets.


    The downside is that they also come at quite a high price. At $549, they are certainly not cheap so you’ll want to make sure you do everything you can to keep them in tip-top shape so they’ll last you as long as possible. Giving them a good regular cleaning can help you protect your investment, and yourself. 


    Keeping our things clean and sanitized was important even before the events of the past year, but in this day and age, it’s all the more vital to keeping you and your family healthy. Luckily, keeping your AirPods Max clean is quick and easy. 


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  10. 3 Simple Steps On How To Clean Your iPhone

    3 Simple Steps On How to Clean Your iPhone

    iPhone Cleaning

    If there’s one thing we’ve all learned of the past year, it’s the value of a good cleaning. We’ve probably spent more time cleaning and disinfecting surfaces over the past year than we’ve spent in a good long while. And for good reason; the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating and is still quite prevalent in many parts of the world. Thankfully, keeping things clean and sanitary can help to keep us safe and healthy. 


    If you don’t already know, the dirtiest, most germ-infested thing you have with you all day every day is your phone. They are filthy. We spend the whole day touching them, setting them on a wide variety of surfaces, taking them into r

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