PQ News & Announcements
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.'
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
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
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
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
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
As spring fever starts to hit, everyone is getting excited to see what Apple plans to bring to the table. With the larger releases in the fall, Spring is a great time for Apple to release small updates and refresh lines. Plus it allows them to gear up for WWDC in June. We’ve compiled a list of the most up to date Apple news below.
The new iPad Pros are here, finally! This is, hands-down, the biggest update to the iPad Pro since it's launched. Since our own launch in 2010, we have made an iPad case every year. When the new 11 and 12.9 inch iPad Pros launched, we went back to our roots and drew upon our most popular and beautiful designs. Protecting your new iPad means you're also guarding your investment, saving work, fortifying creativity. We used our signature materials: archival quality linen, full-grain leather, and Baltic birch to create the best-handcrafted iPad Pro case. Be among the first to get unparalleled protection, cases are available for pre-order now!
Mr. PQ is good to me, I think. I arrived home last week to find a brand new Apple iPad Pro propped cozily in our new bookbindery Contega iPad Pro case. Mr. PQ knows how I love a good book, the more vintage the better. So, there it was, the iPP(iPad Pro) in all its shining metal and glassy glory. It was big, but this didn’t surprise me, I’d watched the Apple bigwig presentation on a big screen. It had four, stereo speakers, at least that is what my 17 year old told me; something about left/right differentiation and sound perception and that did impress me. It has a multitasking and split keyboard feature; neither my hands nor brain work this way so I have no comment.
As most people are aware, I am a very reticent early adopter and generally ascribe to Stockholm Syndrom any technical
Mr. PQ has always been quite the fashion guru, his wardrobe giving render to the colorful spectrum of his personality. So, when Apple announced the release of Apple Watch he knew he must have one and he knew it needed to be accessorized with an ample array of Apple watch bands. Not unlike the Swatch Watch phenomenon of the ‘80’s, Mr. PQ would like nothing better then to sport 5 or 6 Apple Watches on his wrist, each with a unique band, although his simple sophistication mandates he wear only one watch at a time.
Problematically, once he acquired the gorgeous Milanese Loop and the Stainless Steel Link band (claiming business expense...), in addition to the black Sport Band that accompanied his original purchase, he felt he had run into a dead end. Being all about full grain leather and artisan design, sadly, the Apple leather band offerings did not rise to his level of discriminating taste. Thankfully, his