The Brands We Love: Big Idea Design
Working in the menswear and everyday carry gear space, we’re exposed to dozens of new products and ideas each week. In the Carry Lounge, we do our best to distill the most relevant topics into features that just might teach you a thing or two about how to live better, work better, and enjoy your daily life a little bit more.
And through all of our sifting and sorting, every once in a while we come across a brand that we absolutely love — one that captures our attention with its design sensibility, and keeps it with truly durable and long-lasting gear.
Big Idea Design is one of those brands, and one that we’re happy to call both personal and professional friends.
We recently sat down with Joe Huang, co-founder of BigiDesign, to talk about how the philosophy behind their amazingly cool pens, multi-tools, and accessories matches up with our values here at NutSac. What follows is a summary of that conversation, and we hope it can serve as a great introduction to another brand that you should really have on your radar.
Crowd Funded Design
Quite often, EDC gear is created from a top-down perspective. Research leads to an idea, which leads to a design, which is then funded by a company and brought into the market. That’s great for efficiency’s sake, but it can also lead to some serious misses if the person making a new piece of gear doesn’t really understand what people are looking for.
BigiDesign is one of a handful of brands to break this mold, relying on crowdfunding via Kickstarter to build their initial offerings. But with a little bit of perspective, this approach makes perfect sense: Joe had been working for a manufacturing company for years, while Chadwick (Bigi’s other co-founder) was already a social media marketing wizard.
That combination led to a uniquely impactful offering: Building a hugely successful pen that combined the best of aesthetics and functionality in a way that other writing implements had failed to achieve.
The EDC Philosophy
Speaking with Joe, he reiterated that Big Idea Design is built on a refined combination of a clean aesthetic and tons of functions.
“Making things that look simple but can do a lot is challenging but rewarding”, says Joe, and we agree. This is the essence of the modern everyday carry movement: Spending a lot of time on design, research, and real world testing so that when you get the product in your hands, it feels as natural and intuitive as possible.
That’s what gives rise to one of the biggest design principles that we share: It takes a whole lot of failures to get to a place where we know people will really love what we’ve made.
For Joe and BigiDesign, that means that well over half of all the designs they test never make it to market. “It’s like a velcro wall”, says Joe, “you just have to keep throwing things at it and see what sticks”.
Buy it Now, Keep it Forever
Ultimately, that sort of design philosophy is what leads brands like Big Idea Design and NutSac to the same conclusion: We should be making things that actually last — things that you’d be happy to hand down to your kids and grandkids a couple decades from now.
That’s why we both have a lifetime guarantee for our products. As Joe says, “We want to make people’s lives easier” — and that means guaranteeing that when you buy something from Big Idea or NutSac, you can be totally confident that your investment is protected far into the future.
What’s Next for Big Idea Design
At the time of writing, Joe clued us in to their brand’s next big idea: A fidget-friendly dual-click pen, that looks to be twice as interesting as a fidget spinner thanks to its patent pending dual side click mechanism.
This really is a new take on a classic design: Hugely satisfying to click back and forth, and overall a gorgeous design whether in its mini or full sized version. It’s incredibly easy to refill and takes all sorts of refill cartridges, making it a true buy-it-for-life pen.
We’re delighted to know the folks over at Big Idea Design and always looking forward to seeing what they come up with next — and hopefully now you are too! And be sure to check out their usual lineup of pens, pocket tools, watches, and more, while you’re at it.