Mark

Mark is a marker/ink cartridge system. Inspired by the form, function, and simplicity of a carpenter pencil, Mark looks good, feels at home on your desk, and is easy to use. I wanted Mark to solve the problems of brands like Copic, whose marker sets are clunky and often become disorganized, causing markers to get misplaced. To do this, I am proposing a new kind of system: one that revolves around a singular marker body and multiple ink cartridges.

Ideation

During ideation, my primary goals were to define a compelling form language, create a simple snapping system that would allow users to change ink cartridges as easily as replacing the cap on a traditional marker and picking up a new one, and plan for how such a product line could be manufactured. Additionally, I wanted to create a harmonious relationship between the body of the marker and the cartridges as well as a solution for displaying the set when not in use.

CAD / Prototyping

Next, I built some of my concepts in CAD. I quickly modeled a broad range of ideas to see all of my options, then focused on a few to refine the details. After iterating in CAD, I 3D printed some of the strongest directions. With these prints, I was able to gather critical feedback on proportion/form relationships, ergonomics, and the overall user experience. I was also able to validate the cartridge replacement functionality by giving the prints the appropriate tolerances and trying it myself. I used this time to establish a uniform form language and create defining features that would make Mark unique.

Refinement

After some final tweaking, I reached a result I was pleased with: a marker set comprised of thoughtfully considered forms with a bold, yet understated aesthetic. The materials and breaks on the marker body provide a premium quality not typically associated with markers, and the 'slice' out of the tip calls back to the form of the carpenter pencil. I decided to make a set of 10 cartridges, partly because a palette of 10 colors is easy to digest and gives the user the basics, and partly because it gives the set a very small desktop footprint.

Featured illustration courtesy of Evan Verrilli.

© Dan Grove or respective copyright holders