Instrumentum is a short personal project, which looks to redefine the two most common tools used in the household, a hammer and a set of screw drivers to be readily accessible for day to day uses for the urban individual. With values that allow it to be more appropriate to live in the home and provide a more honest represention of their function particularly for how long they are actually used for per session - moving away from the current over designed, intimidating and aggressive design language.
Tools are often kept in toolboxes hidden away in the corners of homes and garages to be kept out of sight – and in turn they tend to be kept out of mind. The time taken to remember where tools are, wade through the depths of storage rooms to get to them often take longer than the actual use case scenario for the average person.
The aggressive nature of many tools with their design language often creates an intimidating perception – particularly with novice buyers and users. These tools are often overdesigned with over moulded “ergonomic handles” for use cases that literally last seconds at a time. The lack of consistency between both the hammer head and handle, and screwdriver head and handles create a disconnect between the elements that make up the product.
These hand tools were designed to fit in the home as a quickly accessible product which suits the environment it lives and is used in, with particular focus on the urban individual who uses these tools infrequently in short bursts instead of the "handyperson" which many tools these days are designed for.
The language looked to provoke a sense of honesty about the functions of each product, with care that the elements were visually consistent, soft and approachable to use and hold, and suitable to live in the home as any other home based product.
The idea started as some thoughts on a train in my notebook which I carry around with me (top left), where they were culminated into an Instagram posts in early June 2017 (bottom left). Eventually (as promised in that post) the idea was thought about more and those sketches were refined - leading to this concept.
Instrumentum is packaged in a recycled cardboard box with graphics of the product illustrating the contents within it.
The hammer is made of two parts; the head and neck made of forged high carbon heat treated steel for strength and durability – with any elements of flashing ground smooth. The handle is again forged steel which then screws into the bottom of the neck.
To minimise impact transferring to the users hand, the split at the top of the head disperses energy, and the split and seperate handle and neck further dissapates the energy.
The screwdrivers follow the same manufacturing processes as the hammer (mentioned above), ensuring quality and visual consistency.
To acheive the black finish, the product is then coated in black oxide (dipped in baths of sodium hydroxide, nitrates, and nitrites at 141 °C) to create the finish - adding to corrosion resistance too.
To acheive the gradiented metallic finish, these limited edition hammers would be painted to specification.
Thank you for taking the time to look at this small personal project, which I've been thinking about here and there for the last few months and finally got a little time to execute it over the past couple weeks - I hope you enjoyed it.