Rulers are one of the most ancient draftsmanship tools humans have come up with, serving both as a measuring device as well as a guide for drawing straight lines. Its design has barely changed over the centuries, still traditionally a long and flat stick of wood, metal, or plastic. There have recently been a few wild ideas on how to improve the experience, but many of those completely change the design to the point that the tool is unidentifiable as a ruler. Not all improvements have to be that drastic or revolutionary, however. Sometimes, you just need to think outside the box just a bit to produce a new design that is not only more usable than a regular ruler but also more attractive, like this ruler concept with sexy curves that make it double as a piece of decoration on your desk.
Designers: Chung Ping Lun, Kuo Kai Lei (Medium2 Studio)
On the one hand, there is no need for a ruler to be overly complex, and its simple design has proven to work for centuries. On the other hand, it’s neither the most efficient design nor the most beautiful unless you add so many elaborate embellishments that end up getting in the way of the tool’s usability. Traditional rulers, in particular, risk smearing or smudging the paper because its flat body is always in contact with the surface underneath.
Some more creative designs have the edges of the ruler raised so that you don’t drag the ink or graphite across the edge, which may lead to accidental smearing or bleeding. That, however, doesn’t solve the problem of the ruler itself smudging the marks beneath it. The Ruler_C concept tweaks the design just a little bit to minimize how much contact the ruler makes with the paper or surface beneath it, resulting in an unusual form that turns out to be pleasant to look at as well.
Instead of being completely flat, the Ruler_C’s body curves up toward one side so that only one long edge and both short edges are ever in contact with the drawing surface. This minimizes how much damage the ruler could cause while also improving the tool’s usability. It’s a small change that few would have probably considered but it is an effective one nonetheless.
It also gives the Ruler_C an interesting shape that immediately calls attention to itself without being loud and showy. The gentle slope and anodized aluminum material give it a touch of elegance that you might not expect from such a mundane tool. Even the packaging, which comes as a sliding box, has been modified to visually mimic the way light bounces off the Ruler_C’s curved body. This, in turn, makes the ruler more than just a tool but also a designer product worth showing off on your desk.