ACME Studios Inc is a company that seems to look at things a bit differently, but in a good way. Their line of pens and accessories are made up of partnerships and collaborations with various artists. The pen bodies are relatively the same for the "art" series, but creates a nice canvas for these artists to paint on so to speak.
Newly released is an offering from their etched line of pens called "Optikal", designed by Karim Rashid. He has worked with ACME for several years and has done quite a few collaborations with them. Pronounced just as boldly as the logo on the pen is the name or signature of the artist responsible for the design. Karim's signature is found on the center ring between the cap and barrel which is a nice tribute to his work.
There is also a YouTube video of Karim discussing some of his history with ACME which is quite interesting. I had the pleasure of having Optikal sent to me for review by ACME for which I offer thanks. I've enjoyed the pen very much and am excited to share my thoughts.
I really respect the artistic aspect of the company as there is deeper meaning and motivation to their work and they also provide exposure for people trying to make their way in the world of art. Some of the designs may not be everyone's bag, but I can't argue with their philosophy. I find it fascinating the unique and sometimes zany things that ACME Studios Inc creates and releases.
The etched series of pens are made from all brass and have an engraved design in the barrel. Optikal has what would look like a series of parallel lines running up and down the pen, but upon spinning you find that an area of the lines bow, creating a unique pattern. The engravings themselves are filled in with a black enamel so to stand out with more contrast against the shiny barrel.
I really enjoy the weight of this pen. Being made of all brass it caries a nice heft, but not overly heavy. It is also a fairly broad pen tapering out towards the middle which gives it a lot to grip and hold onto. The pen feels solid and substantial.
The entire barrel is a shiny chrome, mirror-like finish which will attract fingerprints, but will definitely receive the notice of those around you. The pen, not the fingerprints... The design of the overall barrel shape is quite conservative and I would consider it to be classy. Let's just say the pen could easily fit into a business coat type setting, but still make a heck of a statement.
Optikal comes presented in an appealing matte black box that contains an "ACME" branded tin. Nestled inside a formed, high-density foam is the pen safe and sound from bouncing about. I would consider the packaging to be a keeper.
On the thread of being conservative, my previously reviewed ACME pen the "Hatch" rollerball by designer Karl Zahn was left in the brass finish which is functional for its antimicrobial properties, but from a mere aesthetic wouldn't be quite as low-key as Optikal.
The included rollerball refill is the Schmidt Safety Ceramic "888" which is a smooth and wet writer. For kicks, I swapped in a Pilot Juice refill as they are roughly the same size, but found the tip to wiggle a bit too much for my liking. Doable if you want more options, but might drive some people crazy.
I think Optikal is a fantastic edition to ACME's etched series and that Karim did excellent work in it's design. Visit ACME's newly released website to view their wares, and to keep up to date on what ACME Studios Inc is up to (which is always new and interesting), make sure to follow them on Twitter or Facebook.