Introducing the Cal Bookend: A Q+A with designers Revision

A clean, architectural solution for keeping your prized volumes upright and organized, the Cal Bookend is comprised of two steel rods, which elegantly bend across each other and are locked into place by a single bolt. The efficiency of the design is highlighted by the flat packaging, where the three-dimensional structure appears only after assembly is complete.

The Cal Bookend is named for its resemblance to the caltrop—a rudimentary antipersonnel weapon—but in this case a tool of warfare has been redeployed as an object whose purpose is to literally uphold knowledge. Weighing just over two pounds each, they are fitted with rubber feet along the bottom to ensure a stable hold for even the largest of tomes.

Designed by Revision for Craighill, this is our first release with outside design talent. Revision is a new design studio based in North Carolina, helmed by Nate McCracken and Damein Williams. Both have a wide variety of experiences in the realm of design, and Nate was actually Craighill's first employee. So while we might not have ventured too far afield, we’re excited to be embarking on a new chapter of creative dialog and collaboration. We asked Nate a few questions about the story behind the product, and what Revision is looking toward for the future.

What was the jumping off point for the Cal Bookend, and how long did it take from initial idea to finalized form?

The Cal Bookend was conceived as a simple construction detail. Normally, a single bolt isn’t enough to secure two rods together, but bend the two rods across one another and a single bolt can lock them up into a distinct tripod form. We played with this caltrop form for a while before finding the right function as a bookend. It has a unique character and the assembly that takes place at home lets you appreciate the construction that gave inspiration to the whole design. 

All told, we tossed the Cal Bookend back and forth between us for about six months before we approached Craighill with the design. Even as we located manufacturers and defined the details it never strayed far from the initial form.

Why did Craighill seem like the right home for the Cal Bookend?

I began my career working alongside Hunter in the early days of Craighill, working on the Jack Puzzle, Venn Puzzle, and Trophy bottle opener. This experience informed how I design, so approaching Hunter with our first ideas and launching our inaugural product with Craighill was a natural fit. There is some shared DNA between the two brands and there are a lot of design elements in the Cal Bookend that link to the rest of the Craighill collection.

This is the first product launch for Revision. How did you form your partnership and what do you hope to achieve as a design studio?

Damein and I stayed in touch after graduating from Appalachian State University together, and then we formed Revision in 2018. Our very different skillsets compliment each other, so we’re a small and effective design team. Owning and operating our own independent design studio gives us satisfying control over our own success.

As we see the first product from our studio enter the market, we want to build more high-quality pieces that are both elegant and affordable. Our goal is to build a strong body of work at a steady pace, bringing those designs into reality by partnering with great design brands like Craighill.

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