Tokyo-based designer Duncan Shotton gives push pins an out-of-this-world redesign with his latest product Planet Pins.
The set features push pins that resemble our solar system’s eight planets (sorry, Pluto). Each item is moulded in the UK, then painstakingly hand-painted in Tokyo and packaged in serial-numbered, polished-acrylic display cases.
There’s also an optional moon pin, which depicts realistic craters on its surface. Its box, meanwhile, even has an American flag printed on it, appearing like it’s planted on the moon whenever the pin is tacked on the display.
As of writing, Planet Pins has already raised three times its funding goal on Kickstarter. We recently got a chance to talk to Shotton to know more about the clever product.
What was the inspiration for Planet Pins?
“Our first foray into transforming the standard push pin format into an object of desire came in 2012 with our limited-edition Real Boy Push Pins (sold out). Nearly two years ago we started thinking about new push pins ideas and soon after the first rough sketch of Planet Pins landed on a page, we started to get excited about how awesome it would be to hold the entire solar system in the palm of your hand.
“Re-creating such colossal structures in miniature form turned out to be cool, cute and functional. A good combination!”
The pins are all handpainted. Which planet is the hardest to paint? How long does it often take to finish painting the entire set?
“We paint the same pin-types in batches to streamline the production process as much as we can, so it’s difficult to calculate the time it takes to paint a single set, as some pin-types take longer than others. Earth is the most detailed, and even after a dedicated, full day of painting, I can only paint about 50 pins.”
Please tell us more about the Moon pin.
“We decided to offer it as a single pin, separate to the Planet Pins set, and therefore had a chance to approach the materials and production method differently.
“After a few rounds of dremelling, sanding, and priming, I produced eight Moon ‘master’ pins complete with tiny craters, which have now been sent to our friends in Taiwan, who’ll use them to create silicon moulds so they can start casting concrete Moon Pins by hand.
“We’re planning on visiting them to share the production process with our supporters. We’ve nicknamed them ‘The Moon Makers!’”
Lastly, do you have any plans of making a Pluto pin?
“Oh, poor Pluto… Like a lot of other space-fans, we love Pluto, but its small size meant it was difficult to mould.
“Also, when we realised we were going to have to take on the gargantuan task of hand-painting each pin ourselves to make Planet Pins a reality, one less pin per pack was an idea too attractive to refuse.
“We might make a Pluto pin in the future, but right now we’re concentrating on Planet Pins and Moon Pins, in order to deliver them on time and at a high-quality, as our supporters expect.”