Colombia – The Low Down Adventure
So what gives? What drives our mad consumption of goods? Design. Lo-fi design. Eyes poppin’, oohing and awing. We freak when we see simple, functional goods that aren’t glossy, aren’t in slick packaging or done up by marketers to make us feel like we need it – that we have to have. 'Cause please… no need to convince us that we need it, cause we want it… one of every pencil, one of every notepad, one of every postcard.
Enter Colombia. Cartagena is all things bright, bold, and colorful. The notepads? Not so much. But that’s the appeal – the super simple line drawings of basic design tools in brown. And the paper… the juiciness of the fluffy newsprint sheets and how it absorbs the weight of a pen. It’s like resting your head on a fluffy pillow – indents and all.
We found the Mystery Item at the same shop in Cartagena – jumbo paper clips. Love their heavy-duty feel and how they can hold a phat stack of papers. The strong angular lines of the clips make me want to bust open a box and build a water tower base… or something that my vinyl figures can climb.
Now back in Bogotá and on a mad race. Looking for more of the same paperclips we purchased in Cartagena with time running out. Lucky for us a store that a super sweet lady recommended was magic. We found the same paperclips and our Writing Instruments. Instantly fell in love with the Bezt pencils stamped with ‘Colombian Pencil’ in silver foil. Standing in the store, the employee asking us why we want to buy the entire inventory of Bezt pencils, excited that we found pencils from a Colombia company, realizing that I still don’t speak Spanish… I just laughed.
After removing the pencils from their packaging, I discovered that the erasers don’t work very well. But still love them – all five different styles, all varying in color and lead. A little dysfunctional, maybe, but they’ve got the style factor covered.
Both Colombia Immigration and US Immigration made sure to interrogate us and rip open the boxes to make sure the note pads were really… note pads. No one could understand why two Americans would visit Colombia because neither of us spoke Spanish and we weren’t visiting friends or family. Simple answer, really – we want stylie shit, and Colombia’s got it.