Caylee Betts, Product Designer

Swipies

Swipies are reusable paper made for wet-erase pens. I started making them for personal use, then for friends and coworkers, and in November 2015 I ordered my first lot to sell publicly. They're currently sold on Etsy and direct to companies like Airbnb, Spec.fm, General Assembly and Moz.

Why Swipies?
I hate wasting paper for a drawing or note that I won't need the next day. So I started writing on laminated paper a few years ago, and rinsing off the ink when I was done. When I started prototyping Swipies, I wanted something sturdy. They’re super durable, made with a synthetic paper that holds form and doesn’t tear or bend.

Swipies are like a whiteboard but portable, like paper but smoother, and just fun to write on. The smooth surface is a selling point for illustrators; the lines are so crisp that they translate really well into vector. Wet-erase pens also dry quickly and don't come off the surface until water is applied, so you can easily slip a sheet in your backpack or bag without compromising your drawing.

Designing + Producing Swipies
The synthetic paper used for Swipies is really expensive and requires buying in large quantities. I luckily found a printer that had the paper on hand for other projects and we started prototyping. Prior to finding this product, quality was an issue. I really wanted Swipies to look and feel professional. Having a border of lamination around regular paper was out of the question. The synthetic paper solved this problem by being waterproof (and all around awesome) and letting us trim the lamination edges off.

For the first design, I decided on a super simple dot grid that would allow people to easily write or draw. I opted for 8.5x11” to stick with a standard size that could fit (smoothly, with the rounded edges) in a bag or backpack. (Update: we now sell 3 sizes publicly and custom sizes to companies) I minimized old versions of the logo into a small, legible URL to take up as little space and create as little distraction as possible.


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