Later this year Leatherman will be releasing the Signal, a multi-tool specifically aimed at the outdoorsman/outdoorswoman. After interviewing survivalists, campers, hikers, hunters and fishers, the design team came up with a tool containing "pliers, saw, can and bottle opener, awl, removable pocket clip, hammer, replaceable wire cutters, a variety of hex and Leatherman bit drivers, combo knife blade pair with a shaped diamond coated sharpener for maintaining your straight and serrated blade, fire-starting ferro rod, and an emergency whistle."
The tool is already sweet, but we especially dig the renderings, done by Leatherman industrial designer Kenny Lohr. "The rugged, nature oriented design was a focus during our research," writes Oregon-based Lohr, and "it was important to communicate that this was the first Leatherman of its kind."
Lohr, whose production work also covers Leatherman's Tread and Leap multitools, says of the Signal "We wanted to create a Ford Raptor in an arena of F150s—just something unapologetically aggressive and awesome."
He also gave us some background on the renderings:
All created in Photoshop with a Wacom Cintiq. I use rough underlays of components and CAD and just work over top of them. This adds a realism in scale to the drawings and implementation seems within reach for both myself and the engineers.
I typically start with sketch linework all on one layer, crosshatching on another, and block out bodies of color on subsequent layers that more often than not are just dodged and burned. Every body of color gets one main gradation first and foremost to take away the flat, with smaller detail work occurring after.
The cherry on top is layer of highlight linework which can be used to communicate the light light source even more and to highlight edge (key on a black oxide tool such as Signal).
Check out the rest of Lohr's book on Coroflot.
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Beautiful piece of functional artwork, what a great artist!
Very cool - I think this might replace the Skeletool I carry around.
I would buy this in a heartbeat! Really conveys the classic design language of Leatherman as a trusty, premium, and useful tool in a sleek and sexy package.