Behind the Design | Canyon Wallet

July 07, 2020

It's honestly been several years since I put out a new wallet design. That's not from lack of trying or ideas though...I've gone through lots of different ideas/designs but haven't fully followed through on anything (I'm too scatterbrained I guess). A lot of designs get stuck with the first or second prototype and the "this could be cool but it needs some refinement" phase. Such was the case with this wallet, but in this case, I think the space was good as I was able to come back to the idea with a fresh perspective.

The idea started out as an attempt to make a wallet with minimal stitching that more or less wraps around the bills and cards. Pictured are a few different paper prototypes we started off with just to test the concept. We were also experimenting with sort of plasticizing/rubberizing the paper to see if it could be a cheap/viable material (the blue one is just acrylic paint and the black was some sort of rubber compound for tools). This culminated in making a leather prototype that I used for a while but I'm not totally sure where that ended up after the move.

Anyhow, you can see the wallet originally had an inner divider, was open at the top, and had a flap that wrapped over the top to secure the cards. Coming back to the idea, I concluded that the top flap was somewhat superfluous if I closed off the top of the card slot and had it accessed from the side. This ultimately led to the final design of the Canyon.

Function-wise, I'm super pleased with the outcome. The card slot is big enough to fit all the cards I carry and more, and I've found the half bill slot allows me to thumb through my bills easily, making finding the right bill and organizing a breeze. It's four layers thick when folded—the same amount of layers as the Arc, but I'm loving the super clean look of the stitchless front and even the super minimal stitching on the backside.

In the end, I feel like this is a pretty good embodiment of my design philosophy—minimal but functional where it's essential (function overburdening function), clean aesthetic and efficient construction. Stoked!