Patrick Visser

UX Designer and Illustrator

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Cup on my desk

On my desk is a cup. A really nice cup. Actually, a beautiful cup. Or should I rather call it a mug? That’s what it’s official title is where I bought it from. It’s simple, sleek and shiny. It’s got no handle and is just a perfect vessel designed to hold liquid. The cup is beautifully crafted from glazed ceramic. It’s small irregularities in its roundness makes me think it was made by hand. The smooth, cool and shiny texture of its glaze always evokes a sense of calm in me when I hold it.
A bold, uppercase P is printed on it in a classic serif font called VentiQuattro. The black letter stands out boldly against the off-white background.

That’s what made me buy it in the first place. At the time I wanted a cup with my initial on it so that no one in the office would share my cup. I’m not very fond of sharing cups in an office with two dozen people. One always likes one cup more than the others and you have to go hunting for it. Better to have my own, distinct cup that also makes a statement about me and what I like.

Unfortunately I realised after a while that a cup with no handle can be quite hot to hold and has the risk of slipping through your fingers when it’s wet.

So now my smooth, shiny designer mug just sits on my desk and holds my pens and pencils. A perfect partnership. P for pens. P for Patrick’s pens and pencils.

Amongst the usual office desk paraphernalia this cup has become my island of good design. It reminds me of sophisticated type and of hand made objects. Of the perfection of the round shape and the craft of making perfect cups.

I often look at it with great affection when I’m lost in thoughts. It doesn’t demand anything and offers a surface to reflect my thoughts on. I look at it every time when I chose the right pen for my next sketch or note.

Sometimes I’m tempted to go and get more cups with more letters so I can spell words. But then I decide it would look weird to have 5 cups on my desk.

I wonder if the cup minds not being used for drinking anymore and is confined to a stationery life with pointy pens sticking out of it and never gets washed anymore. Or is it proud to be the one hand-made object amongst all the technology on my desk? Being the only thing made from a natural material amongst all the plastic, glass and aluminium?

Now that I think of it I should find it a companion. Another naturally made object it can connect with when I’m not here, which is quite often. I work from home sometimes and just leave that cup sitting on my desk, all alone, holding my pens and pencils.

But then again it’s just a cup.

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