Awhile back ago we took an architectural tour where we spied a home office accessory which we've never forgotten. It was a vintage desk calculator, a beautiful bright blue battery powered electronic with colourful buttons and a cheerful presence (unfortunately the manufacturer escapes us; does anyone recognize it?). It was an example of where something forever useful also happened to be an item which added to the decor of the room, as much a design presence as addition appliance. We've gathered 10 other designs which we think add up to good design in the same way.
Here's the vintage calculator which inspired this post. Gold star to anyone who can identify our mystery machine.
- PlusMinusZero Fukasawa Calculator: Japanese designer Naoto Fukusawa is an Unplggd favourite and his slender-angled addition machine is available in white, black, yellow, blue, red.
- Hydro Powered Calculator: water-powered batteries?! Geeky, yet it looks like something that would bring smiles to kid and design enthusiast alike.
- PlusMinusZero's Electronic Calculator XS: Another PlusMinusZero, but this time in an abbreviated size for on-the-go mathletes.
- IDEA's USB 10 Key Calculator: Double duty accessory, this IDEA designed calculator works on the desktop by itself or can be hooked up via USB. Either way, it looks great.
- Maru Cedar Calculator: Cedar finish, round shape and colourful buttons all add up to the sort of design which begs to be inquired about when left out on your desk.
- LEXON LC 59 ELA Calculator: Simple, clean, modern...like the rest of LEXON's line of electronics, this calculator forgoes bells and whistles, but looks great in doing so.
- Bubble Calculator: This silicone design which reminds us of something Karim Rashid would think up was actually offered as a Staples giveaway item awhile back, but now your best bet is just to order them in bulk.
- Casio M1 Calculator 1979: nab this while you can...Casio vintage calculators are some of the best looking and this M1 model illustrates the design of the era perfectly.
- David Turpin's Personal Calculator: A design concept we'd love to see come to fruition/production. The frameless design reminds us a widget.
- Muji 8 Digit Calculator: The Japanese seem to love the supposed antiquated calculator, but when they look this nice it all makes sense.
And calculator aficionados might want to check out this great site dedicated to the machine: VintageCalculators.com. We're especially fond of this precursor to the pen and tablet design, alongside this desktop design which reminds us of something from the set of LOST.