"So what have you drawn?" - kaYoke for portaging your kayak

Portaging a kayak can be a difficult task.  Scott Gill, the inventor of the kaYoke, came up with the perfect solution.  A lightweight adjustable yoke that attaches onto the rim of the kayaks cockpit.  Simply slip the kaYoke over the kayaks hull, size up the jaws along the rim and pull the strap taught.  

Photo Credit: thekaYoke.com

Photo Credit: thekaYoke.com

Scott teamed up with a few designers in Toronto, including a former classmate of Illustrator Steve, Paul Mazzotta of HUB Design Studio Inc.  This product is truly a Canadian product with even the manufacturing being completed by Mario Romero's company Schnell Plastics based out of Toronto.

Scott has his invention on Kickstarter right now and will be ending on the 27th of July, 2015 so get in there and support this Canadian designed and manufactured product.

You can always keep up to date on this product by visiting kaYoke's website.

"So what have you drawn?" - Medical Shield - Prodaptive Medical

When working in the Medical field avoiding diseases can be a difficult task.  Most of the time the simplest and most effective health related innovations are grown from within the medical community.  This would be the case for the STAL Shield, a device that attaches to a variety of commonly used medical tools, including Yankauer style suction catheters, syringes, scalpels and more.

Various combinations of uses as demonstrated with these Patent Illustrations

Various combinations of uses as demonstrated with these Patent Illustrations

The STAL Shield is the result of collaboration between Dr. Stephen Wheeler and Al Wickheim who saw the ability to reduce the spread of bio-hazards via a shield that is attached to a variety of medical tools and in the event of the patient expelling a bodily fluid, coughing etc, it is deflected as you can see in this video.  This is not the only benefit of this invention, it also acts as a stand so that contamination is drastically reduced when the tool being used is set down or even dropped.

The following clip is a great review and demonstration of the product from EMS1's show Innovation Zone hosted by Chris Montera.

You can check out more about the STAL Shield on the Prodaptive Medical Innovations website.


"So what have you drawn?" - Heads-Up Display - Recon Instruments

The Recon Jet is a heads-up display (HUD) designed and developed in Vancouver, Canada by a very talented team at Recon Instruments.  Designed with athletes in mind it comes with features, sensors and networking abilities comparable to current tablets & smartphones.  In fact, you can link it with your iPhone or Android handset and leverage phone functions and apps.


The sensors include a 3D accelerometer, a 3D gyroscope, a 3D magnetometer, an ambient temperature and a pressure sensor for altimeter & barometer applications.  It is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core chip with 1GB DDR2 SDRAM and 8GB of flash memory.  The wide-screen display boasts a high definition image as if you were standing 7' from a 30" screen, plenty of room to view your most critical information.  There is even an HD camera with microphone and speakers.  Check out the Technical Specifications page for further features and information.  All of this and it comes in at only 60 grams!

Recon Jet Design Illustrations

Recon's software development kit (SDK) and Web API allows developers to create apps that are sport or activity specific and take advantage of all the hardware packed into this eyewear.  If you are a developer, check out their Developer Overview page.

Recon Instruments haven't forgotten about the winter athlete, check out their Snow2.  The Snow2 actually preceded the Recon Jet and is a feature in many leading goggle brands.

Check out Recon Instruments website for further product information and multimedia, including an interview with George Hincapie giving a commentary about the Recon Jet as it relates to professional cycling. 

"So what have you drawn?" - DRYSNAKE

For most of us hockey season is over, but here is an invention that will keep your hockey gear organized and dry during next season.  There is no need to pack and unpack your hockey gear from the change room to your vehicle and unpack once again at home. 

Organize your equipment into the bag using the flexible ventilation tubes.  Once the bag is zipped up it is ready to be plugged in and the drying process is begun.  You can even plug it into your vehicle for the trip home or to the next game.

The Patent drawing depicted is a variation on the actual Drysnake product.

The Patent drawing depicted is a variation on the actual Drysnake product.

Pierrot Lebel in partnership with Jean-Francois Vezina, the development manager, perfected this bag over many years resulting in this comprehensive, high-quality solution.

You can find out more information from the Drysnake website.  And, you can start ordering them in June of 2014.

"So what have you drawn?" - Flavor Fork

Summer is around the corner and the BBQ's will soon be cleaned up and ready to fire up your favourite cut of steak.  This season you can boost the flavour with the Flavor Fork!  

Flavor Fork.png

Different attachments make this tool very versatile.  It comes with a brush, baster, spatula, a fork with hollow tines that allows your favourite marinade to be injected into the centre of the meat.  It also comes with a  bottle opener so you don't have to leave the BBQ to enjoy a frosty beverage.

Illustrator Steve was asked to produce some Design Drawings for this product which was featured on CBC's Dragons' Den this month.  Arlene Dickinson dove in with inventor Troy Biever with the hopes of making it big in the US market.  

"So what have you drawn?" - The "Tongue 2 Teeth"

Brushing your teeth WITHOUT a toothbrush and WITHOUT hands, impossible.  Well think again, Adel Elseri invented a device that does just that.  Not only can this oral-hygiene invention be used while being occupied with other tasks, such as during your daily commute, it can also prove a necessity for people with mobility issues.

Illustrations of one of the embodiments. 

Illustrations of one of the embodiments. 

The "Tongue 2 Teeth" invention simply slides onto the users tongue and begin scrubbing.  Suction and a tight fit keeps it on and the built in crevices capture any loose and unwanted particles.


Tongue to Teeth-02.png

Rumour has it that this product is going to be appearing on CBC's Dragons' Den this October.  Feel free to check out more information on the Tongue 2 Teeth product.


"So what have you drawn?" - Perfect Murder Decoys

Having trouble with crows eating your garden produce or simply being a nuisance?  Johanna Trimble of Maple Ridge, BC came up with a design to discourage the birds from doing just that.  Her patented design basically imitates a dead crow.  When a murder of crows spot this 'dead' bird, they are encouraged to make a visit to your neighbours yard instead.  

Crow Decoy-01.png

Johanna hand makes each bird out of durable, all-weather nylon.  Each bird features a wire that runs down the leading edge of each wing so that the appearance can easily be altered and also has a loop at the base of the tail so that it can be hung.  She also produces decoys for Magpies.

Feel free to check out more information about the Perfect Murder Decoy

"So what have you drawn?" - Ski Helmet

Dreaming of the slopes?  Danny Higgins, CEO and Engineer at Rocken Technologies will be seeing the slopes in a different way this coming season.  He invented the first integrated ski helmet with a fully integrated and retractable lens.   

A couple of the drawings that we did for the utility patent.

A couple of the drawings that we did for the utility patent.

The patented helmet has many unique features, but the key solution is the trajectory that the visor takes while travelling from the retracted position to a deployed position, all while making a seal around the skiers face.  This helmet technology could easily be adapted to other types of sports helmet as well as expand into many other fields such as firefighting, military and law enforcement.  And, a properly written patent will keep these options open and protected.

Renderings of the concept.

Renderings of the concept.

Danny did what many inventors aspire to:  he signed an agreement with FWD Concept of Switzerland and in turn licensed the Rocken design to Bollé under the product name OSMOZ.  Check out the introduction video from Bollé.

"So what have you drawn?" - Edge Again (tm)

There are many times that people ask me what I do for a living, quickly followed up by a slightly dazed look and the inevitable question, "So what have you drawn?".  As patenting is a very early step in protecting inventions, it isn't one that I can discuss a week after drawing it, a year, two or even longer.   

But sometimes I see a product on the market.  For this post the invention is a "Reciprocating Skate Blade Sharpener" or more commonly known as the Edge Again (tm).  It's basically a portable blade sharpener in which a handler runs along a skate blade as the reciprocating sharpener gives the blade two clean edges.  You can spot this invention not only at your local store or at the arena, you may even see it on tv being used to sharpen the edges of many NHL players as they jump on and off of shift.  In fact, one of the inventors is Chris Kontos, a former NHL player, who joined together with the talents found at Magna to do the engineering.

Here are a few of the illustrations that we completed for this invention: 

Feel free to check out more information about the Edge Again (tm) product.

Instructional illustrations. We'd be happy too...

Sometimes we get requests for other types of illustrations.  This time it was for instructions on how to install SwissStop (tm) RxPlus & VikingPro brake pads.  If your a cyclist you may have already come across them.  

This particular client wasn't satisfied with the instructions that were already in place on their packaging and employed us to show them our interpretation.

The original instruction set:

SwissStop Original-01.png

Part of the challenge was to fit all the required information in the available 3.75" x 0.625" (95mm x 15mm) space and yet maximize the size of the images to keep the instructions clear.

Our instructions for the RxPlus:

SwissStop RxPlus-01.png

Our instructions for the VikingPro:

SwissStop VikingPro-01.png

We enjoyed working on this project and hope that it serves SwissStop (tm) for many years to come.  

Our friend Dave from Page Design sent us this referral and Steve Marret at Helvetia Sports Ltd. made it happen.  Thanks guys!

If you have any inquiries about getting some Instructional, Patent, Design or other Technical drawings done, contact Steve at steve@illustratorsteve.com.

Trademarks: Distinguishing Guise / Non-Conventional

Last week I attended a Trademark information session that covered the basics of Trademarking hosted by Jennifer Marles of Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala at the Small Business BC office in Vancouver.  She covered various topics within Trademarking, such as; types of Trademarks, what protection is granted with a registered mark, the inherent rights of a non-registered mark, how to search for existing ones and what elements make for a successful Trademark.  As it turns out, IllustratorSteve as a Trademark, wouldn't be a great one.  It has a very narrow scope, as it uses a proper name and describes exactly what we do!  Although, from a business/client relations angle, I think it works just fine.

I found the wide array of the available types of Trademarks quite interesting and more far reaching than I previously thought.  I was very aware of the more traditional Trademarks, such as a word, or combination of words, slogans, a combination of letters and/or numbers, symbols & designs, colours and combination marks.  The less common Trademarks were sound, scent and shape.

We don't get involved with many illustration jobs for trademarks as many of them are registered as simply words, unless they fall under the Distinguishing Guise (CIPO) or Non-Conventional/Non-Traditional (USPTO) category of Trademarks.  Both the Canadian and United States intellectual property offices have a similar definition of this type of Trademark, but I will reference CIPO's information in this post. 

A Distinguishing Guise can be deceptively similar to an Industrial Design as both are based upon visual elements.

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office defines an Industrial Design as the, "visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these) applied to a manufactured article.".  And, their definition of a Distinguishing Guise is, "the shaping of goods or their containers, or a mode of wrapping or packaging goods which results in a distinctive appearance and thus distinguishes them from others in the marketplace.".  

You might be thinking that a Distinguishing Guise must be a rare thing and not often come across.  There are likely few of these registered, but if it is granted it is in its  nature to be very well known.  In fact, you have likely come across one today, especially if you have made a trip into your grocery store.  The reason of this is that to be registered as a Distinguishing Guise the item being protected must be well known to the public and if seen, be instantly recognized as that particular business's trademark and not of the competition.    

By now you are likely thinking of at least one very famous Distinguishing Guise, the Coca-Cola (tm) bottle.  The shape of this bottle is instantly recognizable as a Coca-Cola (tm) produced item.  

In Canada, an Industrial Design's protection will last 10 years.  At this point, a Distinguishing Guise can become an option.  The nice thing with Trademarks is that they are renewable.  The protection of a Distinguishing Guise will last 15 years, but can be renewed indefinitely.  The challenge in getting this distinction is proving that your design is known well enough in the public realm that it is distinctive in their minds.

A Distinguishing Guise is only one facet of the types of Trademarks available.  We look forward to focusing on some of the others in the near future.  If you have any questions regarding the illustration of your Trademark, Industrial Design or Utility Patent contact Steve at steve@illustratorsteve.com.

2013, an already exciting year!

2013 has already ramped up to be a great year at Illustrator Steve.  

We have brought on a new illustrator, Jessica.  She recently graduated from Sheridan College, known for graduating some top talent.  Jessica will be a great addition to the team and will help serve our clients with their illustration requirements.  Check out more information on her in our 'Meet Your Illustrators' section.  

As Steve and his partner Lynn of Lynn Farms have been in B.C. for the last few years, it looks like they are going to stay.  Located on Gabriola Island, just east of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, it is time to set up a more permanent shop.  By the end of this year we will have a physical presence on Gabriola at the Madrona Marketplace as Phase 2 of the complex is completed.

And, last but not least, a new website and blog.  Look out for some fun, hot topics, and some interesting issues and announcements as we move forward.

We would like to thank our clients that have supported us for more than a decade.