Leather, Skyscrapers, and PLOTTER in Chicago 2023

PLOTTER draws on a wealth of materials, technology, and craftsmanship to create tools that will make creative work enjoyable. We are constantly seeking out things that inspire us and further nurture creativity, and Chicago is just the city that gave us the spark.

Chicago has long been known for its celebration of architectural innovation and experimentation. From museums that store artistic works of wonder, to unimaginable skyscrapers that stood out against the blue sky. It is also home to one of the best leather tanneries in the world, Horween Leather Company. The PLOTTER team is inevitably drawn to the city and the amazing PLOTTER users that we’ve met during this journey.

Horween Leather Company Tour

Our first leg of Chicago exploration started at Horween Leather Company, a five-generation leather tannery with over 100 years of history. The exposed brick walls of the tannery painted a picture of years of time-honored hard work and heritage. Considered to be one of the best leather tanneries in the world, they develop original formulas to create world-class Genuine Shell Cordovan, Sport Leathers, and Footwear Leathers like Chromexcel.

The president of Horween Leather Company generously took us on a tour to the depth of its tannery. Through several levels of the antique building, well-worn yet sturdy, we were able to admire the difficult and intricate process of producing leather.

The team is especially excited to experience the famous Chromexcel leather at its birthplace.

Horween Leather can be seen in industries that span fashion, footwear, lifestyle goods, and sports…yet, we can’t help but imagine what the encounter it would have with stationery and analog tools. This is something we excitedly look forward to in the future.

At the following events, PLOTTER customers have a chance to own a PLOTTER Leather Binder bound with Horween Leather Company’s Chromexcel leather in A5 Size and Bible Size, in the limited colors black and burgundy. This rare opportunity is something we were excited to offer.

Takayuki Saito, producer of PLOTTER, leaves his signature on a large piece of cowhide at the end of the tour.

PLOTTER Pop-up at Atlas Stationers

From May 3rd to May 4th, the PLOTTER team found a hub at Atlas Stationers for a pop-up event. Located right under the tracks of the city’s L train on the Loop, it was a refreshing location to host one of our events. Occasionally we would look up from our tables and see the rattle of the train as it sped through the city with passengers going about their day.

Atlas Stationers is also a family-run stationery store with a wide array of fine writing instruments, stationery, notebooks, and other quality paper product offerings. At the center of the store, our team set up a workshop station on an old shipping table, one of the oldest tables they own, according to the staff at Atlas Stationers.

At the front, the PLOTTER US team happily assisted new customers in choosing a leather binder that suits their needs. Meanwhile, our Japanese colleagues expertly put together customized Leather Binders with event-only leather options and unique backplates.

You can also choose to customize your PLOTTER with the hand-painting lettering service, painstakingly painted on by our Japanese craftsman with years of experience.

Situated at the heart of the city, it was great to meet analog enthusiasts and welcome new customers to experience the craftsmanship and expertise that PLOTTER offers.

The perfect end to our stay in downtown Chicago was the architectural boat tour that takes us down the river flowing from Lake Michigan. Again, we were blown away by the amazing architecture the city has and were even a bit envious of the view that the locals can enjoy every day. Of course, we didn’t miss out on trying the famous deep-dish pizza during our stay.

Chicago Pen Show 2023

Finally, the last few days of our Chicago adventure take us out to Chicago Marriott Northwest, where the annual Chicago Pen Show was held from May 5th to May 7th. We’ve attended a few pen shows in the last few years, but the community around pens and paper never ceased to amaze us. Congregating around pizza and whiskey in the evenings, pen enthusiasts wind through the crowds to discover gems and treasures, while sharing their finds with like-minded friends in the evening.

Aside from showcasing PLOTTER Leather Binders and usage examples, we also sold event-limited items and offered customization experiences. We introduced event-only letterpress Refill Memo Pads, special Sticky Note Folder refills in Bible Size, Mesh Cases in unique colors, and new colors of leather roll pen cases. The special foil-stamping Notepads with the intricate Chicago MAP design were a bit hit.

The PLOTTER team also seeks out some vintage pocket pens to fit the Mini 5 Size Leather Binders!

On the second day, the PLOTTER team conducted a one-hour seminar that introduced the PLOTTER system to fans and new users. We shared the history of PLOTTER, how it was designed, as well as practical ways to take notes and utilize different pages of PLOTTER. Takayuki Saito, producer of PLOTTER, also shares his vision for the brand and how he looks forward to its evolution in the future.

The best part about pen shows was meeting PLOTTER users. Through extensive exchanges at our tables, we were able to hear users’ stories and how they incorporate writing into their daily routines. The show also gave us the opportunity to meet other craftspeople and makers. From years of calligraphy artistry to meticulously restored vintage pens, we were inspired by everyone’s creativity and can’t wait to see how new PLOTTER fans use our analog tools.

Chicago took our breath away, and we were honored to experience the city and its atmosphere with so many PLOTTER fans. We look forward to future encounters with PLOTTER friends we made on this trip. We also hope you will enjoy the journey that PLOTTER takes you on.

Draw Today, Shape Tomorrow