This ingenious tool is a Swiss Army knife for sketching

The Horizon Helvetica tool being used to draw designs
(Image credit: Mavigadget)

No matter how much skill you have, drawing shapes freehand requires time, concentration and a steady hand. But now a simple tool that's only the size of a credit card aims to make things easier. 

Described as a 'Swiss Army Knife' for designers, the Horizon Helvetica ruler combines multiple functions including a protractor, compass, isometric grid and even pixel and pica rulers for digital measurements. It looks like it could make the perfect stocking filler for any artist or designer who still enjoys drawing on paper (if you prefer working digitally, see our pick of the best drawing tablets).

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The Horizon Helvetica looks like an ingenious little tool to make sketching quicker and more precise. Described as a “Swiss Army knife of sketching tools, " it fits most of the stationery you could ever need for drawing perfect circles and straight lines into a card that you can carry in a wallet.

It has 4 straightedges with measurements in inches, cm, pixel and pica, imperial and metric compass, a set square, T-square and protractor, a circle stencil, isometric grid and isometric cube in a laser-cut high-grade stainless steel piece measuring just 85.60 mm × 53.98 mm.

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Handily for UI designers making wireframes, the tool can be used for digital measurement, simulating a length of 150 pixels per inch (PPI), with proportions for pixels of 10. As for the name, it's called the Horizon Helvetica because, appropriately, the measurements are printed in many designers' favourite font – both to improve readability and to fit in with that Swiss Army Knife reference.

Designers seem keen to get their hands on the tool. "I need this so bad. I literally carry an old pair of mini brass callipers for my drafting," one person commented on Instagram (opens in new tab). Others are asking how they can get it. Horizon Helvetica launched on Kickstarter mode (opens in new tab) and surpassed its funding objective 12 times. The tool is now available to preorder from Mavigadget (opens in new tab), due to ship from 1 December.

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Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.