How someone organizes their desk can tell you a lot about how they get work done. That’s why we’re stepping into the offices of enviably creative (and productive) people to look at what’s on their desks — pens and notebooks and gadgets, but also décor and tchotchkes. Today, we’ve asked graphic designer Deva Pardue, who balances a day job as creative director of The Wing with her work as the founder of the design initiative For All Womankind, to show and tell.
They’re great headphones. They’re comfortable, and they’re pretty noise-canceling, so even if I’m not listening to music, I might just wear them if I want people not to disturb me. They’re great, I’m an avid listener of WNYC in the morning, so that’s what I use them for the most. When I’m not in meetings, I’m listening to Brian Lehrer between the hours of 10 and 12.
I use a lot of different devices to keep lists. I oversee four-and-a-half teams here, we’re starting to build out our experiential team. So I constantly have a lot of balls in the air, so I like to have multiple areas where I can write it down — either in my notebook or this Poketo weekly planner. Those are usually due dates, so big deliverables for that specific day. They’re more deadline-oriented because there’s not a lot of room there.
I also use an app called TeuxDeux. Tina Roth Eisenberg started it; she’s a designer; Swissmiss is her studio. It’s basically an app you can sign up for, and it’s a list. It’s the most simple thing ever, but I love it. It goes by day, and you can jot things in there from your phone or computer and then cross them off when they’re done. If you don’t cross them off, they just automatically move to the next day. So I use that as a running to-do list. This is more action items, like, “Talk to this person about this.”
My note-taking in my notebooks tend to be more specific to whatever meeting I’m in in that moment. I use [this one] for all my note-taking and sketching. A guy I used to work with at Pentagram — I worked at Pentagram for about five years before I started at The Wing — named Aron Fay, this was his project. It has really cool lay-flat binding, so when you open it, the whole thing just lies flat. You don’t have to hold the other side down, how you do with other notebooks. I have the unlined version [though] I’m a list-maker. I’m not a doodler, per say. I do sketch my ideas, but they tend to be much more gridded, layouts and stuff. My note-taking starts out nice and organized and list-y, and it becomes sporadic and crazy as the day moves on.
I really like a nice black-ink pen. There’s a brand Le Pen, they’re good for sketching. These pens, they don’t bleed a lot, but they have a good ink flow. It’s a nice black. You never get that thing you get with ballpoint pens where it doesn’t have a consistent line to it.
I found that at the MoMA store, which is near our offices here in Soho. Hay is my go-to for stationery stuff, it’s all really well-designed and it’s pretty. I like the pastel tones. It’s ceramic; it’s not plastic or anything.
Editor’s note: Pardue has the pastel-green Hay pen holder on her desk, but this gray one is from the same line.
That’s my protein when I’m getting low on nourishment, like, “Okay, good snack.” I love all sorts of nut butters, so I usually have some sort of nut butter on my desk. I definitely like Once Again’s peanut butter, but I mix it up. I like the ones with no added sugar, this is one of those. I sometimes eat it with a spoon, sometimes with an apple or a banana, or I put it in my overnight oats in the morning. I’m a crunchy-peanut-butter person, not creamy.
For All Womankind is something that I started shortly after the election. I had the idea to make posters of the main visual I was using, the three fists, to raise Emily’s List and the Center for Reproductive Rights. Recently, Sonix reached out to me about doing a partnership with them, and now we’re donating a portion of the proceeds to She Should Run, a nonprofit that educates young women on how to run for office and get started in political careers.
That’s a collaboration The Wing just did with Otherland. The packaging design and the different shapes are inspired by the terrazzo in our spaces; we use a lot of different terrazzo textures and patterns in the different Wing locations, so that’s where the inspiration for that design came from. The scent was more of my boss Audrey’s domain; I was more overseeing the design of it. It’s got an earthy kind of smell. We all burn them, they’re everywhere: conference rooms, they smell great. If you ever work in an office with majority women, there are lots of candles around.
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