An Awesome Tool For Type Lovers: The Clampersand

Clampersand hero IIHIH

Designed by Tony Ruth exclusively for Core 77’s Hand-Eye Supply, the Clampersand is an adjustable C-clamp shaped like an Ampersand.

Tony (aka Lunchbreath) is a designer, illustrator and occasional cartoonist from Chicago and the inventor of the Clampersand (along with the Tim Haley of Tangible who worked on the mechanical design). Because the Clampersand is made of cast aluminum, it’s not really strong enough for serious shop work, but can be used as a bookend or decorative item.

Clampersand 1 IIHIHClampersand 4 IIHIH

The following description is courtesy of Hand-Eye Supply:
The Adjustable Clampersand is a rare and precious thing: a true Core77-born commodity. Its first inkling was an original Coretoon by Tony Ruth (shown below), showing the typographical tool in sketchy form. And now, with much hard work and horn-tooting, you can find the fully-fledged and functional Clampersand. The glittering conjunction is made from aluminum, cast at the Batavia Foundry outside of Chicago.
clampersand cartoon IIHIHabove: the original Tony Ruth “Coretoon” that started it all

“I always envisioned the Clampersand as an ideal bookend for an open ended shelf,” remarks Ruth. “I use them to clamp several books upright into a freestanding centerpiece. Or I simply stand it up by itself on a table. I’d recommend using it to clamp verbally associated objects together into some sort of visual pun: bacon and eggs, salt and pepper, turner and hooch. That sort of thing.”

Clampersand 2 IIHIHClampersand 3 IIHIH

The clamps receive a rough polish and a secondary base grinding, ensuring that they sit flat while clamped. While the Clampersand is fully functional, it is not recommended as an actual shop clamp, because the cast aluminum is a lower strength material than a traditional steel clamp.

• Give projects stylish support and lend weight to puns
• Hand-Eye Supply exclusive
• 6.5 Tall x 7” wide
• Clamp opens to 3”
• Designed by Lunchbreath
• Made in the USA

Clampersand 5 IIHIH$48, buy it here

By the way, I can’t recommend checking out Core 77 enough. Especially their blog. An online industrial design magazine and resource, it’s incredibly inspiring.