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The next evolution of our Tools for Thinkers.

Baron Fig started by introducing the Confidant notebook on Kickstarter in 2013. At the end of the campaign 4,242 people from 48 countries backed 8,760 notebooks. The overwhelming response allowed us to launch our company the following spring.

Since then we’ve designed and released pens, pencils, accessories, and limited editions. Each new product category is a natural extension of the ones that came before. Adding bags to our lineup of notebooks, pens, pencils, and cases means that these tools now get to live and travel together in an ecosystem.

Mike Perry, artist, drawing in a Confidant at his studio
Mike Perry, artist, drawing in a Confidant at his studio

Ideas that keeps us moving forward.

Our mission is at the core of everything we do at Baron Fig: “To champion thinkers in their journey to create and inspire the world.” It’s our goal to provide tools for thinkers that enable you to do what you do best, whether that’s drawing, writing, or simply taking notes at school or work. Our new bags expand the Baron Fig ecosystem by making it easy to take your favorite tools with you wherever you go.

We lean on three principles to move forward with our mission: Simplicity, Usefulness, and Community. Each principle is part of a unique recipe we use to create truly useful and beautiful tools that anyone can enjoy using.

Caroline Weaver, entrepreneur, riding her bike to CW Pencil shop
Caroline Weaver, entrepreneur, riding her bike to CW Pencil shop

Principle #1: Simplicity.

Our products are minimal. Each tool is designed with fluidity in mind. Simple tools tend to disappear as you use them—they get out of your way. We work hard to boil all the features of our products down to a simple set of functions. These functions are at the center of what each product is used for. 

Principle #2: Usefulness. 

Our products are functional. Each tool has a clear purpose. They help you do what you do best. Our goal with these new bags is to provide you with functional tools that are also beautiful items in their own right. We strive to implement unique features that you haven’t seen before, such as the double swing pockets on the backpack that let you access upright pockets with just a swing forward on either shoulder. 

Chris Smothers, developer, working at his startup, Spacious
Chris Smothers, developer, working at his startup, Spacious

Principle #3: Community. 

Our products are designed based on extensive community feedback. The Confidant, our first notebook, was designed based on conversations with over 500 thinkers from around the world—and that tradition continues now with the new backpack, messenger, and tote.

Over the last year we've had hundreds of conversations with customers about what our next big step should be, and they told us they wanted the ability to carry our products with them. We even went so far as to meet up with customers and take a look inside their bags to see how they’re being used. Then we took all that feedback and distilled it into three unique bags—and, finally, after all that work we’re close to making them a reality.

Zipeng Zhu, designer, at his home studio preparing to leave
Zipeng Zhu, designer, at his home studio preparing to leave

Each bag has a unique personality, function, and a host of features. Despite the various forms and uses they’re all designed using the same materials and philosophy. Below are three important elements that make the new Minimal bags a family of high quality products.

The following is a detailed breakdown of the Backpack, Messenger, and Tote. Each section includes an explanation of our design thinking, photos of the products in use, and an extensive feature breakdown.

Slim profile. Big difference.

Over the last year we've looked inside hundreds (if not thousands) of backpacks and noticed a surprising trend: nearly everyone's bags were mostly empty. 

It was surprising to learn that 95% of the time backpack users don't carry much inside their bags. The average person had a laptop, notebook, phone, wallet, and a few accessories, with the rest of the bag being comprised of tremendous amounts of empty space.

Realizing that backpacks were mostly empty a majority of the time, we decided to throw away everything we knew about what a backpack should be––and focused on what it could be. After nearly a year and dozens of iterations we came up with a slim profile backpack designed around your average day. The result is a much simpler, leaner, lighter, and more enjoyable backpack.

Features that make the Backpack.

Like a great cooking recipe, the combination of just the right features in just the right manner are what give life to a design. Take a look below to explore the unique recipe of features that put the Backpack in a class of its own. 


Dress it up. Dress it down.

Like that perfect piece of clothing, you can take our Messenger from workday to Friday night and fit in everywhere along the way. Better yet, throw it over your shoulder and head out for the whole weekend, since you have enough space for everything you need.

In designing the Messenger we realized that what's currently available in this type of bag is split into two categories: Highly formal bags and highly playful ones. Very few, if any, manage to toe the line between the two. Challenge accepted. 

It became clear as we dove deeper into the Messenger that our goal was to design a bag that could fit in anywhere. You can throw your laptop in it and wear it to work, or you can throw some clothes in it and head out for a weekend. We achieved this through smart use of fabric—the freedom of canvas flexibly gains space—and a minimal design approach. The end product is a bag that can chameleon itself into any situation.

Features that make the Messenger.

Just like the Backpack, the combination of the right features in just the right manner are what give life to a design. Take a look below to learn what makes the Messenger a master of flexibility. 

Small form. Big space.

What if you could carry around a big space in a small package? The Tote does just that. Most tote bags add space by increasing the width and depth. We created a design to maximize the functional space in the Tote without making it feel large by increasing the height at a higher ratio compared to the width and depth. The end result is a bag that feels small while having a large space inside.

Designing the Tote was a fun challenge. We wanted to give you enough space to throw all sorts of things inside at once, but we didn't want the bag to be enormous. By combining the flexibility of canvas, a smart height-to-width ratio, and a slightly tapered seam we were able to design a bag that's big on the inside while staying smaller on the outside.

Ultimately the Tote is your go-to bag when you want to transport all sorts of things. Carry a lot or carry a little, it always gets the job done—and looks good doing it.

Features that make the Tote.

Last but certainly not least, the Tote. Take a look below to explore the combination of features that make the Tote a wizard of simplicity.


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