Like the drab walls of your cubicle, office supplies are unsatisfying, unexciting—and a necessity of the modern workplace. Convinced that desktop fare can be functional and intuitive without sacrificing flair, the designers at Poppin crafted a streamlined collection of utensils and paper products in a 16-color palette. Poppin's Little Black Desk Set bundles a striking array of essentials, such as wood pencils and a hefty, high-gloss ruler with transparent markings that gives "insight into the page below," says Jeff Miller, Poppin's design head. A stylish and stackable white desk set holds unruly sticky notes and paper clips. "We love simple, useful products," says Miller, whose personal stash includes the Medium Softcover notebook and Fineliner pens. "Each helps to communicate and connect efficiently." ($50, poppin.com)
A version of this article appeared in the November 2011 issue of Fast Company magazine.