We chat with Victor Kabo of Bookman on the inspiration behind their Scandi-chic bike lights that give cyclists 180 degrees of visibility.
“We think about usability and design from the start. We want our lights and reflectors to be something you actually want to use.” Victor Kabo, co-founder of Bookman
Swedish company Bookman has recently released their USB rechargeable Curve bike light, just in time for the colder cycling season.
As the name suggests, The Curve’s innovative shape means the light that’s produced reaches much further than your tradition bike light. The light shines to the side of the cyclist, making sure other riders and motorcyclists to the side can see you.
The Curve is ultra-bright, with several light modes, powered by 100 lumens. It’s weatherproof too; able to withstand against rain, hail and snow.
What’s more, the Curve has that minimalist look that cyclists strive for, is available in different colourways and attached easily by a rubber band system.
We chatted to Victor Kabo, co-founder and marketing manager of Bookman, to find out more about the inspiration behind the Curve and the forward-thinking company he founded with business partner David Axelsson.
Luxurious Magazine: Hi Victor, can you tell us about your background, and how you met David?
Victor Kabo: We met in 2004 while studying Industrial Management and Economics in Linköping Sweden, sharing a common interest in entrepreneurship. Since then, we have worked together and never had a regular 9-5 job. In 2010 we teamed up with the designer Mattis Bernstone and the rest, as they say, is history.
LM: How did the concept of the Bookman come about? What inspired the idea?
VK: While studying in Linköping, David and I created a nationwide campaign giving out free bike lights to students, financed by sponsors. That gave us some good contacts with suppliers and knowledge about LED products.
Being inspired by other Swedish brands like POC, Happy Socks and Urban Ears that had taken quite boring products like helmets, socks and headphones and made them interesting with a nice brand and product design, we thought we could do that for visibility products as well.
LM: What sets Bookman’s products apart from other cycling and running lights?
VK: We think about usability and design from the start. We want the lights and reflectors to be something you actually want to use, not just because you know you should. We hope our products will enhance your style or your bike – not ruin it.
LM: Can you explain some of the technical elements of the lights? What makes them innovative?
VK: We think a lot about how we can optimize the performance by creating long-lasting modes, innovative battery indicators, so you never forget to charge them. But while others try to cram in as many features as possible, we think less is more and always strive towards the simplest possible solutions.
We don’t invent new LEDs or batteries and, thus, don’t see ourselves as a technology company – rather, we really try to be innovative in the way we apply the latest technology and combine it with a sleek design.
LM: Where do you take inspiration from for the colourways and designs?
VK: We promote a simple, minimalistic design, and often start with simple geometric shapes like a rectangle or a circle. And then it all comes down to the small details to get it right. We can spend many months getting the right feeling of a button and radius on the edges.
LM: Lots of brands are moving to sustainable production methods. Can you tell us more about what steps Bookman is taking to do its bit?
VK: We think it is important to increase the lifetime of products to reduce waste and recently decided not to market any regular battery lights by only creating rechargeable products. We also try to minimize plastic materials and use recycled materials as much as possible in both product and packaging. And, of course, we ride the bike to work.
The Bookman Curve – Where & How?
The Bookman Curve bike light costs £35 and comes in both front and rear models. To find out more about Bookman or to purchase the Curve, visit www.bookman.se.
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