When on a bicycle, safety is of paramount importance. Danielle Baskin’s line of hand-painted, graphic helmets allows riders to showcase their good sense. Her company, Inkwell Helmets offers one-of-a-kind unique head protection that aims to get cyclists where they are going without having to compromise style. All paints used on her CPSC-certified, ASTM compliant helmets are non-corrosive, waterproof, and nontoxic.
As an enthusiast of wrap-around graphics, science education, and illustration, Baskin began her New York-based company six years ago after graduating with a degree in psychology and art. Her first creation featured the painting of a blue sky, and after receiving a number of compliments while on the road she began to imagine more designs that would appeal to the modern cyclist.
“I think it’s important that things one needs for cycling shouldn’t conform to any marketed standard of what a cyclist should look like. Current helmets in the market are either super athletic or have particular graphics that are found on every other helmet in every other store.
“This could be a turn off for a lot of people as they don’t necessarily fit that style: they’re not all racing to work in spandex, and they’re not all into skulls and flames. My goal is to have enough variety of designs and possible personalization so that helmets are an asset, an accessory, and a thing one can proudly own, not a burden or something you’re stuck with.” she says.
Baskin chooses images that work well on the helmet’s curved surface. Whether an apple, overview of the Earth, or tarot card, each bright and expertly decorated piece proudly represents the personality of the body it is protecting.
“Helmets, like glasses, in addition to function, should also be considered an accessory. If it’s something you’re going to be wearing every day, walking around with, and leaving out in plain view, it should be something you’re excited to look at, and something tailored to your taste.” remarks Baskin.
Inkwell Helmets are currently the subject of a crowdfunding campaign to lower their starting prices to $75. Baskin is also available for custom orders through her website, and is happy to collaborate with fellow bike enthusiasts. For those wishing to try them on in person, interested buyers can find a selection of designs at locations such across the country such as Adeline Adeline, Hudson Urban Bicycles, Elanor’s NYC, and the Brooklyn Museum in New York, Houndstooth Road in Atlanta, The Ruby Box in Portland, Frangipani in Miami, and Follow the Honey in Cambridge.