INKO iPad keyboard and cover tattoos electric circuit onto leather
images courtesy of alexandre echasseriau




exhibited at the 2015 saint etienne biennale, the ‘INKO’ iPad keyboard and cover, from alexandre echasseriau, uses bare conductive electric paint and combines the craftsmanship of a leather worker and a tattooer. the idea behind the project was to incorporate a printed circuit board with the deep texture of the hide, in order to create an electrical connection. acting just like a keyboard, yet providing protection when not in use, the ‘INKO’ has achieved the group’s ambitions. jéremy lorenzato, the tattooer, inked directly into the thick tan, creating a circuit that transmits a signal to the device, via a miniature bluetooth antenna. the case’s shape was formed in one step, using an embossing technique employed by a leather worker, david rosenblum.

the ‘INKO’ keyboard provides an unusual feel




the hand made tattoo has been replaced by a multidisciplinary team composed of pierre emm, johan da silveira and piotr widelka, and their system called ‘tatoué’. this trio of designers transforms a tattoo machine with a 3D printing system, using bare conductive electric paint to print. after numerous discussions with the artist, it turned out that the manual tattoo was incompatible with leather material. however, appropriate audiences’ machine allows full control of the injection of painting and keeps its path to the hundredth of a millimeter.



the leather cover


using a bluetooth antenna, the keyboard syncs with the iPad


the conductive ink tattooed onto the leather case




the ‘INKO’ name being inked onto the leather



the production steps explained in french
video courtesy of maxime phedyaeff


image © designboom


the tattooed circuit board
image © designboom


the tattoo machine