Inkwell Helmets

Inkwell Helmets

Inkwell Helmets are designed for cyclists who want to ride safely without compromising their sense of style.

$5,556 raised

of $4,800 goal

115% Funded!
Not Available
Sep 20 2013
funded on

Recent Updates

You'll be notified about news and stock updates for this project.

Inkwell Helmets are a series of one-of-a-kind, hand-painted and vinyl-printed designs for cyclists of all styles, personalities, and fashion sensibilities.

The helmets are CPSC-certified, ASTM-compliant (which means they’re totally safe to wear). The designs are created with acrylics, archival ink, and vinyl then treated with a non-toxic, non-corrosive, water-resistant polyurethane sealer to prevent chipping and scratching.

Every design is in-studio created in New York by the company founder Danielle Baskin.

Over 400 miles of bike lanes have been created in New York City to date. The advent of bike share makes it clear that New York City streets will increasingly be shared by bikes and automobiles.

Cycling is exploding in popularity right now, and it’s not just unique to New York. In cities like Portland, Atlanta, Austin, San Francisco, London, Munich, and Copenhagen (to name a few) more urban dwellers are turning on to cycling, be they commuters, recreational, or occasional cyclists.

As cycling becomes more inclusive, the products of the industry should reflect this expanding consumer base. The current state of bicycle helmets does not. As important as these objects are to wear, the majority of helmets in the sporting goods industry are unfashionable and can unfortunately turn cyclists off to the idea of wearing one. Inkwell Helmets is working to change that.

We all make choices about how we dress or what art to hang on our walls, Inkwell Helmets believes that such choices should also be made with the helmet; it’s an object you wear and see every day. Yet, this is nearly impossible to do on a mass-produced level. Factories require minimums of designs, often by the thousands, and the designs have creative limits because of pixel warping from the machines that make them.

About Inkwell Helmets

Inkwell Helmets is a design company based in New York that specializes in unique, whimsical, and stylish hand-painted bicycle helmets. Founder, Danielle Baskin, is an art director, painter, and sculptor. She started painting helmets after finally deciding to wear a helmet while commuting by bike in the city.

Most of the helmets she found were drab and bulky, and the same helmet options were in every store. In a flash of inspiration, she bought a blank helmet and treated it like a canvas, painting a blue sky with clouds and sealed it with a glossy varnish to emulate the light of the sun.

With her intention to camouflage her helmet with her surroundings, she ended up mastering helmet painting. This inspired a dozen more designs. The collection began by painting helmets for friends, then gradually turned into a business after the helmets started garnering attention when worn by cyclists in the street and at intersections.

Since starting her hand-painted and customized helmet company, her work has been featured in several publications including The New York Times and Wired. Inkwell Helmets are sold at 12 retailers around the world including the Brooklyn Museum.

Using the combination of hand- and vinyl-painting, her new line of bicycle helmets seeks to turn these artworks into an affordable, practical, everyday design object. She hopes to inspire people to wear a helmet.

Premiums & Pledge Levels

Safety in Numbers ($1)

You’re a supporter of Inkwell Helmets. Thank you!

Safety Deposit ($7)

You’ll receive a postcard in the mail with an original illustration from Danielle and a code for a $5 discount off a hand-printed or vinyl-printed helmet if you decide to order one in the future.

Safe Travels ($15)

You’ll receive 2 hand-painted colorful LED valve caps + a postcard with an original illustration from Danielle and a code for a $5 discount off a hand-painted or vinyl-printed helmet if you decide to order one in the future. Deliverable in 5 days.

A Head of the Trend Early Bird Special ($60)

You’ll receive an awesome hand-painted & vinyl-printed helmet (select one of 15 designs) in your size. Limited to the first 10 backers!

A Head of the Trend ($70)

You’ll receive an awesome hand-painted & vinyl-printed helmet (select one of 15 designs) in your size.

Helmets With Your Logo ($80)

A hand-painted and vinyl-printed helmet with one custom logo on it (select your size and 1 of 15 designs). The logo must be smaller than 3” x 3” and can be black & white or color.

Inkwell Original ($100 & Up)

Choose from the following:

For any hand-painted design on Deliverable in 30-60 days.

Heads-up ($130)

You’ll receive TWO awesome hand-painted & vinyl-printed helmets (select two of 15 designs) in your size.

Besafe Bespoke ($280)

A full-on customizable, intricate hand-painted helmet with anything you’d like on it! Danielle will discuss the design with you and will invent something new and unique. Limited to the first five backers. Deliverable in 30-90 days.

Bike Fashionista ($500)

You’ll receive TWO of any of the hand-painted designs on or any two designs customized to your liking. Limited to the first ten backers. Write your desired design in the order comments for reference. Deliverable in 30-90 days.

Safe Collector ($500)

For non-cyclists: you’ll receive an original 18” x 24” painting on wood by Danielle. If you can’t put art on your head, put it on your wall. Limited to the first three backers. Deliverable in 30-90 days.

Head of the Company ($600)

You’ll receive TEN hand-painted and vinyl-printed with an optional custom logo on it, in any combination of the 15 designs. You can get a different design helmet for every cyclist in your company to make sure your fellow coworkers are riding safely to work! The logo must be smaller than 3” x “3 and can be in black & white or color. Additionally, you’ll receive 10 of hand-painted LED valve caps. Limited to the first four backers. Write your 10 helmet designs in the order comments for reference. Ships free in one large box.

Inkwell Helmets Custom Package ($1,500)

You’ll receive TWO totally customizable, personalized, hand-painted bicycle helmets AND I will fly anywhere in the U.S. to paint your bicycle. Only one available!

Vinyl Helmet Options

1. Dark Gray With Saturns 2. Faded Blue with Anchors 3. Turquoise & Tan Gradient with Butterflies 4. Light Blue with Scientific Fish Illustrations 5. Blue and White Floral Toile 6. Speckled Green with Helicopters and Pterodactyls 7. Black with Lightning 8. Faded Purple with Phases of the Moon 9. Off-white and Pink with Palm Trees 10. Coral with Paper Cranes 11. Tan with Burgundy Stripes 12. Dark Turquoise with Televisions 13. Speckled Yellow with Kittens & Yarn 14. Light Pink With Cats 15. Mint Green With Planes

Product Specifications

• Helmets are safety-certified multi-sport helmets. They are approved CPSC 16CFR PART 1203 Standard for cycling and ASTM F1492-2009 Standard for skateboarding, inline skating, and scooters.

• Paint, vinyl, and polyurethane are certified AP non-toxic and UV-protected.

• All materials used to decorate the helmets are manufactured in the USA.

• The varnish is water and scratch-resistant and UV-protected. You can wear the helmet in all types of weather or seasons (but don’t leave it out in the rain overnight).

• Features 11 cooling vents.

• Designed to fit comfortably in a range of sizes. S/M fits head sizes 21”-22.75” L/XL fits head sizes 23” -24.75”.

• Helmets come with adjustable foam padding. If the helmet doesn’t fit, returns and exchanges are possible.*

The product will get scuffs, slight chips, and marks as any object would. But the paint will not peel off. The best way to take care of your Inkwell Helmet is to occasionally wipe it clean with a damp cloth, or be careful with it.

These are truly one-of-a-kind designs. This is the first batch of vinyl printed helmets Inkwell Helmets is creating. You can look forward to new designs every few months.

Inkwell Helmets doesn’t include its own branding on the helmet. Instead of our company name, to retain its bespoke feel among the sporting goods, each design has Danielle’s minuscule signature on the base.

Why am I crowdfunding?

I’m developing my helmet making process to lower the prices and increase production volume. Initial costs include: a roll of vinyl, a vinyl plotter, ink, gel mediums, high quality paint and varnishes, a heat gun, a modern printer, a bulk order of blank helmets, and storage space.

I’m relying on your support to get the manufacturing rolling. These helmets will eventually retail for $75, all of our supporters will receive helmets at discounted prices, and our early bird supporters will receive an even greater discount.

All of our supporters will also be the first ones to set the trend of wearing these cool helmets! If you’re not in the market for a helmet, I have other awesome products to send you, like hand-painted LED valve caps or original artwork.

Currently Inkwell Helmets is a one-person company working in a limited scale out of a studio in New York. I’m seeking your support through Crowd Supply to help my company grow, bring these unique items to market, get them on more heads, and convince more cyclists to wear their helmet!

Manufacturing Plan

With quality paint and materials, blank helmets in stock, and technical talent, Danielle will be able to make any helmets ordered from the vinyl-printed series in 30 days. Danielle has established a great relationship with CPSC-certified helmet supplier, Seven Star Sports.

She has an array of design ideas, and the drive to create, but she’s waiting to churn these out until she receives financial support to begin production. When the campaign ends, the series of 15 design options will be made to order for each backer.

Slight variations will occur helmet to helmet, in color hue and in composition, as these will all be done by hand in her studio in New York (meaning it’s one-of-a-kind). Helmets that have custom requests and are fully hand-painted will take 60-90 days to create and ship.

Risks and Challenges

Inkwell Helmets is dedicated to creating the most awesome-as-possible designs for your bike helmets in a way that’s affordable and practical for all cyclists. I’ve figured out a way to create cool, trendy, and colorful graphics efficiently without the restrictions of mass-production. My goal is to have prices in line with that of similar styles of helmets in the market, while still offering something completely different: a portable work of art.

Working with vinyl poses several challenges. It has to be done carefully and meticulously. This includes color-matching vinyl with acrylic paint, treating the vinyl with a series of gels and mediums to ensure UV-protection and water-resistance, designing the initial vinyl patterns in Illustrator and Photoshop, and running the entirety of the business as a solo operation.

This will involve an investment in products, resources, and time to create the initial helmets to perfect the process. Creating vinyl helmets with custom logos will require significant time tweaking the logo to make sure it works nicely on a curved surface. The first batch of my helmets made with vinyl.

The process will be slow at first. Reprints and repaints may be necessary. This ensures that each helmet that leaves my studio is high quality work and has the same level of durability as my previous designs created over the last three years. Once I’m over the learning curve with this new production process and master the materials, the process will become speedier.

In the Press

Swiss Miss Logo

Swiss Miss

"I love these hand-painted, one-of-a-kind bicycle helmets..."

Gizmodo Logo


"These Hand-Painted Helmets Make Your Head a Work of Art"



"Helmet Hair Is Cool Again Thanks To Inkwell Helmets"

Notes on the Road Logo

Notes On The Road

"Protect Your Pretty Head: Belle Helmets from Danielle Baskin"

The Hairpin

The Hairpin

"At Last, An Overlap in the Venn Diagram of “Visually Pleasing” and “Bike Helmet"

Ask a Question

Produced by Inkwell Helmets in New York, NY.

Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.

Safe Travels

$15 $8 US Shipping / Not Available Outside US

A Head of the Trend

Please allow 7-10 business days before shipping. Helmets are hand painted to order!

$70 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Head of the Company

$600 Free US Shipping / Not Available Outside US

Ahead of the Trend Early Bird Special

$60 $8 US Shipping / Not Available Outside US

Safety Deposit

$7 $8 US Shipping / Not Available Outside US

Besafe Bespoke

$280 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide


$130 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Belle Original

$230 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

Safety in Numbers


Helmets With Your Logo

$80 $8 US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

About the Team

Inkwell Helmets

New York, NY  ·

Inkwell Helmets is a design studio founded by painter and sculptor Danielle Baskin that specializes in the creation of one-of-a-kind, unique bicycle helmets.

Danielle Baskin

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