Back when I started out in typesetting, production, and graphic design, we used X-Acto knives, wax, and layout boards to put the pieces together for printing. And we all, every one of us and every shop, had a variety of measuring tools that we used all the time. The type gauge and the line gauge were key ones!
As the paste-up era ended, and we moved into full pagination output and then ultimately eliminating most or all intermediate steps between digital design and the press.
But this year, in which I've spent hundreds of hours in a letterpress shop, I remember how useful it is as a designer to always have measurement tools nearby. Also this year, I met the folks at Buttonsmith, a local worker-owned, unionized, made-in-the-U.S. company that produces buttons, magnets, lanyards, and reels both in mass quantities of their own designs and custom one-off or larger orders.
Ah ha! I felt like there was something missing I wanted for myself, and so I designed it. I worked through a few of prototypes and several digital revisions with Buttonsmith to get to the desired results: a type-geek lanyard. It's a silky soft set of rulers (inches marked to 1/8th, picas to 2 points, and centimeters to 5 mm) with some handy type and leading measurement tools as well.
I made a small batch for the School of Visual Concepts' Wayzgoose yesterday—an annual printer and general public meet and greet and marketplace—and have lanyards left to sell. (Don't use these while printing on a letterpress, of course, but they're great for all other times!)
You can order directly from me, and if I sell out, I'll take pre-orders for a new batch: $15 each plus shipping, but contact me if you'd like larger quantities.