Two Designers Rethink The Pencil (And The Pen)

When you draw a lot, minor design flaws in your tools can become major problems. Two British designers have had enough.

Yeonju Yang and Claudio Ripol (aka Yang:Ripol) have made a habit of reinventing everyday objects. Over the past few years, the London-based duo have reimagined everything from cereal dispensers to folding chairs. For the latest project, they’ve made a few small but crucial updates to the most basic tool of their trade: the pen. Because, quite frankly, it was annoying the crap out of them.

“I always carry a few pens and markers to write and draw,” explains Yang. “Often they end up loose on the bottom of my bag.” To combat the problem, Yang and Ripol made the simplest possible design move: Loop an elastic band through the shell of a pen, making it possible to group several together without an actual pen case.

Having tackled the pen, the duo moved on to the pencil. Their Pencil V2.0, as they call it, is actually a small plastic appendage that attaches to an existing pencil. It’s a dual eraser and brush, meant to help you avoid the smearing that occurs when you wipe away eraser detritus from a drawing. It “adds extra functionality to the pencil,” says Yang. “Like an update.”

I don’t want to rain on the merchandising potential of either design, but this seems like something that would be fairly easy to replicate at home. Here’s to DIY pencil hacks!

[Images courtesy of Yang:Ripol]

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