Pen pots are great for holding pencils and pens, but not much else. They have to be tall, so that the writing implements stay standing, but that makes the container useless for smaller objects–those get lost down in the bottom. You could stock your desk with smaller containers to hold thumbtacks and paperclips, but designer Betrand Besnard has a more elegant solution–he made a series of objects designed to be held in a pen pot.
The project is called Toolkit and it consists of four objects. Two of them are designed to hold things–one is for paperclips and the other is for thumbtacks. The other two are utility items–there’s a magnifying glass and a clock. Altogether, they transform your pen pot from a single-use item to utility kit of office supplies. “The range of objects created allows the user to always keep at hand the tools necessary for the proper management of their work time and personal organization,” says Besnard.
Besnard says that he wanted to create some “funny objects” which were both useful and which livened up the desk. He designed the four objects together, giving them distinctive shapes and colors, so they’d be easily recognizable.
It’s not a world-changing design by any means, but it is a clever solution to a small but persistent problem. I bet you didn’t even know that your pen pot was a design problem. Neither did I, until Besnard came along and made of it something better.