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February 3, 2014 / becca shayne

redesigning the experience of a pencil


Interesting concept. In this day and age, we tend to forget that user experience as a concept applies to much more than what we see across a variety of screen sizes or digital products. Japanese designer, Akio Hayakawa, revisits the way we use an object as mundane as a pencil, and manipulates the behavior we exhibit over time interacting with this object. The new pencil: Easy Pencil, sleek, clean, simple, and deliberate.

Fast Company‘s Co.Design says:

The pencil has long served as a paragon of functional design: unlike ink, graphite cannot leak. And unlike today’s tablets or computers, a pencil never loses its electrical charge. Instead of a wooden pencil that contains en equal length of graphite, the graphite stops short about two inches above the end.

“Even as the pencil gets shorter, we attempt to use it to the end — even though we know it is difficult,” Hayakawa tells Co.Design.

The Easy Pencil’s cleverness is that is solves a strange, self-inflicted problem: people are procrastinators. This design encourages writers to replace pencils on time. (read more)


The only thing I’d like to see with Easy Pencil is an eraser; I’ve been trained since the beginning of using pencils that erasers go on the other end, and I’ve definitely scratched a drawing with the blunt end of non-erasing pencils. Bigger erasers are for bigger mistakes. Erasers on the ends of pencils are for gut reactions.

I pretty much only draw with Micron pens, but these might replace Ticonderoga in my pencil jar (if I can buy them in bulk for not much more). It’s still just a prototype for now.


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