Everyone has used a pencil. Many of you do every day, often for simple tasks like jotting down notes that can be easily erased. It is a highly useful tool, and one with few, if any, discernable flaws.
Except for one thing: it is almost impossible to use all the graphite in a pencil.
That's because as you sharpen it, the pencil gets shorter and shorter until it is nearly impossible to hold properly. But there is still useable graphite in there.
This may not bother the casual writer, who will simply opt for a new pencil when it gets to that point. However, manufacturers actually have to pay for that graphite, and may be interested in opportunities to avoid waste while cutting their costs.
That's why, according to a recent article on Design Taxi, a Japanese designer has created a pencil that uses less lead. While the writing instrument itself measures 176 millimeters in length, the graphite is only 116 millimeters long. A black coating shows exactly where the graphite stops, letting users known how much sharpening they can still do.
Though some may wonder what is so useful about a pencil that contains less graphite, it is important to consider how people write when they sharpen pencils all the way down. They may be giving themselves hand cramps. It may be better for them to use pencils that signal when it is time to grab a fresh instrument.
It isn't easy to take an established idea and add a unique twist, but that is exactly what we try to do here at Sozo Design. Our clients rely on our creativity for their consumer product development.