Justin Doll

Design Strategist

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Just an Everyday Writing Utensil

Everyday objects are often overlooked for their inherent design qualities. Most users neglect the shape, feel, ergonomics, and functionality of many everyday objects, like mechanical pencils, taking key and pivotal design elements for granted. However, those who take a moment to stop and think, realize that everything we come across on a day-to-day basis has been designed at some facet.

In today’s world of high-end computing and computer aided drafting, the art and technique of hand drafting is becoming quite rare. No longer does one need a versatile tool chest of mechanical pencils to define details within intricate drawings – computers can now create drafts and renderings virtually in a matter of minutes. However, back in the 1970’s, when computer aided drafting was a glistening star in the eyes of Autodesk, drafting pencils were used throughout Architecture and Engineering.

During the same era, Pentel Inc., founded in Pentel, Japan, was ready to unveil something big – Its first line of mechanical drafting pencils called, ‘The Pentel P200 “SHARP” Series’. These pencils were originally intended for users looking for a writing utensil that was both light, and well designed; an intention that still remains the same to this day. The Pentel P205, one of the models associated with the “SHARP” series, gave birth to an era of historically proven writing equipment and saw great popularity amongst the crowd of ever-hungry Draftsmen. So much so that the same P205 design still remains on the shelves throughout the global consumer market and can be found on major distribution websites like Amazon.com.

In its most basic form, a mechanical pencil is manufactured to write, on a piece of material or surface. Continually, many similarities arise when comparing similar mechanical pencils, yet, differentiation becomes apparent when constructively analyzing the precision within the Pentel P205. It’s precision, weight, balance, dimensionality, and texture perfectly meld into a singular, unified object, standing up to the test of time. The pencil nestles into the curved surfaces of ones hand, and in doing so, exemplifies its outstanding ergonomic qualities, incorporated by the thorough investigation and criticism of this manufactured marvel.

Comprised of six individually acting pieces, this mechanical pencil emphasizes the subtle beauty of control. It’s tapered barrel rests perfectly in the users hand. It’s interior mechanisms holster an unprecedented amount of lead, allowing the utensil to be ready at any beck and call. Collectively, this utensil shares an incredible connection from which it was originally intended – Engineers and Architects are still using The Pentel “SHARP” Series to this day – a true success story for any development in Design.

As the era of design thinking progresses, individuals are beginning to realize how intricate common items really are – design really does matter. With that being said, there may be better writing utensils, but the Pentel P205 is my mechanical pencil and it will never leave my side.

-J.Doll

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