How many times have you taken your sketchbook out the door and wished you could easily carry a regular old pencil –– be it your garden–variety #2 or a blue Prismacolor –– without the lead point stabbing you or otherwise breaking? For those who prefer to use lo-fi wood writing tools that don’t include a clip or require refills, this can be a small but common annoyance.

Inspired in–part by his own frustrations, NYC–based designer Chengtao Yi developed an ingenious and low-cost solution for carrying a single pencil seamlessly with a notebook cover in the form of the “pencil note”.

Little more than a vacuum formed polycarbonate notebook cover with enough space for a full-sized pencil, the bulge both tightly secures a standard pencil while making it easy to take out when needed:




“I always carry a pencil and a notebook for writing and sketching wherever I go,” explains Yi, who earned his degree in Industrial Design at Pratt in 2015. “Unlike most of the pen, pencils do not have a clip, which makes it a very annoying user experience. I believe pencil and notebook are made to be together. So It is almost inevitable for me to design a notebook that has room for a pencil.”




On an interesting side note, Yi chose frosted plastic to provide a vague silhouette of the pencil inspired by a character’s “health bar” in video games – humbly indicating how much of the pencil has been used.

Check out the rest of the young designer’s impressive portfolio over at Chengtao Yi Design.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.