Two small pencil design elements

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Here are two small pencil design elements that I like.

Removable Barcode
The scannable barcode seems to have become a required retail practice. For small objects like pens and pencils, there seem to be two approaches – place them in a cardboard and plastic package with the barcode, or directly imprint them.

For a nice looking pencil, the retailer’s step forward is the purchaser’s step backward. A pencil just doesn’t need a barcode. For some, using this simple and useful writing implement is a step away from rampant digitization. In any case, I think classic pencil finishes like Faber-Castell’s forest green, Staedtler’s blue, and Towbow’s glosssy black have been diminished by the addition of barcodes.

There does seem to be an innovative workaround. Caran d’Ache places a small perforated plastic wrapper around the pencil’s tip. The wrapper has the scannable barcode imprinted. After purchase, you remove the small wrapper, and you have a clean looking pencil. Well done!

The Caran d'Ache pencil's barcode is removable.

Grade on cap
The caps of pencils may have an eraser, be unfinished, or as with most premium pencils, be eraserless with a finished cap. For pencils that might be offered in many grades, I like the imprinting of the grade on the cap. It really makes it easy to find the right pencil for a task. Maybe it would detract from a high-end pencil, but it seems like a good idea based on the few I have seen.
The pencil grade .

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