I never believed in the myth of the erasable pen until a chipper salesman at Bob Slate Stationer threw the Pilot FriXion Erasable Pen in front of my eyes at the start of this year. Now this pen is my absolute go-to.
Design-wise, the pen gives me mixed feelings. It does have a clicker system (goodbye to loss pen caps), use a softer material at the tip of the pen for a more comfortable grip, and writes at a comfortable thickness (0.7mm means not too thick and not too thin). But at that same time, the pen does not look that sleek—it has a slightly wide circumference, is made out of the typical plastic found for most pens, and boasts a garish design that looks more gaudy than unique. Despite my desire for a pen that looks stylish, however, the pen more than makes up any design flaws through its functionality. The Pilot FriXion Erasable Pen is (surprise, surprise) an actual erasable pen. No joke—through the use of a heat-sensitive ink, any marking by the pen is capable of being fairly erased through rubbing with the pen’s “eraser.” And this utility is what made the salesman love the pen and now has also made me love it too.
In that way, I find Pilot FriXion Erasable Pen an incredibly interesting case study in design. While the pen’s physical design isn’t the best, the pen makes up for it by appealing to a niche market and by adding a feature that can distinguish it from other pens. Design is clearly more than just aesthetics (though that is very important); it’s also functionality.
(Image used courtesy of http://img.japanshopping.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/frixion1.jpg)