Vocabulary Database: Writing Utensils

⋅Amorphous: Bulging, or irregular shape. Does not take the shape of a natural object.


⋅ This magnetic pen, which is designed to rest on a fridge, is amorphous due to its irregular shape. Its round shape is unlike any natural object, giving it an amorphous quality.


⋅Bulbous:  Consisting of round shapes. Fat or bulging.


This pen is bulbous due to the various bulging shapes throughout the form.



⋅Chromatic: Consisting of various colors. Giving off various tones in the chromatic color scale.


The material of this pencil is what gives it a chromatic quality. When light hits the material, it creates a prismatic pattern within the highlight of the material, generating various colors.


⋅Classic: Has been used for generations. The original design.


The fountain pen fits the definition of classic perfectly because it was one of the most basic, and common forms of a pen. All though it is rarely used today, it is something that has been used throughout generations.


⋅Clean: No details or ornamentation. Flat, simple, and calm in an appealing way.


This Ticonderoga pencil is clean due to the uniform shape, as well as the lack of detail and ornamentation. The black finish also creates a clean surface by eliminating any inconsistencies within the material.


⋅Closed: Coming to a single point. A compact, narrowing design.


This TD Bank pen has a closed design because of the angle of the form. It all appears to be coming down to one point, as if it were all coming together and closing itself off. The back of the pen is very wide which creates a motion of consolidating down to one point.


⋅Constrained: Held back in design, needs more information to be visually appealing.


This QME pen is constrained due to its slightly boring design. Besides the three letters and the triangular shape, there is nothing on this pen that creates an attractive appeal. It needs more detail to be pleasing.


⋅Crisp: A firm, simple design that is elegant and pleasing to look at.


The Staedtler Drafting Pencil has a simple continuous form, with an elegant material choice. The entire pencil runs along one linear axis which creates the simplistic look. There is no finish on the pencil which gives it a clean, crisp look.


⋅Dense: Compacted into a small area or volume. Appears to be heavy.


All though the Sharpie Mini is a very light marker, the form appears to be very dense as if a normal sharpie was compacted into a smaller volume. This compact form is understandable since it takes on the exact form of the standard sized sharpie.


⋅Durable: Something that stays around for a long time. It can withstand a lot of use.


The standard Sharpie is a durable object due to both its form and its functionality. The hard plastic makes this marker strong, and able to withstand a lot of use. The thick felt tip also provides durability by creating a strong point that can continuously function throughout its use.


⋅Elegant: A beautiful design that is aesthetically pleasing. Generally consisting of expensive materials.


This green and gold pen is elegant due to its material choice. The green is very dark when not under direct light, but the highlight creates a beautiful sheen of vibrant green which, when juxtaposed with the golden details, creates a very elegant contrast.


⋅Excessive: Too much on it. The design takes away from the functionality of the object.


This pen is excessive mainly due to its design and material choice. The design is slightly over the top, by creating an almost bullet-like cap to the top portion of the pen. The use of stone as a material also give off a feeling that seems too much for the pen.


⋅Faceted: Flat, planar surface.


This flat-faced pencil is a perfect definition of faceted due to its flat, planar surface.



⋅Festive: A cheerful design that portrays the themes of holidays.


The color combination as well as the pattern on this pencil creates a festive feel. Generally relating to winter holidays, the swirling red and white pattern takes on a similar shape to that of a candy cane.


⋅Flamboyant: A confident, yet excessive design. Different and expressive design.


This intricate double-sided pen is flamboyant in the sense that it is very expressive in its design. The use of two pens on each side also seems quite excessive, and almost redundant in its design.


⋅Friendly: An inviting design. The object attracts the user.


This pen is friendly due to its form and color choice. The warm pink creates an inviting feeling amongst the viewers, and the thick but comfortable grip attracts the user to pick up the pen.


⋅Geographic: Of or related to the land. Can be related to navigational or natural geography.


This pen is geographical due to its representation of material choice. The blues and blacks on the pen seem to mimic that of earth or stone, in a more expressive way.


⋅Grounded: A stable, well balanced design.


The design of this Staedler drafting pencil is grounded due to the balance of the form. It has an almost symmetric design, with a uniform length center that begins to narrow at each end. This creates a stable look that is also both physically and visually balanced.


⋅Heavy: Appears to be dense, consisting of a lot of mass.


The material choice of this pen is what gives it a heavy look. The strong metallic surface throughout the pen gives it a dense feeling, as if it is telling the viewers that it is heavy.


⋅Light: Simple, elegant design. Generally an object with less mass.


This slim pen is light in both form and weight. The narrow design creates a simple form, that is both elegant and pleasing.



⋅Luxurious: Consisting of extravagant and expensive materials. Very expressive.


This pen is luxurious due to the form and material choice. The golden details on the pen create a sense of expensive materials, while the blue stone-like material creates an extravagant appeal. The thickness of the pen also gives it a luxurious feel by creating a specific weight that is associated with expensive materials.


⋅Honest: True to its form. It is not trying to portray something that it is not.


This pen is honest due to its simply beautiful form. It is not trying to mimic a different material, or appear to be something other than its function.


Melancholy: A bleak, boring design. It is a basic, simple, and unattractive form.


The papermate pen can be defined as melancholy due to its monochromatic, and basic form. The color choice is also very neutral.


Melodic: Visually pleasing. Generally a soft elegant design.


The fluid form of this pen is what defines it as melodic. It has a very simple color pattern that makes it aesthetically pleasing. The highlights of the metallic material throughout the pen provide points of interest that allow the eye to flow melodically along the pen.


Natural: Made from natural materials. Has a common form that can be represented through nature.


The material choice of this pen is what gives it a natural look. The body of the pen is made out of wood, while the details like the clip and the tip are made out of gold. The overall form also appears to be naturalistic due to the simple flowing curve throughout the pen.


Open: A form that provides evidence to the internal structure of the object.


This mechanical pencil can be described as open due to the material choice. The clear plastic gives the pen an open feeling by allowing the user to see into the internal parts of the pen.


Organic: Has a natural look. Designed to accommodate the human body.


This pen is not organic in the sense that it is designed to look natural, but in a sense that it is made to accommodate the human body (more specifically the human hand). The grip is what gives this pen an organic feel because it was designed to be fit the shape of the fingers while writing, as well as to provide comfort and flexibility.


Portly: Thick, fat, awkward looking.


The shape of this Marvy Fabric Marker is what gives it a portly design. The marker has a thick form that is a continuous rotund shape. There is no alterations to the form which forces the eye to only focus on the size of the marker.


Pragmatic: An object that is more focused on the functionality than the design. A very straight forward design.


This pen/highlighter is considered to be pragmatic due to the fact that it is designed to have a pen on one side and a highlighter on the other. The pen was not designed to be appealing, but rather to accommodate for the two different functionalities within.


Rectilinear: Very geometric. It consists of straight lines and flat surfaces.


This highlighter is rectilinear due to the linearity of the form. It consists of four flat surfaces that have been slightly rounded off, to create a literal rectangular form.


Redundant: A design that has more than is necessary. There are components of the design that are unrelated to the main object.


This  pen is redundant because of the light fixture located on the top of the pen. The function of the light is unnecessary while writing, unless the pen is being used in a dark environment. Regardless, the light would be facing the users eyes while writing which would only hinder ones ability to write in the dark.


Reliable: Always there, never fails or needs maintenance.


The form of this eraser pen is reliable because it is designed based off of the functionality of  the eraser. The eraser spans the entire length of the pen which makes it reliable in the sense that it will always be available.


Reserved: Very simple design that gets the idea across. The design has just enough information to be appealing.


The design of this pen is very simplistic. It has a low amount of detail, with a standard color that is generally associated to pens. The triangular shape of the pen is what separates it from the rest, and it is the slight variation that makes this pen appealing.


Rugged: Very rough, function comes over form. Usually worn down and able to withstand harsh circumstances.


The design of this peel-back charcoal pencil is quite rugged. The shape is a basic cylinder made out of material that is designed to be peeled away. The function of this pencil is what gives it a rugged design.


Swift: The form runs to a single point. Appears to be moving in a direction. Simple and smooth.


This golden pencil has a swift design due to its shape and material. The shape appears to be coming down to one point, which makes it seem like the form is moving in a direction. The material also creates a smooth, reflective finish which creates a sense of speed and agility.


Sleek: Smooth, well maintained.


This plain black pen has a sleek design due to its color choice. The continuous matte finish gives the pen a fluid and even design.


⋅Smooth: Even or consistent surface. No bumps or abrasions.


The material choice plays a large role in defining this pen as smooth. It has a very soft consistency which creates a smooth texture. The flow of the clip of the pen into the form also creates a very smooth transition.


⋅Sour: unpleasing to look at, generally a bright looking color.


The color choice of this pen is what gives it a sour design. It has a bright color hue that blends between green and yellow, which creates an unpleasant appeal.


⋅Stretched: An elongated form. Pulled appart.


This Kripalu pen has a stretched out form due to its irregular shape. The two bulging portions at each end make it seem as if the pen had literally been stretched apart.


⋅Strong: A heavy, durable design. Something that is definitive and bold.


The thick Sharpie is a perfect example of a strong writing utensil. The functionality of the marker creates a very bold mark, while the form reinforces this idea through its thickness and weight.


⋅Structured: composed of lines and angles. Created as if it had been built from one starting point.


This multi-purpose pen is defined as structured due to its geometric design. It has a hexagonal body, with various circular shapes. This variation of geometric shapes creates a sense that the pen composed structurally.


⋅Subtle: simple yet appealing. Pleasing in a simple way.


This pen is subtle due to its slimness as well as the material choice. It has a dark finish with elegant gold details, which makes it appealing in a very subtle way.


⋅Superficial: Appears to be something different than what it is designed for.


This laser pointer/stylus pen combo is superficial because it appears to be something that it is not. From a quick glance, it takes on the form of any other pen. Yet, when looked at closer, it becomes clear that this is not a pen at all.


⋅Swift: A quick, flowing form. A fluid design.


This InkJoy pen is categorized as swift due to both the form and the functionality. The pen was specifically designed with the intent of using a certain type of ink that flows faster than normal ink. With this idea of quick writing, the form of the pen complements the function by creating a fluid form that seems to flow on the page.


⋅Tenuous: Very slim or delicate in shape.


This pen is tenuous due to its slender form. The overall shape is generally consistent to a basic pen, the only variation is that it has been reduced in diameter to create a slim, delicate form.


⋅Utilitarian: Strictly function based. The form is barely considered.


This fabric pencil is utilitarian because its design is solely focused on the function. It does not appear to be an attractive pencil, but it clearly demonstrates its purpose.


⋅Vibrant: Bright in color. The object is quickly noticed. It stands out.


The highlighter is vibrant due to both the bright color of the marker, as well as the material choices. The cap on the top is created with strips of opaque plastic, that slightly show the vibrant color underneath. This creates an interesting contrast with the strong yellow color that highlights the form and material.


⋅Voluminous: Large in volume. Takes up a lot of space.


This Magnum 44 marker is a perfect object to describe voluminous. The form of the marker alone shows how much space it takes up.



⋅Weak: Lacking stability. A poor design. Made from cheap or flimsy material.


This spaceship pen is weak due to both the material choice, as well as the functionality of the pen. The materials are made from cheap plastics, which often conflict with the functionality of the pen. The use of the spaceship as the button of the pen is also a weak design because it often gets stuck or will not allow the tip to retract into the pen.


⋅Whimsical: Playful, in a cheerful way. A creative, yet unpredictable design.


This RSA car-pen is whimsical due to the strange, yet playful design. The pen was clearly not designed with ergonomic or functional aspects in mind, yet the transformation of hiding the pen inside the car creates a playful, whimsical appeal.



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