When we think of great product design, we often think of new tools and hardware. The invention of the iPod and iPhone, for example. But it takes a certain genius to put a unique twist on an everyday item that's been around for decades.
Pencil sharpeners aren't the most exciting stationery product – and we've used a lot of them in our time to compile our guide to the best pencil sharpeners out there. But here's a delightful novelty take on the product that actually makes sharpening a pencil fun.
We can't vouch for the performance or reliability of this pencil sharpener, and as a manual device, it might not be the best choice if you need to sharpen a lot of pencils. But if you're a fan of delightfully quirky product design, it's a real treat.
The work of Japanese designer Mitiru, the pencil sharpener has the form of a frilled-neck lizard. The opening forms the lizard's mouth, and as you sharpen a pencil, the shaving creates the lizard's frill. The concept has been a hit on Instagram, where people are asking where they can buy the adorable device. It's not commercially available for now, although some are suggesting Mitiru get it on Kickstarter ASAP.
But it's not the first quirky pencil sharpener that Mitiru's designed. Previous products include the “Okonomiyaki pencil sharpener”, which turns pencil shavings into a bonito flake (this one's been commercialised by the sauce brand Otafuku).
The creator has also designed such curios as cat paw water bottles, numerical keypads designed to look like cubed mango and kotatsu key caps for computer keyboards. See their Instagram account for more cute designs. In the meantime, if you're looking for more office supplies, don't miss our guide to the best staplers.