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Color Picker Pen Might Make That Box of 120 Crayons Obsolete

by Lambert Varias

When I was in grade school, crayons served as our introduction to the art of one-upmanship – you have a box of 8? Well your seatmate has a box of 16! So you tell your mom to buy you a box of 24, but – oh snap! –  your rival’s already upgraded to a box of 48! It just escalated, even though we’d usually end up not using the weird colors, like Flesh, which looked like raw bacon. It was a cold war of crayons. Korean designer Jinsu Park might be able to put a stop to the senseless wax-hoarding with her Color Picker pen concept.


The Color Picker pen works just like the eyedropper tool in Photoshop. Use the rear end of the pen to scan the color of the objects around you, and then pen imitates the color by mixing red, green and blue ink, thus negating the need for an arsenal of crayons.


Or will it? A bunch of commenters at designboom have pointed out that the CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black; ‘K’ is used for black because blue already took ‘B’) color system is better suited for print compared to RGB, which is more useful for digital media. Back to the drawing board I guess.


Another designboom commenter, joolz, linked to a similar concept has already been developed by a bunch of MIT students back in 2004. It’s called the I/O Brush, and like the Color Picker pen it scans surrounding objects for color, but it can also scan for texture and even movement. However, the comically large brush is more complicated because it requires a digital canvas i.e. a touch screen, meaning it doesn’t produce real print.

[via Neatorama]

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Comments (30):

  1. johnq says:

    Coolest pen ever.
    Prolly gonna be the most expensive too.

  2. Adrena says:

    Should it not be CMYK rather than RGB. This is a fake.

    • technabob says:

      It’s not a fake – it’s an industrial design concept.

      • Tom says:

        But printing occurs in CMYK, not RGB…..RGB is something that occours on your screen……..so to actually create the colours to paper, you would need the components of the pen to be CMYK.
        But then the pen would need to convert the RGB equivalent to CYMK…which is done with charts currently, so god knows how it will do that.

        • technabob says:

          But digital cameras use red, green and blue image sensors – which is basically what’s going on here. You only convert to CMYK right before printing since the ink itself is CMYK for 4-color process images.

          • Lionel says:

            you can read the colours in rgb, but at the time of printing, you will need to have cmyk ink, bacause that are the inks that forms fisically the other collors. Rgb is only used in ligts, as on screens.

          • shane hussain naqvi says:

            havnt you guys heard of RGB printing? its being done here all the time.. :S

          • jonathon says:

            i just wanted to say something to fit in ….:)

          • Sowey says:

            rgb inks could mix and give brown as a result. should be cmyk. digital printing uses cmyk as well.

          • Spudboy says:

            Have fun mixing some combination of red, green or blue inks to get yellow. However, if the inks were properly tuned you could get away with CMY; you might not need black.

  3. edward says:

    Cool Color Picker !

  4. matt says:

    DO WANT.

  5. kishore says:

    what is the cost of this product.
    and where we find it to purchage.

  6. Slimydoom says:

    This is so useless, whats the point in creating arts when u need to scan the colors that arent even on ur canvas yet?
    The scanner idea is sooooo stupid. Giving the probability that any textured object is not made of a plain color, thus corrupting the tint you need.
    Start thinking simpler before, if you guys need colours, just make an integrated colour picker, then stop with RGB shit for printing purpose, dumbasses…

    • treefty says:

      You don’t make any sense. How is it useless or stupid? It does what it was designed to do. Just because it’s not something you would buy doesn’t mean anything. The scanner idea is brilliant. You’re just jealous that you didn’t think of it. You, sir, are a dumbass!

  7. Slimydoom says:

    ho great! just read now that it require a digital canvas! How pathetic! You guys now just run get an wacom graph pad and forget that ****!

    • sean says:

      you sir are a failure at life. you do not deserve to breath. It says the I/O brush uses the digital canvas dipshit. Read before you post.

      • Matt says:

        Just because he misread something doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve to live… Pause before you post. smh

  8. Haru says:


    I would save me hundreds and thousands on art supplies!!!

  9. breeeee says:


  10. alice says:

    how much is it!?

  11. Keiti says:

    When and where can I buy this?

  12. Katniss says:

    Is it out yettttt!!!?!!?!?!!! I want it!! How much is it!?!?!?

  13. Amanda says:

    How do I buy one???

  14. autumn says:

    whats the cost??? really cool! im a big artist and cant stand crayons either. I NEED THIS PEN! Thanks~ Autumn

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