The One Pen to Rule Them All

I WANT THIS TO BE REAL. Please, please let this be real! This would be SO useful for designing! The next step in the design process for a Fair Isle project I’m working on is to find colored pencil equivalents for all of the yarn colors I want to use in the design so I can start testing color patterns. With this pen all I would have to do is point it at the yarn I want to use and start drawing. It’s the One Pen to Rule Them All. This post said it was still just a concept, but that was 3 years ago…perhaps it’s closer to being a reality now?


Colour chat


The idea is that you can use this pen to point at any object in the world, the pen then ‘extracts’ the colour, and then is able to write in that colour using a mixture of RGB inks that it contains.

Unfortunately, it’s just a concept, designed by Jinsu Park.


As far as I know there are no practical implementations of this interesting idea. One could make a strong argument that the pen should use CMY (or even red, yellow and blue) primaries since RGB primaries would result in a tiny colour gamut and wouldn’t allow the pen to reproduce any real colours at all. See

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4 thoughts on “The One Pen to Rule Them All

  1. There was a science fiction novel by Piers Antony that featured a brush like this. But in that case, the artist manipulated the brush to produce apparently infinite amounts of paint. I could see this as a great tool for designers. I think the Benjamin Moore app on the iphone is supposed to scan colors and suggest paint matches, but I haven’t fooled around with it very much. Color matching technology exists. They use it at the Home Depot. The dudes there aren’t being paid to match color by eye. They scan your flowerpot, or fabric or whatever and the computer spits out a paint recipe.

    Can you tell I match color for a living?

  2. I want that to be real, and I want one. It would make my life so much easier.

    I’m a writer. I write mostly non-fiction, and it helps me when I’m taking notes while I’m researching to color-code those notes. Pointing at conveniently-placed things in the colors I’m using would be so much more time efficient than having to pick up pens or highlithers in different colors.

    Or, maybe I’m just lazy. Be that as it may, I want one of these. So, if they aren’t currently in existence, somebody needs to get on that, right away.

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