'A Brand Called Ed' Pencil Case

This is an 'A Brand Called Ed' pencil case.  The brand is sold at Officeworks stores here in Australia.  I normally associate Officeworks with quality yet affordable stationery.  It is a shame but this pencil case only fulfills one of those criteria.


As you can see the pencil case is a box style container.  Normally I like this style because I can cram a fair amount of gear inside and yet it will retain a uniform shape on a desk.


On initial inspection the case is attractive and comes complete with designer scribble on the lid.  I feel arty already.  The case itself is 22cm in length, 10cm wide and 5cm high when empty.  The dimensions on the Officeworks website are different but the pencil case stretches when used.  The colour scheme is attractive with black lining/cover and a grey zip that traverses three quarters of the case's perimeter.


This pencil case has some attractive features too.  Inside, there is a zippered flat compartment on the inside of the lid.  Stitched to this is a wide elastic strap suitable for something wider than a pen, perhaps a short ruler or the like.  Separating the lid from the well of the main compartment is a flap.  The elastic strap continues along the upper side of the flap enabling users to attach their pens or pencils.

Beneath the flap is the main compartment.  It is deep enough for at least two rows of pens sitting atop the other. The design of this pencil case is simple and suitable for someone who has a range of writing gear.  A student would be happy with this product because a math set tin easily fits into the storage well with room for more pens on top.  This is before the flap and lid is even closed.

Unfortunately design isn't everything.  Build quality is also important and this is where the 'A Brand Called Ed' box style pencil case falls down.  Hard.  This case is cheap.

Some money appears to have been spent on the zips and the zip handles but the lining feels incredibly tacky and the stitching threatens to break every time I even look at it.  The elastic strap also fails to inspire confidence.  You can see in the photo below that the pencil (with the Faber Castell Perfect Pencil lid) is sagging heavily in the strap.  Both the pencil and its lid are really quite light so  I don't see the strap lasting long.

It is a shame that the quality of this pencil case is so poor because it has some potential.  I wonder why Officeworks is selling something that quality wise, should really be retailing in a discount store.  Incidentally, I was in class today and a student had an almost identically designed pencil case produced by Smiggle and the build quality was much higher.  It seems even middle school students will recognise quality and choose it.  This pencil case retails for 8 AUD, and in my opinion isn't cheap enough.