It is not a pencil, not a mechanical pencil, is SOSTANZA

Sostanza interprets the rechargeable writing item in its functional and aesthetic dimension.
His appearance is warm and natural, a wooden pencil that lasts: when the graphite is consumed it can be just recharged to make it live again.
Intuitive and easy to use, Sostanza shows that a simple tool can easily be both beautiful and useful.


Sostanza is the product of a synthesis. All the mechanisms that make a classical mechanical pencil have been deleted, making it easy for the assembly and better in terms of sustainability.


Sostanza has been entirely designed and manufactured in Italy.  Centers of excellence for the wood processing and smelting of precious metals take part in the production process.


Wood is an uneven, living material, that changes with time and use. Each piece shows traces of a different natural history imprinted in matter.


It is not an ordinary pencil, is not an ordinary mechanical pencil, is Sostanza. The pencil has its own character, but the real value lies in the hand holding it.

Interview with Walter D'esposito  ‎Co-Founder SotterraneaOfficinaSperimentale

What is creativity for you?

“Creativity" is a rather broad and varied phenomenon, difficult to define in brief without being reductive. Munari wrote that creativity "uses both fantasy and invention to produce something that did not exist before but that is achievable and working". To answer this same question, Annamaria Testa has produced many articles in which touches several issues including the "new and appropriate" combination between different elements, the importance of the rules as a stimulus to creativity, the fundamental role of language. First of all, creativity is a transversal competence. It does not belong (as often is assumed) to a limited group of subjects, the so-called "creative professions", but it is more an attitude, spendable in every field and at any time. In our work, the exercise of creativity is useful to combine virtuously form and function, aesthetics and technology, to make a product intuitive and understandable, to speculate what new language could improve the experience and the end-user habits. The project is a process that presents us a series of questions to be solved, conditions to be respected (or evaded sometimes) that completes with the contribution of creativity, but also with the support of other skills. Knowledge of materials and their perceptive values, conscious use of technical languages, ergonomics, communication and many other aspects are essential.”. 

How did the Sostanza project born?

"For a designer, it is not uncommon to deal with different writing instruments. In a world of work that is often completely digitalized, the use of paper and pencil is an indispensable tool for us to quickly visualize ideas and volumes and deal on their validity. The project was born from a simple observation: the mechanical pencils are great products, rechargeable, efficient, longer-lasting than traditional pencils, yet very complex. They are generally composed of ten, even fifteen pieces, some of which are not disassembled. All of this to answer a very simple function. So, how to improve this aspect while maintaining the possibility of replacing the graphite, and thus preserve the long life of the object? Sostanza meets this need with a simple operation, that is the interaction between two elements: the main body and the ring. Hence the formal synthesis that characterizes the aesthetics of the object. ".

How did you know NAPKIN ® and what prompted you to work with this company?

“We were contacted by Davide this summer. In that period our campaign on Kickstarter was in progress: we asked the international community to help us to start the production of Sostanza. Davide saw the project online and contacted us to meet up. At once there was total agreement with him, Mario and Andrea, for a meeting of minds on the issues of Italian manufacturing quality and the intention to enhance it, on the importance of the material in the perception of the finished product, the most emotional bond that brings us closer to some objects for their symbolic value. Later we also established a good relationship on a personal level, making it the most interesting and profitable collaboration for everyone. ".

What did you find interesting in the NAPKIN Creative ® Hub project?

Forever Creative Hub ci sembra una proposta utile per chi, come noi, ha avviato un percorso di autoproduzione e inizia, senza esperienza precedente nel settore, a relazionarsi con le dinamiche commerciali ed economicheIn questo senso la possibilità di ricevere una consulenza professionale e di appoggiarsi ad una rete di vendite già strutturata ed efficiente, può effettivamente agevolare lo sviluppo e la diffusione di un buon progetto fatto bene in Italia".

Did you already know Napkin Forever?

"Indeed we knew it, because in market research that we held for Sostanza emerged, among others, the Napkin Forever products as alternative writing instruments aimed at a similar target to ours. So it was surprising, and at the same time perfectly logical, to receive just by NAPKIN ®, a request for cooperation "..

Did you already have such a possibility?

"Yes, we have received some proposals for the project purchase. We have never accepted these offers, in some cases because the time was not ripe to separate us from our little creature, in others due to lack of confidence in the good faith of others' intentions. In this case, however, the possibility to distribute Sostanza on the national territory it seemed very interesting ,and the feeling of mutual trust is very strong, therefore, we hope to grow and expand our network and our expertise also thanks to the first collaboration with NAPKIN ®”.