Friday, 24 June 2011

Guardian Pencil Discussion

Pencil fandom becoming mainstream? The Guardian has a discussion about contemporary pencil usage.

Personally I don't consider myself to be a "commodity fetishist" when it comes to pencils, but I enjoyed this article and the comments beneath. I'll be commenting later, when I get back from an engagement I have this evening....

Cult Pens gets a few mentions in the article and the comments, as does Dave's Mechanical Pencils. Nice to see pencils get a discussion.

It would be great if some of the pencil bloggers could contribute to the comments, too.


  1. I wonder whether recent articles like this are a result of the publicity surrounding the Palomino Blackwing that swapped into some mainstream media in the USA and then found their way over the pond (to Germany, too).

  2. It's possible; CalCedar's efforts to resurrect the Blackwing have pretty much pioneered the "boutique" pencil, differentiating it from "commodity" pencils most people use, or art pencils. I think the publicity surrounding the new Blackwing in the US arose from the return of a much-loved pencil, but if CalCedar is successful, there may be a new market for posh pencils.

  3. Bruce, thank you for the link to the Guardian site! I will follow the discussion.

    I don't know the exact reasons for the publity but maybe it is because it's about a humble low-tech device evebody knows. – It would be great if major manufacturers would produce a batch of some of their vintage pencils in the original design,

  4. Back when the initial Palomino Blackwing was coming out, I recommended that CalCedar extend its marketing arm to mainstream editorials and similar things in order to make use of the fertile soil of nostalgia and minimalism in the wake of the iPad and other tech trends. I guess I wasn't the only one thinking along those lines, as the Boston Globe article and others showed later on.

    I'm far from certain, but I would not be surprised if some of these essays are starting to play off each other. After the Fortune article, I was expecting an editorial or two to focus on mechanical pencils or even Bic ballpoint pens. However, any domino effect with this is probably going to fizzle out shortly, unless there is an occasional injection of interest from outside.

    That's just my opinion, though.

  5. I think its a yearning for simplicity, stripping things back to basics, as a counterbalance to the smart, hi tech society. The more people push in one direction the more people will want to pull in the other direction.

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