Celebration of the Pencil
In honor of National Pencil Day, March 30th, we celebrate the magic of the pencil
"Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes- pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can't sharpen it on the plane, because you can't take knives with you. Therefore, take two pencils."
- Margaret Atwood
Although most people use a pen these days, the simple pencil is a practical and affordable tool that has many advantages. Oftentimes pencils are overlooked in favor of pens. In this post we will go over the benefits of the pencil and some of its history as well.
In his article "Have we all underrated the humble pencil?", Tim Hartford writes, The pencil seems fated to be overlooked. It's the theme of an old English riddle: "I am taken from a mine, and shut up in a wooden case, from which I am never released, and yet I am used by almost everybody." We say the pen is mightier than the sword, but not the pencil - it's too easily erased.
When it comes to writing or drawing, all you need is a pad of paper and a pencil. Why then, is the pencil so often cast aside in favor of the pen?
The main benefit the pencil has over pen is that it is easily erasable. In addition, pencils can be used for shading or emphasis when pressure is applied.
Many famous artists and writers chose the pencil as their main tool of work, including Joyce Carol Oates, Truman Capote, Nabokov, John Steinbeck, and Leonard Bernstein.
Steinbeck even wrote “that everyone likes or wants to be an eccentric and this is my eccentricity, my pencil trifling.” While at the same time acknowledging that “just the pure luxury of long beautiful pencils charges me with energy and invention.” For John Steinbeck, the pencil was his favored tool for writing. As he explains to editor in Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters: “I am ready and the words are beginning to well up and come crawling down my pencil and drip on the paper. And I am filled with excitement as though this were a real birth.”
We encourage you to read this wonderful piece by Leonard E. Read titled, I, Pencil
If you are looking for a way to share your love of pencils, check out our adorable pencil-themed stationery!
Pencil Man, A5 Notebook
Hsingping Pan's fun and happy Pencil Man/Go Global illustrations are bold, full color fun art, captured in full color on our popular line of flexible cover, dot-grid, A5 Notebooks.
Pencil Sketch Mini Clipboard
Pencil Sketch Notecard Set
Amy van Luijk’s bright and fun desk scatter illustrations are reproduced here for our new line of notecards, highlighted by bright neon and foil accents.
These cute Notecard Sets are full color, portable card sets that feature foil accented designs.