It's the season of giving, and what better gift than the gift of passion. For us, of course, this means introducing our friends and loved ones to the virtues of pencils. Some people need the basics: a no-fuss, hi-quality pencil. Other people will be more impressed by pencils that come with an interesting story or beautiful design. Whatever the tastes of your soon-to-be pencil-loving friend, we have a few suggestions.
Start with the basics: a few reliable pencils. At the shop, we call the Blackwing 602 the "Gateway Pencil" because it's usually the first special pencil people know, and its attractive design is always a way to get people in the door. The Tombow 2558 is another excellent, all-purpose pencil with a great eraser (it's also the first pencil Caroline recommended to me, a long time ago). Pencil novices are always impressed by the Camels as well, especially when they learn that the end caps are actually erasers.
Wrap up a dozen of any of these pencils with a key-ring sharpener to really sweeten the deal. It looks lovely tied to any gift, and ensures your friends can't complain about dull pencils. Eraser caps make great additions as well, especially for your eraser-demanding friends.
Sometimes it just takes a good story to get someone interested in picking up a pencil. For political junkies, there's the Viking Election pencil, commissioned by the Danish government. The hole in the end is used to tie the pencil to a polling booth. There's also the Caran d'Ache Bicolor pencil. Legend has it the Swiss company developed this double-ended pencil for military strategists to keep track of their own movements and those of their enemies.
Some people are lured into the pencil world by discovering exactly how luxurious it can be. The Tombow MONO100 is one of the finest writing instruments out there (it's also my personal favorite, but I swear I'm not biased), and one of the most attractive. We're also partial to our CWPE Caran d'Ache Black Wood pencil. The core feels like a Swiss Wood, but it's combined with the sleek, all-black look of the Black Wood. And if you think the way to the from Portugal, we have Viarco's gorgeous scented pencils, soaked in essential oils for a beautiful fragrance.