As a graphic designer, I spend most of my day staring at the screen of my iMac, working on one project or another. But before I ever sit down at the computer, I sketch out my ideas using my trusty pencil and good old-fashioned tracing paper. Sketching allows me to try out lots of ideas and variations, to clear out the clutter in my brain until I arrive at concepts worthy of further exploration. I always stress to my designers and interns how important the pencil is to the creative process.
An article in this week’s New York Times Magazine (January 14, 2018) spotlights this most basic of tools in an article entitled, “Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories.” The story presents a loving homage to this small, but essential appliance. Christopher Payne’s arty, detailed photographs of the small Jersey City factory detail the handcrafting that goes into the pencil-making process. The graphic quality of the article’s accompanying photographs play to the simple, powerful lines created by pencils, be they words, notes, doodles, sketches or full-blown framed pieces of art.Read More