There’s a famous story about the 1960s Space Race in which the USA spent millions developing a pen that could write in zero-gravity. The Russians, meanwhile, used a pencil. Alas it turns out to be a myth but even though apocryphal, the tale’s enduring popularity speaks to the simple brilliance of the first bit of creative kit most of us ever used.
Alex Hammond and Mike Tinney decided to investigate The Secret Life of The Pencil, photographing those used by leading creatives from James Dyson to Nick Park, David Shrigley to Peter Saville, Dave Eggers to the ennobled Blakes (Peter and Quentin). Shot in viivd detail, we’re invited to explore the “secrets of their use” and consider how many colossal creative achievements begin life at the tip of a bit of lead.
Interested in how the digitally-dominated era will affect the pencil’s role, the project is part celebration and potentially part elegy and it’s going on show at Paul Smith’s Albemarle Street store from 19 May to 3 June.
- In celebration of his new book 2017, Bráulio Amado picks out the work he loves from last year
- Environmental Activism: Why We Need To Shake Up the Visual
- Charlotte Dumortier on her identity for this year's ELCAF and what she's looking forward to most
- Google Fonts Korean becomes interactive by manipulating path data
- Photography series Metamorphosis reimagines iconic female characters as 21st-century women
- National Geographic’s creative director Emmet Smith on the publication’s redesign
- Craig Oldham dishes out brutally honest advice to new graphic designers
- Pentagram rebrands Battersea dogs and cats home to visualise "personality over sentiment"
- V&A announces shortlist for its Illustration Awards 2018
- ManvsMachine create its most ambitious campaign for Air Max Day yet
- Design to improve the general quality of life: exploring Paul Rand's IBM Graphic Standards Manual
- Ten examples of rare letterings, from 19th-century alphabets to preliminary drawings of Futura