Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Pantone Pencil and Notepad

I seem to be tripping across more and more Pantone stationery these days. It’s certainly not commonplace, but it’s not exactly uncommon either. Do you ever see any Pantone products in your part of the world? Early this year I was in an upmarket booksellers store and they had a rather large selection of good quality writing instruments and stationery including a lot of Pantone products. In one of those bizarre coincidences, the very next day the postie delivered a present from my friend Kent in Korea…Ta-dah!!
Pantone Universe mechanical pencil and notepad
I quite like the marketing ploy of numbering the products with their Pantone colour number. In this case the yellow mechanical pencil and notepad are colour 13-1746 “Maize”. For a proper colour swatch (well as accurate as your screen can display it) you can go here.
Not the greatest of colour matches between pencil and notepad
The mechanical pencil is nothing flash. In fact it surprises me Pantone haven’t gone for something of better design and quality. I’m not saying it’s a bad pencil, just to me it doesn’t fit with the price point and the market niche they appear to be aiming at. For the record it is a push top ratchet 0.5mm mechanical pencil with retractable sliding sleeve conical tip. The sticker on it states “Made in Japan”.

I might not be that impressed with the pencil, but I am impressed with the notepad. It is A6 sized with 100 sheets of lined paper. The Pantone Universe branding is rather subtly marked onto the cover by a difference in the gloss level. Nice.

That paper is smooth, your pencil really seems to glide across it, yet it grabs hold of graphite. Frankly, it’s the sort of paper that makes me think I should pay more attention to the quality of paper that I use. If a pencil writing experience consists of three elements – pencil, lead and paper - then I admit it’s a bit incongruous how I generally ignore the paper. My three legged-stool must be on a terrible lean! (Erasers are of course a fourth element).

I also like how the cover folds right back, and how the pages easily tear out.

Apparently "Maize" evokes feelings and thoughts like ‘radiant’, ‘inviting’ and ‘wisdom’. 

Anyway, if you see some Pantone stationery, take a few minutes and check it out.


Matthias said...

Thanks for showing us these.
The "posh" shops in the UK (John Lewis, Selfridges) sell some of the Pantone products. I even saw some reduced Moleskine-style Pantone notebooks in John Lewis last week - they only cost a fraction of the original price (the same with the old version of MontBlanc ink).

Palimpsest said...

What Matthias said. Also the London Graphic Centre in Covent Garden carries them.

Anonymous said...

I've seen the pencils in Kinokuniya, Sydney and you're right Dave, they are pretty tame and lifeless. The paper seems ok as a notepad but I prefer someting with a firm/supple cover which can be used indoors and outdoors. 2 1/2p

Anonymous said...

Looks like you have a pretty good trade circle going for Cyber Nations

Linus said...

Have you seen whitelines paper? They have paper that has a 10% screen on the paper. The absence of the screen is what makes the white lines. It looks nice with pencil markings.

Kiwi-d said...

Anonymous - if only I could keep it intact :-)

Kiwi-d said...

Linus - I've seen it on the web, not in real life.

Anita said...

I'm looking for a professional looking mechanical pencil with a cushion/spring mechanism that reduces lead breakage. It's more comfortable for me and, I know you may disagree, I like the feel of the Papermate Sharpwriter but it's just not professional looking.

While I have your ear, what lead would you recommend. I prefer it to write dark, so I'm thinking a softer lead, right?


Kiwi-d said...

Anita - check the Top 10 tabs in the blog header. As for lead, I am a Pentel person. Darknes can be influenced by how hard you press etc but the softer the lead grade the darker. I'd start at B grade and work from there.

anita said...

Thank you!