Archive for the 'Stationery' Category

How Pencils Are Made

I’ve looked at the seemingly simply pencil before, showing how complex each of the components that go into it really are.  But have you ever wondered how pencils are actually made?

I hadn’t, until this morning a tweet from Fi Scott caught my eye.

Anyone of a certain age will remember the brilliant programme Playdays that made daily stops along a bus route to different characters each week.  My favourite character was on Monday’s episode – the Why Bird.  So imagine my excitement when the tweet led to a video combining a childhood favourite with my modern day love for stationery!

Fascinating and educational!  Happy Friday!

A Girl Named Elastika

This has been featured on a few blogs already (packing up and moving house took up most of my time last week), but it is far too creative and brilliant not to share on here.

The stop motion story of a girl named Elastika and her dreams of discovering the world, amazingly animated by Guillaume Blanchet with only rubber bands, a pin board and hundreds of coloured drawing pins.

You can tell Guillaume is a film maker and not just an animator, the out takes and stunt double at the end are a fantastic nod to the film industry, as are the camera view changes of zooming in and out (particularly on the boat at sea circa 1min50s).

I’m already eyeing up our stationery cupboard at work and wondering what I can make!

Made By Oomph

If you’re in the market for some new business cards, something a bit different, something memorable to hand to someone, then look no further than Made By Oomph.

They are far from simply another card printer, they seem do be doing something quite unique in creating a wide range of high quality plastic cards.

Even though I had a good idea of what I’d ordered (based on their gallery) I was still pleasantly surprised when my order turned up.  Straight out the box the cards immediately have the presence of a high quality product.  The smooth matt finish of the “brilliantly-crisp white plastic from Italy” feels great to hold, and the 0.76mm thick plastic has a nice weight to it.

The cards feel much more substantial than your typical card, not too heavy but a good quality to them.  Something that feels valuable, and something you’d certainly be remembered for.

I’ve been given larger or thicker cards before, and they can be a bit annoying, they don’t fit anywhere and tend to go unused or forgotten, but being that these are no larger than your bank card they fit easily in your wallet or card holder.

If you’re still not convinced, head over to grab a sample pack and build a design of your own.

Moo ShowCase

If you haven’t heard of Moo, then head over and check them out.  Front runners in print, from custom business cards and wonderful stickers, to festive greetings cards and accessories.

Recently I was fortunate enough to be sent out one of their new business card holders, the ShowCase.

In the ever increasing age of technology a great business card can be the difference in getting noticed, “less a method of handing out your phone number, more a way of starting a conversation” as Moo elegantly put it.

The ShowCase comes well packaged with Moo’s lovely attention to detail, and immediately using it is simply intuitive.  The “flick and push” or the “flick and fan” gives you an option in presenting potential clients with your card.

Full details (and a few more great accessories!) on the Moo site here.

How Pencils Are Made

I use one almost everyday without fail.  Whether it’s a quick sketch, or something in more detail, there’s always a pencil of some description to hand.  Even as I look around me know, I have two pencils (amongst a range of other writing and sketching utensils) within arm’s reach.  Yet I’ve never really given too much thought as to how these little necessities are made.

This video offers us a glimpse inside the Staedtler factory, and an insight into the remarkable detail that goes into all the steps involved in manufacturing a single pencil.

From the elastic glue that cushions the lead inside the pencil to help prevent it breaking, to the crucial “lead sandwich”, and of course the final sharpening drum that completes the process and turns them into the final product we all recognise and use.  Enjoy.

Constrained Ball

I love stationery, and Korean Product Designer Giha Woo‘s latest creation, the Constrained Ball, was simply too good not to mention.

We not only write with pens, we draw with them too.  Sometimes curved lines or scribbles, but often it’s that illusive straight line we’re aiming for.  Now, I know you can use a ruler (or in my case, the edge of a notepad) but they can often smudge ink or obscure the page, and they’re not always to hand.

By applying a simple controlling constraint to your pen nib it rolls in one direction only, no more wobbling or uneven lines that convey more of a similarity to a sin wave than the table you are quickly trying to draw up.

Whilst this is great for people who cannot typically draw a straight line freehand, the real smart feature of it allows those already accustomed to drawing straight lines, such architects and interior designers, to accurately measure whilst they draw them too.  The total length of the line drawn is measured by the wheel (a mini digital trundle wheel comes to mind) and displayed right by your finger tip.  I’ve not used one myself but it looks like you’ll be able to get pretty good control down to mm scale accuracy for horizontal, vertical and 45 degree lines.


To follow on from this, my attempt to consume the ultimate range in geek stationery follows up with this.  I’d definitely like one on my desk.


Wooden memo block by Kakuzai.  Sadly it seems to be only available in Japan at the moment, so if anyone’s going…

Stationery with personality

In an attempt to have the ultimate range of geek stationery the first item on my wish list is this Pac Man inspired “Stap Man Stapler”.


Available from Panik.

A close second in the basket, despite the fact that I never really use tape, is this tape dispenser.

b-mr-p-tape“The tape rolls out like a neverending tongue and can be torn off at his feet.”

Fantastic – stationery with personality.  Hopefully coming to a desk near me soon!

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