Hipsters and Pencils.

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I certainly don’t mean to open a Hipster Shooting Gallery, firing at hipsters or other people. Nor — given the fact that hipsters seem to adopt things I like (beards, rye whiskey, bikes, etc.) and the subsequent fact that I probably look like an older and wider hipster — do I necessarily exclude myself from the School of the Hip. Even if I’d rather be counted out.

But I have noticed something that I’m sure many Comrades have noticed. There’s this whole “artisanal” and “craft” and “small-batch” movement going on. There’s no question. But I’ve noticed that pencils are fitting into this in bigger and bigger ways. Pencils are showing up more and more in advertising for products and services aimed at the hip crowd. I read somewhere (I forget where) that a lot of the low-fi stationery trends are “hipsterish” and that brands like Field Notes have been extra successful as a result.* To be sure, the shops that seem to cater to hipsters around my house all have a decent stationery section.

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If paper is cool, certainly no ordinary writing implements will do. No Bics or gel pens. Wood and graphite and the accoutrements/accouterments thereof all the way! Take this ad (above) from a local watering hole in Baltimore. There are myriad examples I will let Comrades find on their own, for enjoyment and/or scoffing and/or edification.

I live in a pretty hip spot, and there are benefits (good coffee shops, stores with stationery) and obnoxiousness (kids telling you about the neighborhood in which you grew up like their discovered it). I’m waiting to hear someone in expensively battered boots wax philosophical about the benefits of using a “simple” pencil’s eraser as a smartphone stylus in our of our hipper coffeeshops.

I’ve been known to employ Blackwing erasers on my non-smart-but-touch-screen-phone. But never in public.

*[I might point out that Field Notes have also been successful because of their level of service.]

6 Responses to “Hipsters and Pencils.”

  1. Sid says:

    I wonder if we will see, as part of this hipster revolution, artisanal, US-made pencils. Pencils that are not too expensive, but, still high quality, like the old Blackwings or the the long gone Blackfeet Indian Pencil co. products?

    • John says:

      That would be pretty awesome, especially with natural finishes like my favorite BFI pencils.

    • Robine says:

      With hipsters, anything is possible. I mean, they’ve revolutionised thrifting (which for me is now kind of ruined, since suddenly there are hipsters, hipsters everywhere) and brought beards (gotta love ‘em) back to life. However, if they can bring back pencils, that’ll be great.

  2. Rob says:

    No sooner did I read your post about pencils and hipsters than I read this:

    http://boingboing.net/2013/02/21/sponsor-shout-out-pencils-com.html

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