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27 March 2018

The fashion of hand-written personal messages and pencils

In times of discussions about the possible illegal processing of data derived from information posted by private persons on social media and tools, the fashion of hand-written personal messages seems to be an attractive alternative for correspondences which shall happen secretly between two people: the sender and the recipient. Who wants that the content of a love letter with all the emotion-filled words go processed in a database for commercial use? And who knows if the data were made anonymous or - on top of everything - are still traceable back to the identity of the author and the beloved one? Hand-written messages about the matters of one's heart seem to be currently the more secure transmitting choice for keeping others out of a couple's intimacy.

The image on this page shows the 'Natural History' letter writing set by The Pepin Press (40 sheets of paper, 40 envelopes) with images like butterflies from illustrated encyclopedias of the 19th century. The pencil in middle hardness degree HB (on view at the image a Faber-Castell pencil from the classical Castell 9000 series which is also part of the Karl Lagerfeld X Faber-Castell Karlbox) is a good choice for writing. HB lets the graphite slide easily over the paper and misused letters or words can be erased without leaving traces like it could happen with harder pencil qualities.

The modern pencil was born in the 19th century. The mixture for hardness variations for example was invented in Vienna (Austria, during Habsburg Monarchy) by Joseph Hardtmuth (founder of Koh-I-Noor) and patented in 1802.

On 30 March, the unofficial annual 'Pencil Day' is celebrated. The date references the registration of the patent by Hymen Lipman for a pencil with built-in eraser in 1858 (source:

What's written on the 40 sheets of decorated paper of the 'Natural History' set? The first of the 40 pages carry mainly relatively meaningless thoughts about writing with a pencil on paper such as the sound of the graphite. At the pages, no eraser is used; the sound of crossing out a word is part of the acoustic writing experience. The letter-series is a very personal birthday gift for an expert of hand-written texts, an autograph expert.

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