Pencil cases come in a huge selection of shapes and sizes. Some are made to hold your top three pens, while others can carry all the office supplies you own. Depending on who you are and what you need, your requirements for capacity, material, and style will vary. Students might prefer a durable nylon case that's easy to clean, with a main compartment big enough for a calculator. Artists, on the other hand, need a high-capacity case that displays instruments clearly, so that they can work quickly and precisely.
Many of the pencil cases shown here have a multitude of different pockets and slots for you to play with. These compartments make it easier to find what you're looking for, and prevent your items from knocking around and being damaged. This might not seem important when you've got a pack of Sharpies with you, but when it comes to freshly sharpened wooden pencils, razor thin pencil leads, or expensive fountain pens, you'll be glad to hear absolutely no clunking sounds from your pencil case.
When you keep a pocket notebook, surprising things happen. The transient ideas that bubble up, surfacing from time to time in your subconscious, suddenly have a place to go. Appointments, conversations, diagrams, passwords, and poems form a small riot within its pages.
Still, the photos of meticulously organized Moleskines on Instagram can be intimidating. It’s easy to get the feeling that pocket notebooks must be aesthetically pleasing, or that every page should be polished and perfect. In reality, pocket notebooks are just accessible, reliable, and predictable receptacles for information of every kind. Write down all of your half-baked thoughts, nonsensical ideas, and mundane observations... and somewhere in there, you should be able to find a small and quiet sliver of genius.
In this article, we’ll cover the advantages of using a pocket notebook, highlight a few stand-out notebooks from our Pocket Notebook Selection Guide, and start you out with a few ideas on what to write.
Technical pens were originally designed for engineers and architects, but quickly became popular among artists for their precision. Although software programs like CAD and SolidWorks have become the industry standard, technical pens are still often used during the early stages of the design process to draw flow-charts, schematics, equations, and the like. They’re good for projects that require exhaustive detail, like creating a pointillist portrait or detailing the ornaments on a building. The larger tip sizes (0.2 mm and up) can be used for writing notes, but the smaller tip sizes will feel scratchy and might even skip, depending on how fast you write.
Have you ever looked at a perfect hand-inked drawing and wondered, how are the lines so clean?
To some extent, you must have steady hands -- like a surgeon or a pianist. And you can always modify things digitally, with programs like Photoshop and GIMP. But the first and most basic component is always the quality of the instrument you hold in your hand. Just as you wouldn’t use an Xacto knife to perform surgery, you wouldn’t use a ballpoint pen to ink a pencil sketch. Instead, artists use drawing pens with archival (meaning waterproof and fade-resistant) ink because they produce consistent, fluid, and graceful lines that stay put on the paper.
Graphic drawing pens are also highly recommended by academics and writers of all kinds: researchers in the field, journalists, Asian language students, and Youth Group pastors alike find the precision and quality of drawing pens to be quite useful. Although they’re made to satisfy the rigorous demands of professional artists, they require no special care or maintenance.
Continue reading for ideas on how drawing pens can be used for notes, journaling, outlining sketches, and illustrations -- plus product recommendations tailored to each use case.
As they improve, guitarists gradually acquire pedals for reverb and gain and flange, PC gamers acquire expensive graphics cards, snowboarders become downright gleeful about jumping from lethal heights... and fountain pen owners start to hunt for demonstrator pens, 14k gold nibs, and piston fillers.