Posts filed under Iconic

Iconic Pencil Cap Review

Iconic Pencil Cap

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

One of the things I love about stationery is that it never stops surprising me. I don't know why I didn't know that pencil caps, like the Iconic Pencil Cap, are a thing, but I went from not knowing about them to needing them with alarming speed. They're such simple, obvious things, but I'd never tried one before.

I work in a library, where pencils rule the desk drawers. We use pens, too, of course, but you can't walk ten feet without encountering one of those wee yellow golf pencils. And we have handfuls of regular pencils that get handed out to students or used behind the desk. If you're reading this, I know you won't judge me when I admit I bring my own pencils from home. Don't get me wrong--I love those golf pencils. They're a symbol for "looking for books" which is sacred. But they're awful to write with. So wee! No eraser! Never sharp! If you try to sharpen them, you end up with something unusable! I know you understand me.

Transporting pencils is fraught with peril. You can snap the point, or even damage the core so you get random breakages for the rest of that pencil's life. You can get graphite all over the inside of your case or bag and anything else in said case or bag. You can jab yourself and get one of those accidental graphite tattoos. Peril!

Yeah, it turns out there's a simple solution--one that we already use for pens: caps!

Iconic Pencil Cap Review

As surprised as I was to learn of the existence of pencil caps, I was even more surprised to find that there are actually a variety of offerings available. I selected these Iconic pencil caps to try first because they're cute. Knowing nothing, I went for the looks.

And these are pretty great! They fit a variety of pencils that I tried them on--standard hex and round pencils, colored pencils, and even Blackwing pencils. They fit securely, but didn't damage the finish on any of them. They kept points protected and nearby items clean.

One downside is that they add significant length to a pencil. So if it's a fresh pencil, it will be way too long to fit in a case with this cap on. But if it's one that has been sharpened a few times, it works just fine.

Iconic Pencil Caps

I did struggle a bit with what to do with the cap while writing. It makes the most sense to stick it on the back of the pencil, which works, until you need the eraser. Then it gets in the way. When set on the desk, these round caps tend to roll. In the end, I just held onto it while I wrote.

The caps also did make it more difficult to store my pencils in my hair. That's probably not a use case that applies to everyone, but as a librarian, it's practically part of my uniform. I can see, though, how the caps might help prevent graphite-scalp injuries.

Overall, these are small, clever, inexpensive pencil accessories. I like them and I'll definitely continue to use them. I'm now eager to try other varieties of pencil caps as well. Hooray for new stationery frontiers!

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Posted on February 28, 2019 and filed under Iconic, Pencil Reviews.

Iconic 2 Way Marker Pen Review

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(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

I love markers, so I guess it makes sense that I double-love twice the marker in one pen. I feel like the Iconic 2 Way Marker Pens were designed with the planner nerd in mind. Like they sat down and anticipated our needs. At first glance, they seem pretty plain--like something I've seen before. But the more I use them, the more I like them.

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These double-ended markers have a chisel felt tip at one end, and a fine-point bullet felt tip at the other. The chisel is narrow enough that it can be used as either a regular marker or as a highlighter (though the darker colors might not work as well for this function). The fine tip is surprisingly fine and is great for making notes, even in small spaces (though the paler colors are more difficult to read in fine lines). Highlighting/color-coding events and making notes in small spaces is a huge part of my day--so a tool that can do both is instantly my friend.

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The colors in this Retro Set are Brownie Pink, Cloudy Blue, Mustard Yellow, Pale Vermillion, and Warm Gray. I'm totally in love with these colors. I feel like the set needs a green, though. But it's an excellent palette.

For the most part, these pens are well designed. The white plastic body has a band of pale green with the brand info on it. Other color sets have different colored bands, so you can instantly tell what color family you're using. The color name is written on the barrel, and there are colored bands at both ends that indicate what color you're using and (by width) whether that end is fine or chisel. The caps are also clear--so it's easy to tell what end you're uncapping. Every visual cue is accounted for, so there's no frustration in the use. I never once had to search or double-check what color or width I was using. I really like it when I use a product and I can actually feel the thought that went into it--when I can tell that people came together and pooled their good ideas.

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If I'm going to nitpick (and of course I am), the caps are a little difficult to get off. They stick pretty hard, and they're small and tricky to grip. And, being clear, they're hard to find when you drop them. But a good seal is important for a marker cap, and the clear caps help you see what end of the marker you're about to use...so I can't even fault those things. All I'm saying, really, is that they've failed to reinvent the cap. I can fault the clip, though. This is a silly clip. It's so thin, I doubt it will last long. And it's SO snug against the body of the pen that you might be able to get one sheet of paper in there, but you're going to wrinkle the paper if you do. It's really more of a roll-stopper than a functional clip.

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I'll also note that these aren't really artist's markers. They don't do any neat layering, and they begin to damage the paper if you put down too much ink. I could see using them for coloring books, but not for any original masterpieces. Though with these colors, it would still look cool--and if you do some art with these, I want to see it! I feel these are better suited to notes and doodling--which are every bit as essential to life as art.

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These are also at a pretty good price point, for all of the above. $8 for a set of five that acts like ten is a very decent deal. At that price, I'll happily snap up the other sets, and backup sets, and my planner will be so gorgeous. I feel more organized already.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Posted on September 20, 2017 and filed under Iconic, Marker, Pen Reviews.