Folded nib guru. Champion of Slack. King of kindness. These are all ways I describe Matthew Morse. In short, he’s awesome. My thanks to Matthew for answering Three Questions.
1. What role do analog tools such as pens, pencils and paper play in your day to day life?
I’m a marketing guy and graphic designer. When I’m not doing the corporate grind from 9-5, I’m designing book covers from 5-9 That means I spend a lot of time on a computer. I try really hard to put my design ideas down on paper before going to a computer, but tight deadlines don’t always afford me that luxury, especially when designing book covers. Regardless of what I’m doing professionally, though, I spend a little bit of time each day (maybe an hour or so) playing with pens, inks, nibs, papers… I incorporate multiple inks into pieces to see what effects I’ll get. I introduce heat or water or pressure or gravity to see where my stuff will go. I don’t get to do any of this when I’m hashing out a logo (at least not yet) or a book cover or a flyer about insurance products so it’s really important to me to take some time to myself with no direction or communication to put my hands on something tangible and create something a little more organic. When they’re not being used for creating new projects for my clients, they’re being used to give me a break from the digital monotony, even if it ends up in the trash (which my wife hates because she thinks they should all go on the refrigerator). In that way, analog tools are huge for me despite the digital world in which I work.
2. What are your favorite products you are currently using?
My most favorite product that I’m using right now (and have been for a while) is the folded nib available at PaperInkArts with a crappy wood holder that I’ve had for years. They’re like $7 each and I typically buy them a handful at a time because I tend to mess them up. They hold a ton of ink which makes them so fun for exploring fountain pen inks, especially those that shade really well like Iroshizuku. The curved edge provides an endless assortment of line widths and variation. It throws down so much ink and creates such a unique style that I haven’t found anything yet to compete.
I’m also using a really nice leather cover from One Star Leather that was designed for a Hobonichi A6 planner, but I’ve got it loaded with an A6 Apica notebook that I picked up. The One Star cover is ridiculously well-made from amazing leather with incredible attention to detail. I rarely leave home without it and most of the time it just rides around in my car waiting on me to drop something awesome in it. It’s seriously such an amazing piece that I may never buy another notebook cover ever again. Ever.
The Nock Co. Fodderstack is always with me as well, loaded with a handful of DotDash Notecards. It’s dirty and is probably starting to smell a little funky at this point, but I don’t care. It’s like the teddy bear I had when I was a kid. I can’t be without it and don’t want to. And I will go fisticuffs with anyone that tries to take it from me. And that goes for my Lookout as well, which is always close to the Fodderstack.
My favorite pen right now, despite all of the other amazing pens I have from amazing pen makers small and large, is the Karas Kustoms Ink. How a company known for hotrod parts has managed to create such an awesome pen is far beyond me, but I just love the things to death. They’re balanced, comfortable and indestructible. And they use awesome metals like bronze and copper and aluminum. Then they finish them in rad colors (or no colors) so you’re bound to find one you love no matter what. Come to think of it, anything KK is making is worth throwing your hard-earned cash at.
3. What creation or design of yours are you most proud of?
I know this will sound conceited, but I promise it’s not… The design I’m most happy with right now is my own website. It has been a long time since I’ve had an online presence outside of a Tumblr account. I got so tied up in work for my clients that I neglected to get myself out there to bring in new clients. Getting a website put together with my work on it was a long process and one that I put off for years. But I’m really proud of where my brand is right now and seeing it live and seeing people react to it, good or bad or indifferent, really makes me excited and hopeful for my future as a designer, calligrapher and illustrator.