CW Pencils

Pencil economics and the Mongol

In Episode 193 of the Pen Addict Brad and Myke mentioned a recent Freakonomics Radio ((Depsite the name it is a podcast.)) episode called Who Needs Handwriting?.

I read the Freakonomics book a few years ago. Funnily enough I got it from a friend who I got to know through this blog after posting about a Mongol sharpened with an angle of 14° ((It’s funny because in the next sentence there’ll be a connection back to the Mongol.)).

Well, the next episode of Freakonomics Radio looked at “I, Pencil”, the famous economics essay about the Mongol 482. Just like in the previous episode Caroline Weaver from CW Pencils was involved1.

Venezuelan Mongols

Ok, it’s not the 482, but the 480, but the Mongol 482 photos from my blog look less suitable for this blog post than this one does. 

One of the best bits of this episode is Tim Harford’s appearance. He’s the guy behind the Radio 4 Programme More or Less, looking at numbers and statistics in the news and everyday life. I listen to every episode of his great programme.

There’s also a great part about the General Pencil Company and how they make their pencils.

Funnily enough the photo of the I, Pencil Freakonomics Radio episode doesn’t feature a Mongol, but the good, old Noris!


  1. …and to my surprise she says her shop is profitable, which I wouldn’t have expected thinking about how expensive rent in New York must be, as well as flying around the world to the different trade fairs. []

Two and a half Books 3

Last week I got two books I was very much looking forward to (plus one I ordered because I ordered anyway). Both were books I got to know from Lexikaliker.


First up is Pencils by Marco Ferreri. The book is from 1996 (there was an exhibition, too) and is part of a project that started a year earlier with an exhibition and book about bookmarks. If you like cutlery, he got that covered with another book as well. The book itself is looking at a many different aspects of pencils and has fantastic pictures.


Up next is Bruckmann’s Handbuch der Schrift. I struggle to translate the title, because Schrift in German can mean script, font, scripture, handwriting, … This book covers all of these in great detail and with unusual examples for a book. There are quite a few haptic gimmicks included (examples of Braille, samples of print slides, …). This is certainly one of the best books I own. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be in print anymore…

Bruckmann's Handbuch der Schrift

Bruckmann’s Handbuch der Schrift

The last book is a  children’s book about pencils, ordered from CW Pencils, together with the Ferreri book. I haven’t really had a look yet, but I am sure the little one will like it.