“If I knew your name and address, I would send you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils.” – You’ve Got Mail
I’m a terrible person. The very kind people over at Baron Fig sent me a pack of special edition Prismatic Archer pencils an embarrassingly long time ago, and I am only now writing this review (note: Archer is the name of their pencils, and Prismatic is the name of this limited edition of Archer pencils).
In the spirit of complete honesty, the reason for such a long delay writing this review wasn’t exclusively procrastination, distractions, bad time management, and laziness (although those all played their part). No, in all fairness, my first impression of Baron Fig’s Prismatic (and Archer) pencils was not great, and while I wanted to write an honest review, I didn’t want to write a bad one, and I wasn’t sure how to do that. So I kept using the pencils. Kept trying them in different applications. And stopped noticing that they were the pencils that I reached for whenever I started a drawing or sketched out an idea.
I’m glad I waited. I’m glad I gave these guys time. Because now, I can give both an honest review, and a good one. I’ve realized that the very things I didn’t like about these pencils in the first place are the things I love about them.
My first impressions of these pencils were: they are 1) very light and to me that made them feel cheap not durable, and 2) dark and toothy.
Baron Fig’s website says about the Archer pencil: “The first thing you’ll notice when you hold the Archer is how light it is – and how easy it is to use.” Yes, I will agree with that. The Archer is a no-frills pencil (can pencils even have frills?). At first, it felt like if I gripped the pencil too hard it would snap. But after a while of using it, I realized that it completely got out of my way when I was sketching and drawing, and let me focus on the art. Because of its lightness and minimal design, it felt more like an extension of my hand than a tool. It’s comfortable to use for long periods of time. It also has a smooth, non-slippery finish, and the hexagonal design means that it will never roll away
from you. It’s obvious a lot of thought went into designing this pencil.
Archer pencils use HB graphite. If anything would keep my from buying another pack of these pencils, this would be it. My personal preference for lead weight is 2H and lighter because I use pencils to rough out proportions and layouts. It works well for writing though, and when using it for finished pencil drawings, the graphite enabled me to use only the Archer pencil throughout the whole drawing, instead of reaching for a darker or lighter lead. I will definitely be using these pencils again if I do more pencil drawings in the future.
So, after using these guys for a few months, what are my thoughts? I respect the attention to detail the Baron Fig puts into their products. You would think a pencil is a pencil, but they’ve worked to make sure that every aspect of each product is a pleasure to use. Their Archer pencils (and subsequent special editions, such as this, the Prismatic) are no different. You would think that with something so humble and simple as a pencil, the design wouldn’t make much difference, but it really does. I also love the colorful design and packaging of the Prismatics.
If you’re looking for a reliable, comfortable pencil that also might put a smile on your face, make sure to grab a pack of Prismatics while they’re still available!