Design luminaries’ favourite writing and sketching materials – personal recommendations

Perfect pens – and paper – that creative visionaries couldn’t do without

Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point fountain pen, from $148
Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point fountain pen, from $148

Marc Newson, multidisciplinary designer

I would never part with my Japanese retractable Namiki fountain pen. This model was originally made by Pilot but was discontinued and replaced by a newer model. I prefer the old version and I never go anywhere without this pen and one of my sketchbooks. Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point fountain pen, from $148; gouletpens.com.

Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani’s Lamy Dialog 1, €150, Lamy Pico pocket pen, from €34, and Bulgari Eccentrica, discontinued
Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani’s Lamy Dialog 1, €150, Lamy Pico pocket pen, from €34, and Bulgari Eccentrica, discontinued | Image: Beat Schweizer

Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, director of watch design at Bulgari

When I travel, I always have three or four pens in my pocket. The ones I would never part with include my Lamy Dialog 1 and my Lamy Pico pocket pen. They’re mostly triangular-shaped, which I believe is the most ergonomic. From €34; lamy.com.

Advertisement

Christopher Jenner, product designer

I draw all my work – I don’t know how to use a computer – so I always go to stationery store RSVP in Berlin’s Mitte district for interesting pens: they have a lot of unusual stock from Japan. RSVP, Mulackstrasse 14 and 26, Berlin 10119 (+4930-3195 6410; rsvp-berlin.de).

Personalised writing paper handmade at Antica Legatoria Piazzesi, Venice
Personalised writing paper handmade at Antica Legatoria Piazzesi, Venice

Shigeru Ban, Pritzker Prize-winning architect 

I like to use a fine-point Muji Aluminium Hexagonal pen, in black or red ink. I keep them clipped to my shirt pocket so that I’m ready to sketch any time, anywhere, in the Utrecht black sketchbooks I have been using since I was a student. Muji Aluminium Hexagonal pen, £5.95; muji.com. Utrecht sketchbook, from £3.59; utrechtart.com.

Montblanc Meisterstück ballpoint pen, from £315
Montblanc Meisterstück ballpoint pen, from £315

Emilia Wickstead, fashion designer

I always stock up on handmade, personalised writing paper from Venice. It’s so easy to send an email, but I think people appreciate receiving a letter on proper paper and it’s a pleasure to use. I love the city’s longstanding tradition of making beautiful marbled versions, and shops like Antica Legatoria Piazzesi, one of the oldest, handstamp theirs using original woodcuts. Antica Legatoria Piazzesi, Campiello della Feltrina, Santa Maria del Giglio, 30124 Venice (+3904-1520 1978).

Advertisement

Lee Broom, furniture and lighting designer

I adore my Montblanc Meisterstück ballpoint pen. It has a very intricate geometric pattern etched into it and I would be lost without it. Every product I design starts with a sketch, so it’s an incredibly important tool for me. From £315; montblanc.com.

Adam Nathaniel Furman, artist and designer

I love stationery, and Ginza has the best stationery shop in the world, Itoya. There’s also a really old art-supply store nearby called Gekkoso that makes its own sketchbooks. Gekkoso, 8 Chome 7-2 Ginza, Chuo-ku, 104-0061 (+813-3572 5605). Itoya, 2 Chome-7-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, 104-0061 (+813-3561 8311; ito-ya.co.jp).

Ian Schrager, boutique hotelier

My favourite implement is a Flair black Paper Mate felt-tip pen. I’m very attached to them, and I always have one in my shirt or in my hand. I love it because it doesn’t have a single needless or gratuitous design feature. It just absolutely serves its function in the most efficient kind of way. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. About £2; papermate.com.

Rose Uniacke, interior designer

My indulgence is going to my favourite art shop, Green & Stone, now on Fulham Road. It has every pen, pencil and paper you could want. I’ve been going ever since I moved to London in 1981 and it’s still such a treat. 251-253 Fulham Road, London SW3 (020-7352 0837; greenandstone.com).

See also

Advertisement
Loading