5 perfect pencils for pro designers

Whatever your design discipline, every designer needs a decent pencil – here are 5 great ones.

Whether you're sketching out a wireframe, creating a rough draft of an illustration or just doodling for inspiration, you're going to need a solid, reliable set of pencils. Luckily, these are not the most expensive items in the designer's toolkit so you can afford to try out a few different brands in your search for the perfect pencil.
Here we've gathered together five great choices to get you started, then why not pair up your pencil with one of thesedesigner notebooks to die for?

01. Rotring Rapid Pro Drafting Pencil

Rotring Rapid Pro Drafting Pencil
Rotring drafting pencil is firmly for the pros
  • Best for: Graphic design and typography
This beautiful, metal drafting pencil is truly one for the pros. It features a hexagonal body and a circular cross-hatch metal grip. The cushion point mechanism allows the sliding sleeve to give slightly under pressure to reduce lead breakage while writing. The pencil includes a clip and eraser under the cap. A fantastic mechanical pencil suited for layouts and typography.

02. Faber-Castell Grip 2011 Pencil

Faber-Castell Grip Mechanical Pencil
Faber-Castell mechanical pencil's raised rubber dots give superb grip and therefore precision
  • Best for: Graphic design and typography
The Faber-Castell Grip Mechanical Pencil has won several design awards and has become deservedly popular. This wonderful pencil feels second-nature thanks to the perfect-sized triangular barrel covered in raised rubber dots which allow for firm and comfortable grip. Furthermore, the pencil comes with a handy extra long twisting eraser and 0.7mm HB lead.

03. Derwent

Derwent pencils
Derwent pencils are perfect for sketching
  • Best for: Sketching
The Cumberland Pencil Company has been making pencils since 1832, and it shows in the quality of its Derwent brand. These pencils, which are sold individually, make smooth, easy lines on the paper, making them ideal for bold line drawings and free style sketches.

04. Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencil

Albrecht Dürer watercolor pencils
Albrecht Dürer pencils are made using high-quality materials
  • Best for: Illustration
This set is named after the famous German artist Albrecht Dürer, who created beautiful illustrations and paintings in watercolor. These are very carefully made using only the highest quality materials, including vibrant pigments, a unique binder medium, and with over 100 years of fade resistance.
These pencils are perfect for both drawing and painting techniques. They come in Tin Sets of 12, 24, 60, and a full range of 120 watercolor pencils, these sets are ideal for any artist.

05. Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencil

Prismacolor's thick leads resist breakage so you can really go for it!
  • Best for: Illustration
This pencil set is suited for students and entry level artists. Soft, thick cores create a smooth colour laydown for superior blending and shading. A true art medium with thick, soft leads containing brilliant permanent pigments that are smooth, water resistant and lightfast.
Colours are easily blended on all art surfaces to form an infinite variety of hues and shades. Their thick leads resist breakage so you may get as dramatic as you dare.

And have you considered...?

Graphite powder
Graphite powder is a creative alternative to the trusty pencil
As an alternative to using a pencil for sketching and illustration, have you considered using graphite powder? The Creatacolor Charcoal Powder is made using a special deep-firing method to produce a dense, rich charcoal. Develop large-scale drawings or mix with water and a binding agent for additional tonal effects.
The graphite powder produces luminous light and dark shades of gray, it slides easily, smudges, blends, rubs off like chalk. Fixative must be used on the final artwork and is suitable for wet or dry techniques on paper or canvas. Recent London graduate Kelvin Okafor is an avid user of the product, and hisportfolio of drawings is spectacular.


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