I got an email last night that had some interesting and welcome news — the Palomino pencil got a brand refresh! At least the drawing pencils did. Just look at this:
The “Palomino” brand has gotten a lot of play since the restarted Blackwings have been co-branded with the little California horse, and then later, a few other Pencils.com pencils shed their “California Republic” brand to join up under the Palomino name.
The actual Palomino pencil, however?
It hasn’t changed much at all. In some respects, that’s a good thing — it’s a really great pencil as it is. Formerly the high end house brand offering from Pencils.com (before the Palomino Blackwing came along), it’s still the best utility pencil they offer. When I worked there, but briefly, the mixed-grade Palominos were lauded by art-school professors and drawing professionals all over the west coast.
The new design direction
This redesign makes logical sense when you see some of the newcomers to the Palomino brand. Here are some of the changes to this pencil:
- The signature orange color (though I love, LOVE the blue alternates) has been updated a bit is still the same (See Charles Berolzheimer’s comment below — I swear that orange looks different than the old model). I haven’t seen it in person yet, but from the photos online, it looks like there’s a bit more yellow in the orange to match the spine of the Palomino-branded notebooks. Previously, the pencils’ orange were a bit more red.
- It’s now capped by a black tip bordered by a white stripe, calling to mind a Mars Lumograph pencil by Staedtler.
- The labeling is a bit higher contrast, with the core hardness written in white on the black tip, and the branding in black on the orange barrel. Gone are the days of the gold foil stamp!
These updates really give the pencil a European look and feel, and showcases it as a high quality pencil, without screaming it like a Blackwing. I really liked the gold foil on the old pencils, especially the little gold stripe near the tip, but I definitely get where they’re going. This makes for a much more cohesive brand.
No word on performance, though I would assume it performs as well as the old one. Which is fine with me!
(That reminds me: have I ever actually reviewed a Palomino on this blog? I don’t think so. I had one at the PencilThings blog. (While the site is still up, the blog been lost to the annals of time and poor database management.) Maybe it’s time to put them through their paces again.)
Pricing and availability
The Palomino is available for the same price as before; $12 for a dozen in the same grade or $10 for a mixed-grade set of eight, ranging from 2H to 6B (excluding 3B and 5B, but including an extra HB pencil).
I need to buy a new long point sharpener after my old one broke (don’t ask), so I may pick up a dozen of these, too. I want to check out the mixed grade drawing set, but I’m definitely not someone whose drawings are intricate enough to involve more than a single grade.
While I’m on the subject, the Pencils.com brand has itself been updated! The logo now cleverly turns the “il” from “pencils” into a pencil. The website was relaunched with a cleaner, responsive design, and the blog formerly known as “Studio 602” has been refined and rebranded as The Pencils Blog.
I leave you with this short video: Alexander from Pencils.com posted an “unboxing” video. Usually reserved for new electronics, usually Apple products, I love that it’s been applied to pencils: