When I recently resigned from my job, my colleagues thoughtfully gave me a going away present of a variety of stationery items, many of which I was not familiar. One company new to me was Papelote. Papelote is a Czech stationery company with a focus on environmentally conscious design. The Czech Republic has a long history of pencil making, in particular Koh-i-Noor Hardtmuth, and I’ve even had some very nice Avon eyeliner pencils that were made there. Perhaps it is not surprising then that the founders of this company wanted to, in their lofty words “revive the forgotten beauty of stationery and paper itself and to point out its role in our history, culture and in the present” (www.papelote.eu/pages/pribeh-papelote/).
The Papelote products I have are the pencil crayons and the pen holder/notebook strap. I’ll start with the pencil crayons. There are only five colours available, pink, yellow, green, blue, and purple. They are aesthetically very pleasing with exposed linden wood at the pointy end and half-dipped in the colour of the lead at the bottom. At the end of each pencil is a symbol to represent the colour; a heart for pink, an asterisk type sun for yellow, an arrow (go or grow?) for green, rain drops for blue, and a wiggly wave-length for purple. The colours are all pastel and student grade rather than artist grade. So, design-wise, I give them top marks but functionally not as high. They came with no packaging so they get bonus points for that.
The pen holder/notebook strap is a simple blue elastic band that fits the pencil crayons perfectly, snug but still easy to put the pencils in and out. The strap is designed to fit a A5 notebook (21.0 cm x 14.8 cm or 5 ½ inches x 8 inches), so it is a little tight for my Hebdo planner but is just right for the Stalogy notebook I was also given (stay tuned for a future blog). With this product, Papelote again stays true to their environmentally conscious ethic by keeping the packaging to a minimum. It will be interesting to see over time how the elastic holds up.
If Papelote products were people, they would be young and stylish with an idealistic bent but have not yet been tested by rigours of life.