Logo Design Tools – Analog

The implements I use on a daily basis.
As I’m sure you’re aware, I have a collection of tools that I take with me wherever I go. Pens, pencils, markers, and various other things that keep me organized and allow me to draw whatever and wherever I’m at. Now, don’t fool yourself into thinking you need all of these to get to the point where I’m at. I simply started with #2 pencils and paper and those are tools I still use today!

Tools to Draw With

Dixon Ticonderoga Wood Cased #2 Pencils

The staple in every school across America. If you don’t have a box of these yet, buy one. I have used these for drawing since I can remember. With great lead and an excellent eraser, you can’t get started much better at an excellent price.

  • Sidenote- you will need a pencil sharpener as these come unsharpened. You don’t need anything fancy. I typically use a sharpener as simple as this pencil sharpener over a trash can.
  • If you want something more self-contained, go with the Staedtler Double-hole tub sharpener, which can do both pencils and lead.

Staedtler Lead Holder and Lead (2H, 2B, Red)

When you’re ready to level-up your game, it’s time to upgrade from the standard pencil to a lead holder. Take your standard pencil, remove everything but the lead, then place it in a utensil that allows you to extend the lead out so all you see as you draw is the lead and the paper. That’s what these are all about. I use two of these on a daily basis. One holds 2H lead for initial light sketching, then other has softer 2B lead for laying down darker lines for drawing. I also recommend purchasing either the red lead or mix pack containing red, blue, and HB (medium hardness) leads for marking up your sketches.

Staedtler Rotary Action Lead Pointer

Just like a normal pencil, you’ll obviously need a way to sharpen your lead. To use it, draw the lead out of the holder about an inch. In the lid of the sharpener, there are two small holes used to measure out the lead – one for a very fine point for small hairlines, and one for a duller point for regular drawing. Insert the lead into the desired hole. When the lead meets the bottom of the hole, click down on the top of the lead holder to open the jaws of the lead holder and push the holder down until it meets the cap of the sharpener. You now have the perfect length to sharpen the lead. Insert the lead into the larger hole (the part that extrudes up from the lid), hold the sharpener by the base in one hand, and the other hand hold the lead holder and the lid of the sharpener, then spin the lid and sharpener while you hold the base still. Once sharp, draw out the lead a little more so you can easily see the lead touch the paper without your hand in the way.

Sharpie Stainless Steel Pen

If you like Sharpie Pens (try them out if you haven’t) you’ll love this nicer version. I just got one of these for Christmas this last year and I can’t put it down. I use it daily for sketching thumbnails, writing notes, and anything else that requires a writing utensil.

Sakura Pigma Pen Sets (Microns and Graphic)

When you’re finished drawing, and it’s time to create a more permanent version. This will make it easier for you to trace. These pens are also great for drawing if you feel like skipping the pencil (such as for thumbnail sketches). The 6-Piece Set contains everything you need for outlining your drawings. As I was working on them, I found that I needed pens with a larger tip for filling, which is why I also purchased the Graphic Set. This set contains a bullet-tipped pen and two different sized chisel tips. Between these two packs, you should be able to draw and ink anything to your heart’s content. I have found these pens to contain the best ink in my opinion for two reasons: First, these pens dry fast. As you’re drawing, you want the ink to dry as fast because you can easily smear wet ink, which is not as easy to get rid of as pencil – you can’t just erase it. Second, I have yet to see this ink bleed through the pages of my Moleskins allowing me to draw on both sides of each sheet.

Staedtler Eraser

For those time you need to really erase something.

Pentel Click Eraser

There are so many of options for these out there. I use the Pentel because I have had it since high school and haven’t needed to buy a new one.

Eraser Shield

I inherited mine from my dad, but you can easily find these just about anywhere. They’re great for avoiding over-erasing things you don’t want to. I keep mine in the pocket of my Moleskine sketchbook.

Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens Hard and Soft

These are great calligraphy pens. If you have never used anything like a brush pen before, they do take some thoughtful practice. The tips on these pens are very forgiving and lend themselves for such practice as they will not deteriorate nearly as fast as the next two types in the list.

Tombow Dual Brush Pens (Color and Grayscale)

One of the staples in most hand lettering artist’s arsenal. As the name suggests, there are two tips: a brush tip, and a rounded bullet tip. The brush tips do start to go bad and start looking rough over time, but work great when in good condition. I use these for calligraphy and hand lettering inspiration.

Sharpie Brush Markers

These were the first markers I bought that have a brush-tip. Like the Tombow Dual Brush Pens, the tips on these can deteriorate at a rapid rate if you’re using them roughly, so take advantage of them when they are in good condition.

Sharpie Chisel Tip Permanent Marker

I like to use these when I’m experimenting with different lettering styles. The chisel tip easily lends itself to create drastically different thick and thin lines.

Crayola Markers

The ones you used growing up. There’s a bit of a revival of these markers in the hand lettering and calligraphy fields. Once you get the feel for how to go from thick to thin strokes, you’ll have a new option for creating letters. They’re also just great to draw with.

Alvin Ruler with Non-Skid Cork Back – 12 Inches

Not only does the cork backing help the ruler from moving so much, but it also raises the ruler off of the drawing surface You’ll find is extremely important when you’re using it with Microns as these pens have a tip that extends out from the metal and can mark on rulers that are flat on the surface, then the ink either gets on your hands, or on your drawing.

Drafting Compass

I inherited mine from my dad, so it’s a bit different, but look for one that allows you to fine-tune the size. It’s a nice feature when you want to be precise. Staedtler Eraser

What to Draw On

20lb bond paper

Yes, just your standard computer printer paper. If you’re just getting started, you don’t need anything fancy, just paper to draw on. You can easily get this stuff at any office supply store. It’s cheap and you can start with a fresh sheet whenever you need to. One reason why I use this paper is that it is slightly translucent so you can stack a sheet on top of your drawing to tracing purposes.

Moleskine Evernote Sketchbook

At the time of writing this, I’m about to buy another one of these. These rugged sketchbooks are great. Moleskine has a lot of options to choose from for sketchbooks, but there are two features that attracted me to this one in particular: First was the dot grid that provides great guidance for drawing without being in the way. You get straight lines, and you can easily create symmetry using the dots. Second is the 3-month subscription to Evernote Prime. I’ll discuss this a little later, but I use Evernote on a daily basis for note-taking and general writing. The folio pocket is great to hold things like your eraser shield, and the embossed cover and bright green elastic strap strap and bookmark are great little characteristics as well. One trick I’ll provide for you: Use the second to last page as a place to test pens you would like to use in the sketchbook. It’s a great way to see if the pen will bleed through to other pages. I have found quite a few pens like to bleed through as I’m creating solid lines of ink.

Moleskine Cahier Journal, Pocket, Plain (Set of 3)

These little guys are great for sketching on the go. You never know when inspiration is going to hit you, so if you aren’t able to cary all of your utensils, at least bring a pen and one of these that you can easily put in your back pocket. The last 16 pages are perforated for tearing out if you need to write something down and hand it off to someone.

9” x 12” Canson Marker Paper (or other tracing paper)

The size is perfect for tracing over drawings on letter-sized paper. I use the marker paper for it’s ability to hold ink without bleeding through to the drawing I’m tracing.

Extras

Molskine Folio Professional Portfolio A4

Great for holding those loose drawings that aren’t in your sketchbook. The A4 size can hold both letter-sized paper and the 9” x 12” paper for tracing listed above and is just the right size to throw in your travel bag

Pencil Case

I currently use one I have had since middle school. This one is really nice because it has a lot of options of holding your utensils. Of course, you might prefer a different design or size. You could also go with a pencil wrap. It’s a great option that also keeps your items neatly organized.

Huion A4 Tracing Light Pad or Artograph Light Pad

I haven’t purchased one yet, but hope to soon. They make tracing so much easier. Both have various sizes, but the Huion is a bit cheaper and have a few power options (standard plug-in, usb, or rechargeable battery). If you do a lot of tracing during your process, consider getting one.

Disclaimer: These links are connected to my Amazon Affiliate account. If you click through and purchase from them, I will receive a small compensation.
What tools do you use? If you want other suggestions let me know through my Contact Page.

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