The Secret Life of the Pencil

World, Books –

Authors ALEX HAMMOND and MIKE TINNEY produce beautiful visuals of the pencils used by creative personalities

Stephen Wiltshire, Architectural Artist
Sir Norman Foster, Architect


Peter Jensen, Fashion Designer


Tom Dixon, Furniture Designer


Sophie Conran, Interior Designer


Left: Nigel Parkinson, Cartoonist; Right: Sir Peter Blake, Artist


Left: Rory McIlroy, Golfer; Right: Kengo Kuma, Architect


Left: Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, Architect; Right: Glenn Brown, Artist


Left: Sir Anish Kapoor, Sculptor; Right: Philippe Starck, Designer


Left: Christian Louboutin, Designer; Right: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Musician


About the Book 


The Secret Life of the Pencil project came about after co-founders Alex Hammond and Mike Tinney had a casual discussion about the changing creative scenes in which they both worked. They found they shared a concern that, despite the staggering technological advances in their respective elds of industrial design and photography, this could sometimes be to the detriment of creativity in its purest form. Would the touchscreen generation ever feel the pleasure of a freshly sharpened pencil or the frustration of a shattered lead?

In response, they decided to celebrate the often-overlooked pencil by photographing examples belonging to creatives at the highest level of their professions. By making pencil portraits, they sought to capture these tools in all their simplistic beauty…

About the authors

Alex Hammond is a designer specialising in product and packaging. He also applies his art and engineering background to the wider design field, producing branding, photography and CG visualisations.

Mike Tinney is a British-born still life and documentary photographer. His clients include Casio, Dior, Gucci, Haagen Dazs, Jameson, Nike and Ted Baker.


The Secret Life of the Pencil is available at Books Kinokunya Singapore.

Online price S$19.80

All visuals courtesy of authors Alex Hammond and Mike Tinney, and publisher Laurence King. Top photograph: Asif Khan, Architect

Scroll to Top