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Perfetto Pencils Accessory with book – March 4, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"From the vintage-influenced packaging to the 12 double-sided writing instruments inside, the Perfetto Pencils make any act of drawing or writing an elegant experience."-Print Magazine

About the Author

Louise Fili is director of Louise Fili Ltd, a New York-based design studio specializing in logo, package, restaurant, and book design. Formerly senior designer for Herb Lubalin, Louise Fili was art director of Pantheon Books from 1978 to 1989, where she designed close to 2000 book jackets. Fili has taught and lectured on graphic design and typography, and her work is in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, the Cooper Hewitt Museum, and the Bibliothèque Nationale. She is a member of the Art Directors Hall of Fame, and received the medal of lifetime achievement from the AIGA.

Fili is the author of Elegantissima, published by Princeton Architectural Press. She has also written The Civilized Shopper's Guide to Florence and co-authored Italianissimo. With her husband, the design historian Steven Heller, she is co-author of Italian Art Deco, British Modern, Dutch Moderne, Streamline, French Modern, Deco España, German Modern, Design Connoisseur, Counter Culture, Typology, Stylepedia, Euro Deco, Scripts, and Shadow Type.
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Product Details

  • Accessory
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; Pen edition (March 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616892439
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616892432
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jesse Kornbluth on March 5, 2014
Format: Accessory
Pencils?

But not any old pencils.

These are pencils designed by Louise Fili. You may not know her name, but there is no way you’ve missed her work — she defines style in logos for restaurants, high-end food products and more. Think Williams-Sonoma, Sarabeth’s, Tiffany & Co., Paperless Post. For a decade, she designed the covers of Pantheon Books. She’s in the Art Directors Hall of Fame.

Her signature is design that updates the classics of an earlier period. At 16, she made her first trip to Italy; the impression never faded. Her Perfetto pencil case and pencils makes me think of the Italy of "The Conformist." It’s very clean, very precise, very bold design: a sturdy case, with twelve double-sided, two-color pencils.

Let her explain:

"We love our collection of 1930s Italian pencil boxes. Our most preferred are the two-color, double-sided pencils, commonly in red and blue, for teachers to correct homework. (“Errore lieve, segno rosso; errore grave, segno blu”: red for a minor infringement, blue for a serious offense.) When Princeton Architectural Press invited us to come up with a line of gift products, the two-tone pencils seemed perfect — thus the name. Steering clear of blue, our least favorite color, we opted for our signature red and black. No eraser, by the way. Who makes errori?"

This is just the sort of present I love. Modest price, high style, actual utility. A gift when there’s no real occasion. A stocking stuffer. An object to display on the mantel. In a world of vulgar design and banal products, a spirit lifter, a friendship enhancer, a thoughtful gesture. They’re just Good Things, and, like all Good Things, they make the owner look good.
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Format: Accessory
I read about these pencils on the NYRB blog and eagerly bought them, hoping they would be useful as well as elegant....HOWEVER:

not only are they not made in Italy, where they could easily have been made, but Taiwan, much much better than being made in China please believe me, but they are terrible pencils sadly. The best quality of this product is the box. I ADORE Miss. Fili and her works but someone should have spot checked this product, unless I have a box of lemons? The red colour is a weak as water while the black is good and strong and most useful but the red end of the pencils falls off after every sharpening. Its is beyond annoying! I use a very excellent Kum German wooden sharpener and have never had any problems sharpening any of the pencils I use with it, but the red ends of these fall off instantly no matter what I do...

I had high hopes for these lovely pencils but again as I've said, unless I'm the only one to get the box full of lemons I'd hesitate before buying. Sorry but thats just been my experience sadly...
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Format: Accessory
If you love pencils, vintage or otherwise, you won't believe these outstanding "matite," red-and-black beauties in a sturdy and gift-worthy display box, lovingly designed by Louise Fili (whose product designs you surely know even if the name isn't familiar). The leads are just right for writing and drawing, the red slightly softer than the black, so you can create and edit with the same implement. Just reaching for and opening the box brings a slight shiver of excitement, let alone scribbling away with these soft stunners. I've given several sets as presents, and everybody loves them; at amazon's discounted price, these are almost too good to be true: simultaneously practical and beautiful, nostalgic and crisply contemporary, and elegant far beyond their modest cost.
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Format: Accessory
I am a fan of Louise Fili's design work (I love her book, Elegantissima) so of course I was excited about trying out her Perfetto Pencils...they do not disappoint...the packaging is so handsome that I hesitated to open them! Not only is the design of the box beautiful but also the production and feel of the box and the matte finish of the printing all adds up to a lovely "object" which I would be pleased to receive as a gift (or give as a gift).
Inside, the pencils are arranged crisply; a graphic treat to behold. Eventually I had to break the seal and try the pencils out. The Perfetto Pencils are labeled No. 2, so I knew what that meant for a graphite pencil but wasn't sure how that would translate for the red end of the pencils. It turns out that the red is deliciously soft (softer than I would have expected from a No. 2) and has a beautiful creamy texture when used, and a lovely red color.
My only disappointment (and it is minor!) is that after sharpening it a few times all the pencils did not match up "perfectly" and once they are unwrapped the positioning of the pencils within their box shifts (of course!) so they are no longer perfectly aligned in the box. I think I will have to buy a box just to admire in addition to the one I am using and enjoying!
I hope Louise Fili decides to expand into other areas of product design so that she becomes a "brand." There is really no one else who translates historical Italian source material like she does.
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Format: Accessory Verified Purchase
PERFETTO…..PERFECTO! I have one unopened box displayed on my desk, maintaining its perfectly elegant Louise Fili signature red,black & white design. Another box is opened, & i use the them to write letters, yes letters, in pencil. I have given at least 10 other boxes as gifts to friends who love elegant type & design, & who also love Louise Fili. Its always such a thrill to be in a bookshop or a fine food store & suddenly be visually drawn in by a cover or a label that you recognize immediately as Louise's. She really is the grande dame of design. I treasure this packaging! PERFETTO. Brava, Louise Fili.
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