The following is a submission from a designer whose wish was to remain anonymous. Some people don’t want fame and glory, and that’s alright with us. They’re the real heroes.
You’re not a true designer if you don’t have recurring dreams about writing instruments.
Pens. Pencils. Permanent Markers. Dry erase markers. Doesn’t matter.
Some dreams are good.
I find my favorite pen that I had assumed lost in my jacket pocket.
A package arrives addressed to me. It’s 5 boxes of brand new pens to stock my desk drawer.
A catalog for Staples arrives. It’s full of “Buy One Get 10 Free” coupons for my favorite pen.
Some are more detailed.
I show up to work and my desk is perfectly clean and organized. Each of my favorite pens are neatly arranged in ascending order of weight. When there are two of the same weight, they are sub-arranged by brand in alphabetical order. When there are multiple of the same weight by the same brand, they are then arranged by instrument height (shortest to tallest). I sit down at my desk, admire the beauty of my workspace, and proceed to choose my favorite pen, shiny as the day it entered my life, and begin to write in beautiful, perfectly accentuated script as though I was Shakespeare himself.
Some dreams are bad.
I have ink on my hands.
I am trying to write down something important but I’ve run out of ink.
Or, even worse, there’s enough ink to begin a sentence, but runs out mid-word, stranding my poor sentence halfway between reality and the empty void, letters half-etched into paper by a dead stylus. I wake up with the scratching of empty ball point on paper ringing in my ears.
My boss asks for something to write with, and I proudly hand over my prized pen, expecting admiration and perhaps a small round of applause and a salary raise for having such good taste. Instead of my prized pen, I hand her a bright purple washable marker for children. She frowns, then points and laughs me out of the conference room.
In more rare instances, I find myself back in college working on the final revision for a final critique that is staged to catapult me into a successful career. I am adding the delicate finishing touches. I sneeze. My hand jolts and my pen drags a deep, irreversible deathblow to my future.
Fellow Sufferers, I Feel Your Pain
I sit here and type so that those with stories like mine may not go unnoticed, like the poor erasable pens of the early 2000s.
Architects, designers, and other pen-enthusiasts: your dreams, your nightmares, your fears, and your anxieties are not unique to you. You are not alone.
Let us stand together in solidarity as we pursue a future of confidence, clarity, and the best that the writing industry has to offer us.
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