‘The Secret Life of the Pencil’ project by Mike Tinney and Alex Hammond


Metro is delighted to be involved in a unique photographic project in celebration of the humble pencil.  ‘The Secret Life of the Pencil’ by creative design and photographic team Mike Tinney and Alex Hammond takes an inspired look beyond the obvious exterior of the modest stylus.

The pleasure of a freshly sharpened pencil or frustration of a shattered lead could be something the touch-screen generation of today will never experience.  This photographic project seeks to savour the use of pencils – documenting them in stunning detail, showing the secrets of their use and revealing an insight into their users: professionals who have defined themselves and their craft with its use.

This collection of some sixty beautifully detailed and crafted pencil images portray this simple but iconic item with contributions from artists, photographers, designers and actors including Paul Smith, Stephen Fry, Sir James Dyson, Christopher Reid and Nick Park amongst many others.  The images link back to some of the 20th and 21st centuries’ greatest illustrations, buildings, artworks, photographs, products, make-up designs, graphics, novels, poems, fashion, cartoons and even films.

Metro has produced 15 framed limited edition prints for the online charity auction which opens on 19th May in support of Children in Crisis, plus over 50 exhibition prints produced on a variety of medium including metallic papers, Giclée papers, prints to aluminium using our Direct to Media printer, C type matt prints and prints reverse Perspex mounted to aluminium.

Additionally prints will be available to buy through the Paul Smith flagship shop in Oxford Street, made possible utilising Metro’s plug-in print sales tool.

Project launch & Exhibition: 19th May – 3rd June 2015
Paul Smith Store, No. 9 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BL.

London Charity Auction Powered by Paddle8 Online Auction House
From 6pm 19th May 2015 – 8:30pm 3rd June 2015

For more information about The Secret Life of the Pencil
For details of the charity auction

Images © Alex Hammond/Mike Tinney
1. William Boyd
2. Sir James Dyson
3. Tom Dixon