I tried to make these pencils in 2012, but they came back from the pencil factory all wrong. They were brown, with gold ferules and set in a default font. Two years later, the idea kept coming back to me, so I went back to the pencil factory and we tried again.
The text is set in a font called Castledown, designed by The Entente; it was commissioned by a primary school and is intended to help young children read and write. Using it seemed apt here.
These words are part Leonardo da Vinci, part Simpsons; the idea that for most of us the problem isn’t that we aim too high and fail - it’s the opposite - that we aim too low and succeed. In an episode of The Simpsons, Lenny says; "Everyone makes mistakes, that's why pencils have erasers". This is not to make excuses for people; it’s just a simple reminder for your desk and writing hand to be less hard on yourself when you do make mistakes.