it may seem contradictory but e-commerce is how analog toolmakers are marketing their anti-digital products

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From fountain pens and high-end pencils to unique paper notebooks, analog writing tools have legions of fans, in spite of — or maybe because of — the fact that we’re living in a primarily digital world.

It’s precisely the physicality of analog tools that makes them appealing to many people immersed in a digital reality. They’re grounding and real in a world that has become increasingly ephemeral.

“In this age of nearly infinite digital connectivity, analog devices are still the go-to for many,” observed Chris Rothe, executive director of Write Notepads & Co.

“This certainly isn’t a gimmick or fad,” he told the E-Commerce Times. Individuals ranging from those who have been immersed in paper their whole lives to younger generations who’ve been born with smart devices in their hands still gravitate toward high-quality paper goods.”

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Tactile and Functional

The tactile nature of analog stationery tools, in particular, makes them appealing to many people.

“Writing with pencils is a tactile experience that creates a completely different user experience when compared to digital tools,” said Nick Sese, account services manager at Blackwing, which markets high-end pencils, notebooks, and other stationery products.

“For example, drawing with your finger on a tablet doesn’t have the same impact as writing pencil to paper,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

In addition to their feel, analog tools serve some purposes that digital tools cannot.

“From a functional standpoint, few if any digital devices can truly replicate the processes involved in formulating an idea and physically writing it down or drawing it out,” said Rothe. “I don’t see paper notebooks going away anytime in the future.”

We don’t always have access to electricity and WiFi, after all, and we might simply prefer writing down information and ideas in a pocket notebook to pulling out a cellphone or tablet.

“For me, it’s hard to replace a pen or pencil and paper,” said Cody Martin, founder of Option Gray, which markets a variety of artisanal stationery tools and other gear.

“I carry a notebook and writing utensil every single day,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Digital Marketing of Analog Tools

Most businesses that make and sell analog stationery tools use online and other digital methods to reach their customers and build their market. There’s no contradiction between making and selling analog writing tools and marketing them digitally, in other words.

In fact, there’s a free-flowing symbiosis between the digital and analog worlds when…