The Black Pencil
Leo Burnett grew up watching his father lay out ads for the store on the dining room table. The shopkeeper would use ‘big pieces of wrapping paper a big black pencil and a yardstick,’ Burnett recalled. This was how Leo discovered the big black pencils he used throughout his career – and which the agency has adopted as part of its brand identity.
It's said that Leo Burnett believed that big ideas come out of big pencils.
The big black pencils are now a part of the company culture he created, just like the apples that grace the reception desks.