This is admittedly very random, but I’ve been going back and forth on doing a post about this for a while and I figured it couldn’t hurt. And I really wanted to talk about this. I love books, I love to write, and I love good paper/notebooks. So it’s only natural that I should have pen preferences as well, right?
I’m no expert when it comes to writing instruments, but I am particular about what I use. I still write notes on paper before beginning any major piece (be it a blog post or a school paper) and I also do write in a journal occasionally. For those things, I have two different types of pens: the “workhorses” and my “fancy pens.” Let’s start by having a look at my utilitarian babies:
These are the pens that I use for day-to-day writing. They’re what I carry in my bag and use to take notes when I have to. Before I actually start talking about the pens, allow me to apologise for the crappy photo quality. I had to use a lightbox because of the incessant rains and I am also not used to photographing pens. (Funnily enough they behave quite differently from makeup under a camera lens.) Ok, so these are the black pens that I use on a daily basis. Up top is my LAMY Rollerball. I’m fairly certain that this writes with a 0.7 mm point, which is a bit thick for my taste but the pretty matte black exterior of the pen is too sexy to give up. When I eventually run out of ink I can buy a refill.
The second pen is a Uniball Vision Needle with a 0.5 mm point. It is also a rollerball (it makes use of water-based ink as opposed to ballpoint pens which use oil-based ink) and it writes like a dream for such an affordable pen. I make it a point to have two of these in my life at all times (because it’s the pen I lend to people when they ask to borrow one and you know how some people just never return pens…). For colour, I like these MUJI Gel Pens. I don’t always write in my planner or take notes, but when I do I like to colour code. They come in thinner and thicker points, but of course I went for the 0.5 mm. I also have a black one because it is a little more precise than the Uniball Vision Needle, so if I want to “draw” anything (I really can’t draw so I don’t know if you could really call it that), I like to use this instead. Also from MUJI, I have some Felt Tip pens. These are double-sided and they come in many more colours, but I chose the light pink and blue to go with my gel pens. Writing samples. Again, sorry about the funky photo quality… hehe.
Le Fancy Pens
Here’s where it gets exciting, guys! At least for me, haha. Fountain pens entered my life fairly recently and they are everything. I used to associate fountain pens with being old and stuck up, but that was when the only ones I had ever seen were the hoity-toity Mont Blancs and bulky, cheap Parker ones. After seeing them on other blogs and also dipping my feet into calligraphy a little bit, I approached them from the ink and nib perspective instead and found them much more interesting. These Platinum Preppys were not my first FPs, but they are what most people suggest that FP newbies start out with. The Japanese pens are available at Scribe for around 180 Php each (cheap by FP standards!) and they come in fun colours as well as your standard black. There are several nib widths to choose from, and I have the 0.3 and 0.2 mm.
For such an affordable pen, the Preppy writes nice and smooth — forgive me if I don’t know actual fountain pen lingo just yet, but yes if you’re transitioning form regular pens to FPs, the Preppys shouldn’t give you a hard time. Also, if you happen to lose them, it’s not a huge heartache.
And finally: here are my beloved LAMY fountain pens. My very first FP was the bright yellow Safari that Greg (le boyfriend) got me for my birthday. The Vista (essentially a transparent Safari) is a recent acquisition. I bought it because I wanted to try out different nibs and inks.
Like the Platinum Preppys, LAMY is a good brand to look at if you’re just getting into the world of fountain pens. They’re sturdy, no-nonsense pens that start at prices that wont give you a heart attack. They’re not so fancy that I’m afraid to use them for day-to-day things, but they definitely feel a lot more special than any regular old rollerball.
I have an Extra Fine nib on my yellow Safari at the moment. It’s a black nib (normal ones are silver in colour) and I think it contrasts nicely against the bright yellow. On my Vista, I have a 1.1 italic nib and I was using LAMY blue when I took these photos, but I’ve since switched the cartridge out for a converter and Noodler’s Walnut ink. Writing samples again. Love my 1.1 italic nib!
I don’t think I will ever cross over into crazy-expensive fountain pen territory and if I do add to my humble collection, it will be to explore different inks and nibs and not to show off the fact that the instrument in my hand cost roughly the same as some people’s monthly salary… but then one should never say never. This fountain pen business is extremely interesting and I love how merely having one in your hand can instantly make you feel so fancy.
Are you guys particular about the writing instruments you use? :)