Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Find a pen that you love drawing and writing with

A beautiful, well weighted pen that makes your sketches and scratchings look like the kind of thing found in the notepads of architects (rather than on the walls of a Mexican prison) is an inspiring tool to have in your kit-bag.

In addition to drawing envious glances from clients and designers alike, it will increase your desire to sketch and take notes.

Getting the pen moving early and freely circumvents one of the biggest barriers to completing a design... starting.


  1. Great tip!

    It took me 2-3 years to settle on the right pen. I'm using a Sakura Micron .45mm black marker. It's waterproof, fadeproof, acid-free archival ink. It doesn't smudge, it dries fast, and the tip withstands furious writting without wearing down.

    Jason R.

  2. At the moment I'm using Bic Griprollers. The guys at Stamford Interactive put me onto them. Not glamorous, but safe to lose.


  3. Well I favour the Lamy 2000 fountain pen. It is a beautiful piece of Bauhaus inspired minimalist modern art. It was designed in 1966 and - with a fiberglass body and platinum plated gold nib - was quite ahead of it's time. They are still in production today. It isn't safe to loose (I have lost and found it once so far). I load it with a mix of black and brown ink which gives a lovely vintage look to my somewhat shaky sketches. It leaks when I fly and the ink smudges occasionally, but I forgive it... as you would a mistress who farts in the bed.

  4. I can't believe you said "fart"!

  5. I'm using a PilotG-2 + Mont Blanc refill... and there's no going back. Very smooth.

    (Just google "pilot mont blanc" and check out the intstructables link)

    They run out quite quickly but that's ok because I bought 70 refills :)

  6. I recommend the Sharpie Pen. http://www.amazon.com/Sharpie-Fine-Point-Black-Green/dp/B001MAG5CO They are durable, have a fine point, and the ink is dark, non-smudging, and doesn't bleed through. The feel is great. And since they are cheap, it's not such a big deal when people find out they like them too and they disappear from your desk. If I'm wearing pants I have one of these in the pocket.

  7. I'll have to try the Sharpie. My current addiction is Artline Ergoline 0.4's:


    Just lovely.

  8. I worked at an Architecture & Design library a couple of years ago, and it totally changed my approach to writing and sketching.

    I started copying the architecture students and used the classic Staedtler liners (0.2, 0.3), but I've found the tips wear out too quickly for multi-purpose use (They're okay if you *just* want to sketch).

    I've since switched to Uniball Signo (0.7) ballpoints which actually give just about the same feel with extra durability and lower cost!

  9. UPDATE: I misplaced by beloved Lamy 2000 three months ago and it is only now that I have moved through the denial phase and can admit I have lost it for good : (

  10. I love pencils as well, for mindmaps (or other things where you really need to decide to place things elsewhere) ..

    A teacher at my IxD school once said to "write with a pencil, draw with a pen"

    The idea is that when writing, you actually may want to 'throw away' stuff but with drawings, you need a record of your 'mistakes' or 'alternative decisions'.. For presenting design decisions or preventing yourself from going down a path you ended up walking back along, before ..

    Perhaps I need to find 'my pen' .. But I like changes and thus I like grabbing whatever is at hand .. Because maybe a different pen (or colour?!) sets a different mood and forces to think differently?

  11. Photomatt, great philosophy. Thanks for sharing with us all.

  12. Mine is a zebra telescopic pen :) http://www.zebrapen.com/products/pen/telescopic-0?c=29
    Almost perfect situation for me, since you can only get the older versions here in Singapore of which the paint easily chips off.

    BTW this whole male obsession with pens.., what would Freud say about it?
    Lets change the subject back to farting mistresses!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.