Something to write home about19 Dec 12 02:35PM EST |
If I had been born sixty years earlier, a matronly and god fearing teacher would have rapped my knuckles with a ruler for picking up a pen with my left hand. Fortunately, I was born in 1985 and was free to settle into the comforts of being left handed, unchallenged.
This was all good and fine until I developed an all-consuming love of stationery, in particular, the inkiest of pens. It is strangely satisfying to write with such an instrument. Words will fly across the page with ease, letters will loop beautifully and the ink will add a dramatic flair to my page.
There is one dark blip in my love affair with such pens - left-handed compatibility. Often the ink from a pen will find a way to slide across the paper, rendering words incomprehensible. That or the sneaky ink will find its way along the side of my hand, leaving oddly blotched ink spots on my skin, which will then rub onto my clothes and other unassuming places, like my temples, an ear, or perhaps the side of my mouth.
Left-handed stationery issues are nothing new. There is the dreaded ring-binder, regular scissors, the perils of white-out and of course, spiral bound books. Such problems wouldn't be an issue if I stuck to standard biros, wrote in a slow and orderly fashion, or decided to shop at stores like Ned Flanders 'Leftorium'. Then life would dull, filled with boring books, unsexy biros and perhaps some mail ordered lefty scissors.
When it comes to purchasing the humble inky pen there are a few factors to consider. How quickly does the ink dry on the paper? Is it fast enough for my hand to remain un-inked? How does the ink set into the paper? Does it stain through to the other side? Is there a variety of colours available? How does it sit in my hand? And how long before my treasured pen gives up and dies?
After hours spent lurking around stationery stores furiously scribbling my name on test paper, multiple dresses ruined and trial, trial and error – below are a few findings for inky-loving lefties:
- Artline 200 Fine 0.4 – Fitting perfectly in the hand it draws a lovely thin line, is not excessively inky and dries fast. On the downside it could have a longer life and faintly seeps through to the other side of the page.
- Bruce 1.0 (from Typo) – This is a beast of a pen. It’s JUST SO INKY in the best possible way. It would be amazing for a right-hander and I wish I could use it with ease as it’s such a joy to write with. Unfortunately it leaves an incomprehensible trail of nonsense on the page and lashings of ink on the hand. It’s impossible for so much ink to dry fast enough.
- The Uniball Jetstream 101 – Satisfying to write with, it fits easily in the hand, has the right amount of ink and best of all, it is fast drying. Tick, tick, tick!
- Pilot Hi-Tec-C Gel Ink pens – Fast drying ink and a great range of colours but unfortunately this has the shortest of lives. It has a knack for running out at the worse moments.
- Uniball Signo 207 – one of the best inky pens out there in my opinion. Available in a range of colours, fast drying ink and long lasting. Maybe a little bulky to hold, perhaps good for a ‘man’ hand.
- Rhodia paper – for inky pens this paper is the best I’ve come across. The paper is nice and thick and ink sets wonderfully.
So there it is, a stationery-obsessed rant about the pens. Have you come across a good inky pen that I haven’t mentioned? Is there a lefty-friendly purchase that has changed your life?