Designer toolkit: The Lamy Safari fountain pen

A perfect modern, beginner fountain pen

Designer Toolkit is a new weekly series on Sketchbook B that will highlight an analog tool that designers should be using.


Why designers will love the Safari:

Colorful inks. The Lamy Safari is a fountain pen that uses ink cartridges or bottled ink. This means that you can write in an absurdly wide range of ink colors. Find a color that’s close to your favorite Pantone color.

Choose your thickness. The nibs on a Lamy Safari are interchangeable. This means that you can select a thickness that works for you. Like really thin pen strokes? Get an extra fine nib. Want to have some variation in stroke thickness? Buy a 1.1 mm caligraphy nib. Customize the writing experience to be exactly what you want.

Modern look. It’s not a “traditional” looking fountain pen. Most people think of fountain pens as archaic devices with a century old design aestitic. A Lamy Safari has a clean, modern look and comes in a range of colors. It’s definitely not an antique.


Things to know:

Converter. If you want to use bottled inks — and trust me, you do — you’ll need to by a converter. It’s a little plastic cartridge that lets you draw the ink from the bottle and costs about $5.

Taking care of your Lamy. You’ll need to spend some time cleaning your pen when you change the ink. Thankfully, there are many online resources that talk you through the process.

Cartridges and bottles. The pen comes with a blue ink cartridge, but if you want to start with a different color, you’ll need to buy some other ink cartridges or bottles of ink. If the idea of buying bottles of ink is intimidating, I recommend starting with some of the Lamy ink cartridges. 


How much?

A Lamy Safari costs about $30, depending on where you buy it. I recommend Pen Chalet or Goulet Pens

Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. In his spare time, he endlessly searches for a perfect "Sketchbook B" green ink. Follow Bob on Twitter and Instagram.