I love fountain pens

Fountain pens provide an amazing writing experience, customized to what you like.


It’s easy to write about things that you don’t like. I’m going to start writing about things I love.

I’ve never liked my handwriting, so it may seem strange that one of my favorite things is a nice fountain pen. Writing with a fountain pen is a completely different experience than using a cheap ballpoint pen from the supply cabinet in the office.

I discovered fountain pens several years ago after finding the Pen Addict podcast. I started with some simple starter pens and steadily added to my collection. It takes a little while to learn to take care of your pens — cleaning them and filling them — but it’s all part of the experience.

  • Change the way you write. When you choose a fountain pen, you also choose a nib. Nibs come in a range of thicknesses and styles. Every type of nib changes the way that your writing looks. When I use an extra fine nib, my writing is smaller and more condensed. With a calligraphy nib, my handwriting looks more fluid. Everyone is different and picking the right nib is crucial.

  • Chose your ink color. Off-the-shelf pens at the office supply store come in a limited range of colors. With fountain pens, you can choose from a virtually infinite palette. I’ve got a bright green that I use much of the time, and another ink that’s roughly Gamecock garnet. I sometimes change ink colors with the season.

  • Pens that reflect you. I like minimalist pen designs, so I’ve been drawn to Lamy pens like the Safari and Aion, but fountain pens come in a variety of sizes and styles. You can select something that looks modern or something that’s more traditional. Pick a pen that is the perfect size, shape and weight for what you want.

Even though I hate my handwriting, I still love my fountain pens. If you are looking for a more special writing experience, give fountain pens a try. I recommend starting with an online retailer like JetPens, 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, researcher, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. Follow Bob on Instagram.