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.