Yes, There's a Difference: Everything You Need to Know About Pens

  • Jul 1, 2019

Even as much of our world goes digital and paperless, the pen remains an essential tool in both office and home life. With so many different types of pens, choosing the “write” one can be a lot harder than it seems. If you’re looking for a new go-to pen for your brand, here are some options to consider.


Ballpoint Pens

ballpoint pens


The ballpoint pen is the most common and well-known type of pen – when you think “pen”, you’re probably envisioning a ballpoint pen. These pens have an oil-based ink that dries faster than other types. This means less smudging on the paper as you write. This ink is also on the thicker side, which means the pen uses less ink and lasts longer. However, thicker ink is prone to clumping, so more pressure is required for smooth writing. Overall, there’s a reason the ballpoint pen is the quintessential pen – it’s an easy and reliable option for everyday use.


Rollerball Pens


Although they’re similar to the ballpoint, rollerball pens use water-based ink. This ink flows faster and soaks into the paper more than an oil-based ink. These pens also require less pressure to write smoothly, making them ideal for fine lines. Because rollerball pen ink is water-based, these pens can be made in a wide range of ink colors using water-soluble dyes.


Gel Pens

gel pens


Gel pens use a water-based ink that is in between rollerball and ballpoint in consistency. This makes gel pens less likely to smudge, while still being free-flowing and smooth-writing. Since these inks are colored with pigments instead of dyes, there’s an even larger variety of colors possible than with rollerball pens. Additionally, gel ink can be easily seen on darker papers and can be used on smooth, non-absorbent papers without running or smudging.


Marker Pens

marker pens


Marker pens could be broken down into several categories of their own. These pens are available with four different kinds of ink bases: pigment, water, oil, and alcohol. Pigment- and water-based marker pens are ideal for traditional papers like copy paper or notebook paper. They have a non-permanent ink that dries slower than alcohol-based inks. Oil- and alcohol-based marker pens are best for non-paper media, like glass, wood, metal, or plastic. These inks dry quickly, making them great for coated papers like business cards and labels. No matter the ink type, marker pens come in all different point sizes, colors, and types.

Pens are versatile, useful, and ever-present in our everyday lives, making them perfect for promoting your brand! Regardless of what type of pen you choose, we’ve got thousands of styles. Contact us today to learn more!