If you also like to do some pen shopping,
you may have gathered a lot, and you may wonder how to choose.
Below I share with you my personal impression from a Product designer’s point of view.
Ballpoint pen and Gel pen
One of the thinnest pens I ever tried. Great flow.
Zeebra Z-1 S 0.7:
The black ink is deep.
Pilot Frixion Ball 0.25:
Erasable ink. Awful to draw with. Doesn’t slide well on paper. The ink is grey. I use it for some detailing only.
Pilot Frixion Ball 0.5:
So promising, but disappointing for sketching (great for writing). The pen pressure is awful. The ink is grey.
Pilot G-Tec-C 0.4:
Awesome! The perfect size of pen and tip. Nice flow of ink. The black is deep.
Pilot Green Techpoint 5:
I didn’t feel comfortable with that pen. I couldn’t draw with it with a light hand.
If you want to know some tricks about the ballpoint pen,
you may have a look at the Tips you should know about ballpoint Pen.
Markers and Felt pen
From top to bottom:
Papermate FLAIR M:
The classic pen that competes with Pentel
Great with color markers (popular among Product designers). Note that the tip is fragile and tends to reduce quite fast.
Pilot Twin marker:
I mostly use the thin tip. Good quality, but the ink reserve doesn’t last very long.
Sharpie Permanent Marker Ultra-thin point:
The size of the tip is in between both tips of the Pilot twin marker. Just nice.
Artline Calligraphy pen:
I bought this pen for playing with the line weight. I prefer using a brush.
The tip reacts like a brush. It bends slightly with pressure. Love it! However, it dries very slowly, and I tend to make a lot of stains on my palm hand. (bought at Tokyu Hands).
My whole collection of pens!
Just a picture of my pen collection.
Honestly, I don’t even use a quarter of it. Most are “toys”.
I often get bored with them and reuse them days or months later.
However, testing new pens constantly is how I discovered amazing ones!
Top 7 pens of the year: WINNERS!!
1- The Frixion Ball Slim 0.38:
I use it for details sometimes as the nib is so thin!
2- Kuretake, from Fudegokochi:
Love it !! This brand is not easy to find I guess.
Wonder if the pilot pr other established brand do something similar.
3- Sharpie Permanent marker Ultra fine point:
Nice flow, good pen pressure sensitivity
4- Pilot G-Tec-C, Maica 0.4:
Nice and constant flow, good pressure sensitivity for a gel pen. I love the tip size slightly thinner than the standard 0.5.
5- Stabilo Stylist:
A classic with thin felt pen. Great for drawing on layout paper. It doesn’t bleed when you use markers (Pantone, Touchliit, Promarker…) with it.
6- Papermate FLAIR M:
This felt pen is more reliable than markers. The medium-sized tip is very smooth.
7- Pilot Parallel Pen (Bought at Tokyu Hands):
Prize of the weirdo pen! 🙂
That’s my Discovery of the year!
I love to try new things, and new styles with them just for fun.
However, in the end, I stick to the basics using pens such as the Paper Mate, Pilot Twin markers, Stabilo stylist, and any ballpoint pen to draw.
Only the Kuretake is an option I may use in the long term.
Note: If you are a beginner, I do not recommend you guys play around too long.
To get started, trying many new pens will be a great motivation booster.
However, you got to stop looking for the ultimate best pen,
or it will just distract you and slow down your progress. Ok?
As soon as you find a nice pen, stick to it.
I recommend the basic ballpoint pen such as the BIC Cristal, or Papermate.
Then, you could even buy a pack of them on Amazon!
Meanwhile, let me give you some drawing tips with a ballpoint pen.
How about you?
Tell me in the comments:
What’s your favorite pen for Design sketching?