A love affair
It isn’t your average love affair.
I’m in love with a pen.
Hurr’s the thang. I’ve always had an appreciation for quality writing utensils. Before I entered kindergarten, I knew full well that Crayola makes the best crayons and anything else is basically a chunk of useless wax. By fourth grade, you couldn’t pay me to sharpen a pencil, because all of mine were mechanical. By middle school, my instrument of choice was a purple Pilot V-5, the cap kind because the retractable wasn’t out yet. I still keep one of those in my arsenal. Toward the end of high school, I discovered the Staedtler Triplus fineliner, a .3mm German marker-pen that comes in over 20 colors. Actually, I just discovered last week that it comes in more than 20 colors, but I’ve been through at least 5 20-color sets since I was in high school.
Senior year of college, I bought my first .25mm Pentel Slicci. I was intrigued by such a fine tip, and it was only a couple bucks at the time, so I bought a black one. My memory of that first Slicci is a little hazy but I’m pretty sure it involved clouds opening up to a chorus of angels and all the little woodland creatures gathering around to sing and you know what, I think I might not be remembering this quite accurately. In any case, the Slicci is a really, really good pen.
From there, I went on to discover the Slicci in almost 20 different colors, then the Pilot Hi-Tec-C, and this week I have begun to bask in the majesty of the Uni-Ball Signo DX, .38mm.
My current love affair–don’t worry, Slicci, you’re still my best gal–is the Lavender Black Signo. It was new on JetPens recently, conveniently right around the time I accidentally destroyed my dark purple Slicci and had to replace it immediately. JetPens offers free shipping if you spend $25, so…my need for a $3 pen turned into my acquisition of 12 new pens, a few Signos among them.
It writes so smoothly. The ink is an incredible rich dark purple–none of that fuchsia bullshit you find in every other purple pen–and the nib is thin enough for detail but thick enough to stand out. The pen design itself is really clean and sharp, and the tip is structured such that you don’t have to be super delicate with it. Hi-Tec-Cs require a delicate touch, Sliccis are tougher than that but still a needle-tip that needs care, but nobody fucks with a Signo.
At .38mm, I won’t be using it for the same kind of detail work I do with .25mm Sliccis. As it turns out, a difference of .13mm is a substantial difference. But you know, different instruments for different purposes.
I tried really hard the other day to come up with a list of my top 5 pens. I decided to make it a list of my top 5 pen styles, with notations on each of which color I like best. Otherwise it’d be something like Slicci-Signo-Slicci-Slicci-Slicci. Boring. So here’s what I came up with:
- .25mm Pentel Slicci (black, but also turquoise and dark purple)
- .38mm Uni-Ball Signo DX (lavender black)
- .3mm Staedtler Triplus (I like all of them)
- fine-point Bic ballpoint, cap style (black, and yes this boring pen is actually a great one)
- .4mm Pilot Hi-Tec-C (black)
Obviously I write in black a lot–I like dark colors, and you don’t get much darker.
Surprisingly for a pen aficionado, I don’t care much about fountain pens and other expensive styles. Maybe I’ll grow into them; who knows. I’m very much into gel ink, as long as the pens and the ink are high quality and not the shit I used to buy at the middle school bookstore. Marker-pens like the Triplus and the Stabilo are nice too, but the advantage of gel ink is that it doesn’t bleed through paper as easily. Same goes for liquid-ink pens like the Pilot V-5. Reliable inkflow, but happy bleedy happy bruisy.
Aaaand now I need to listen to Antony and the Johnsons.
Maybe next post will be a half-coherent fawning over my favorite music.
(Hint: Radical Face, Mumford & Sons, the Lonely Forest.)