For most of us our experience of fountain pens goes back to school days, with ink stained hands and smudged writing. At Pen Heaven we suspect most of us have since gravitated towards a ballpoint pen, and haven’t looked back. But in response to the digital age, there has been a trend towards the traditional craft of handwriting and the fountain pen. ‘Now that handwriting is a choice, not a chore, and there is a premium on the unique rather than the infinitely reproducible, people are beginning to discover, or rediscover, the thrill of pen and ink.’ Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times 02/11/2014.
We explore the 5 big reasons why you should put down your BIC biro pen, and consider a fountain pen.
1. IT’S A LIFESTYLE STATEMENT
With fountain pens no longer seen as a standard writing tool for everyday use, it has been elevated to accessory status. With email and text becoming the primary communication tool, a fountain pen is an honest statement that you want to write in the old way…in a considered manner. In the workplace it is a sign to your colleagues you are serious about what you are doing. Presidents don’t sign a treaty with a Bic pen, they use a fountain pen.
2. THE ‘GOOD OLD DAYS’
They’re called the good old days for a reason, the pace of life was slower and the stresses of the digital world did not exist (email stress is a real condition). Taking the time to write a letter using a fountain pen is a relaxing and tactile process, the antithesis of email and text. Feel the sense of history as you fill a converter from a bottle of ink, or sign your name in pen and ink.
3. YEARS OF PLEASURE
How many ballpoint pens have you broken or lost? For many of us, our ballpen is a disposable item that we throw away over and over again. On the other hand, a fountain pen can last for decades if looked after well (and will improve with age). Ink cartridges are also cheaper, and come in such a wonderful array of colours.
4. A LUXURIOUS AND EXPRESSIVE WRITING EXPERIENCE
‘To write with a fountain pen on creamy paper is one of life’s great sensual pleasures’ – Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times. Ink from a fountain pen glides effortlessly over the surface of the page, meaning glorious strokes and less pressure on the paper. You can also achieve a more unique writing style by adapting your choice of nib, hold, and angle of the pen (solid gold nibs actually adapt to your writing style).
5. IMPROVES HANDWRITING
But does a fountain pen improve your handwriting? We recently asked various teachers what they thought , and their answers were overwhelmingly positive. Mr Curtis, an English teacher, felt a fountain actually made him write slowly and more clearly. Ms Webb used to teach in a private school where fountain pens were mandatory, and she now works with students from low income families, ‘I cannot say how far this is due to a different economic background and education system, but there was definitely a higher quality of handwriting in the private school and I do wonder whether the equipment was a factor. The school equipment aimed at poor students is generally of a poor quality and tends to break easily, and I am sure this has an impact on student’s attitudes to their work.”