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Tiger Pens Blog

  • Blue Or Black Ink?

    black or blueWe recently posted about teachers using red ink at school, and that put me in mind of another classic color debate: Blue or black ink?

    There are all sorts of opinions on this and, for the most part, it just comes down to preference. That said, there are some very valid reasons for choosing one or the other, particularly in certain circumstances.

    I'll get into details below, but here's what I generally recommend:

    • Black ink for filling out official records.
    • Blue for business signatures and most others.
    • Black for memos and work correspondence.
    • Blue (or red) for notes and most learning purposes.
    • Blue for credit card applications.
    • Blue (or another color) for creative purposes.


    Continue reading

  • Penthusiasm!

    Lito at Palimpsest shares a Kate Chopin letter griping about the tiny invisible hairs on her pen.

    The Passionate Penman block-prints his respect for the Tombow Mono 100.

    Ian at Pens! Paper! Pencils! splashes through some J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey fountain pen ink.

    Patrick at The Cramped gets to the point with the new Field Notes Planner.

    Ray at Fountain Pen Quest experiences disappointment with Toucan Bright Green ink.

    Maybelline at On Fountain Pens finishes delving into the meaning of Iroshizuku fountain pen inks.

    Azizah at Gourmet Pens feels no intensity from Diamine Red Lustre fountain pen ink.

    George at My Supply Room finds his match with the Retro 51 cat fountain pen.

    Matthias at Bleistift appeals to his Swedish readers to identify a mystery pencil from television.

    Tina at Fueled by Clouds & Coffee learns new appreciation for her drawing pens.

  • The World in Pens

    Pilot Pen continues its campaign to make pens sexy by returning to New York Fashion Week with gift bags and a dress festooned with pens, reports World Branding Forum.

    Smile Politely introduces Chicago-area artist Katie Funk, who designs unusual mandalas, including one made up of mostly nudes, for her coloring books.

    Moleskine fanboys/girls might be excited by the new Livescribe special edition that includes a Moleskine-branded Livescribe pen, an Evernote premium subscription, a Moleskine notebook and a few other goodies, according to The Next Web.

    A college student offers some tips for personalizing notebooks – like how to use Scotch tape to make your notebook cover a dry-erase board – in the Daily Star of Bangladesh.

    In the most unsurprising news story ever, the Telegraph reports that kids who don't write letters also don't think letter-writing is fashionable.

    The Korea Herald tells the story of an artist whose installation art about handwriting consists of having people walk into an isolated room and transcribe literary works with a pencil.

    Good news from the Atlantic: Artist Jason Polan's project to draw Every Person in New York has been turned into a book with 30,000 of his drawings. (In 2011, Jason told us about the pens he uses.)

    Create great nail art on the cheap with Pilot Choose gel pens, according to BlogHer.

  • Interview: Ruth Stephens, Child Occupational Therapist

    The brilliant thing about pens is that, while they're capable of producing great art, they also provide one of our simplest, most effective means of communication, aside from speech.

    That's why we love to hear from  people who put their pens to that most fundamental task, connecting people through the handwritten word. Especially when they're helping to pass that skill on to the next generation.

    Today, we introduce you to Ruth Stephens, an occupational therapist and pen enthusiast in West Sussex.

    Please tell us a little about you.

    I am a mum of 2, who loves baking, coffee and making a difference in children’s lives

    Tell us a little about your work.

    I work in private practice assessing and providing therapy to children of all ages who have coordination and sensory issues. My areas of expertise are working with children who have handwriting difficulties and children who are adopted (both very different I know). My working life never ever has a dull day!

    Courtesy Ruth Stephens, Continue reading

  • 9 Stationery-Inspired Halloween Costumes

    Halloween's always a load of fun and a great excuse to play dress-up, especially if you're going to a costume party.

    So why not take the opportunity to flaunt your stationery geekery?

    There are any number of costumes you can buy or make that will show off your favorite pens, pencils, and paper. We'll show what a few people have done in years past, then we'll toss out a couple of ideas of our own.

    Now fire up your imaginations and let these costumes inspire you.

    Courtesy: Jade Brady, Courtesy: Jade Brady

    UK make-up artist Jade Brady put together this simple, but terrifying costumer of the old pencil-up-the-nose joke gone wrong. See more of her SFX work at her blog.


    crayola costume


    Kid's felt Crayola costume going for £10 on eBay. There are other colors, too, including blue and green. Continue reading

  • Pens-Only Classrooms At University

    laptops in the classroomWith everyone back in school, I thought it might be a good time to revisit a topic that pops up in university classrooms every year: the banning of laptops.

    The Globe and Mail reported in August that it's becoming standard practice in Canadian universities to prohibit laptops from lecture halls. American universities are also getting on board with no-laptop policies, as the campus newspaper of the University of North Carolina explained earlier this year. In the UK and Europe, while banning laptops seems to be less widespread, it isn't entirely uncommon.

    Typically, it's not the universities, but specific professors who tell students at the beginning of the year that laptops are verboten and that classrooms are pens-only. Some even include it in the syllabi.

    Why? Continue reading

  • Penthusiasm!

    Tina at Fueled by Clouds & Coffee test drives the Pilot Parallel pen.

    Angela at Paper Lovestory stocks up on stationery for the new school year.

    Ian at Pens! Paper! Pencils! spends a week in Italy with his pencils.

    Nifty at Notebook Stories unlocks Pete Doherty's prison notebooks.

    Azizah at Gourmet Pens weighs the Lamy Logo fountain pen.

    Michael at Inkdependence samples Franklin-Christoph Terra Firma ink.

    JD at Kicking Ass and Taking Notes works out a system for organizing notebooks.

    The Unroyal Warrant reviews the Namiki Yukari Royale Vermilion fountain pen.

    Maybelline at On Fountain Pens chronicles the Montblanc Writers Edition Leo Tolstoy 1868 fountain pen.

    Matthias at Bleistift gets technical with the Zebra DelGuard mechanical pencil.

  • The World In Pens

    Teacher Josh Giesbrecht makes the case in the Atlantic that it isn't technology causing the decline in handwriting; it's the humble ballpoint pen.

    The Wall Street Journal recounts the story of how a man tracked down one of the Parker pens Admiral Chester Nimitz used when he signed Japan's surrender to the US at the end of WWII. (subscription required)

    Sharpie and Paper Mate pen companies spend more on advertising in the US than any other brand, according to an interesting article in Broadcasting & Cable.

    Looks like Donald Trump writes all his poison pen letters in Sharpie, says this article on Mediaite.

    Religion News Service explores the idea that adult coloring is not only good for your mental health, but may also boost your spiritual well-being.

    A college student heaps adulation on a showing of drawings by Kurt Vonnegut (yes, drawing, not writing), in a column for the Cornell Daily Sun.

    MPs paid an artist £17,000 to create an amazingly detailed drawing that depicted the Britain's 2015 election, and the Mirror offers a close-up examination of all its bits.

    Doodling in the workplace can aid productivity and help communicate big ideas to your co-workers, according to Business 2 Community.

  • Interview: Pen-And-Ink Illustrator Rob Turpin

    While we all love pens in their various incarnations, ultimately, they're just the tools that channel the creativity of craftsmen, both artistic and practical.

    Here at Tiger Pens, we're all about those craftsmen, the pens they use, and what they choose to do with them. So it's always exciting for us when one chooses to share his story with our readers.

    Today, it's Rob Turpin, an illustrator known for his sci-fi and fantasy-inspired drawings done in pen and ink.

    This is our interview with him.

    Please tell us a little about you.

    Originally from Yorkshire, but now living in the suburbs of southwest London, I trained and worked as a graphic designer before making the leap in to illustration. I’ve just completed my first book illustration project, and I’m working on another about robots. Continue reading

  • Penthusiasm!

    Brian at OfficeSupplyGeek clicks through the Rite in the Rain mechanical pencil.

    Ray at The Fountain Pen Quest runs Faber-Castell Garnet Red ink through his Christoph Model 20.

    Christine at Pentulant offers a close-up of Rohrer & Klingner Konigsblau ink.

    Rhonda at The Blog of Rhonda Eudaly gives good marks to the Sakura Ballsign Knock gel pen.

    Angela at Paper Lovestory admires the Pilot Vanishing Point.

    Nifty at Notebook Stories opens up her latest completed Moleskine sketchbook.

    Azizah at Gourmet Pens fills her fountain pen with Pelikan Edelstein Topaz ink.

    Stephanie at Rhodia Drive points the way to fountain pen fandom.

    Peaches at the Pentel Blog dresses up ordinary notebooks in tissue confetti.

    Mary at From the Pen Cup marvels at the Montegrappa DC Comics Penguin Fountain Pen. (Sorry DC, couldn't help it.)

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