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Totally Random Pen Stuff

• Jon Stokes at Ars Technica explains why his reaction to the iPad and other tablets is, “Meh.” He finds the screens difficult to use for the simple fact this his hands get in the way so he can’t see what he’s doing, and doesn’t like the lack of “tactile feedback.”

I can summarize this point by saying that a tablet doesn't really empower or inspire me to make anything that I couldn't make in an easier or better way with another tool; and when it comes to viewing, listening, reading, and surfing, I have better gear for those experiences, as well. So a new tablet will never be exciting the way that a new, luxury gel ink pen will be exciting, or a new leather journal, or a new HDTV, or a new digital camera, or a new game console, and so on.

As with anything to do with Apple products, the piece has drawn a lot of reaction, ranging from readers who accuse Stokes of not being able to adapt to those who agree the screen is unwieldy and slower than using a pen and paper.

Clark's favourite pens/Credit: Alice Shi Kembel• Kids have fixations. Blankets, ratty old toys, Uncle Bob’s beard. But one toddler in California is obsessed with pens. And not just any pen. According to an article by his mother, 2-year-old Clark won’t use anything but black Paper Mate stick pens.

Alice Shi Kembel writes:

We don't know how he formed this particular attachment at the age of sixteen months, but whenever he saw us writing with one of these pens, he would point to it and shout, "Bee!", his word for "pen."  He would persist in shouting "Bee!" until we relinquished the pen to him.  Then he would carry the pen with him everywhere, leaving a trail of pen marks behind him like Hansel and Gretel's bread crumbs.

She says his last beloved Paper Mate finally disappeared, so his father bought him some replacements. Only they were blue. Clark wouldn’t have anything to do with them. And when his mother took him to a stationery store and tried to buy him a black Paper Mate with a rubber grip, he refused it, too.

Fortunately for her, she found a 10-pack at a nearby drugstore. Good luck to her when those are gone.

• Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif is the new face of Uni-ball pens in India, according to the Economic Times.

The popular 26-year-old daughter of British parents was selected as Uni-ball’s first celebrity “brand ambassador” for the pen line, which is distributed in India by Linc Pens.

She told the paper:

"I am excited about being the face of a youthful, high-quality international brand like Uni-ball which I have personally grown up with in (the) UK; and I particularly love Uni-ball Jetstream, which I think is the smoothest pen in the world," Katrina said.

Katrina Kaif has appeared in nearly two dozen Bollywood productions, including the hit “New York.” Let’s hope she does good things for the Uni-ball brand.

• Good news for the future of ink pens: Industry analysts are predicting that business of writing instruments and markers will grow to more than $19 billion over the next few years, according to a statement by PensRUs, a seller of promotional pens.

The study by Global Industry Analysts concluded that:

Despite the increased use of electronic communication via Internet and mobile, new innovations in manufacturing, combined with the addition of numerous pen and pencil styles, sizes and designs will help fuel the growth. Increases in sales revenues are expected across the board from individual unit sales, to large quantity personalized pen orders from the corporate market.

(By the way, we’d get a copy of the study and share more details with you, but it costs US$4,500!)

According to PensRUS, part of what’s driving the growth in the pen market is the move toward environmentally friend writing instruments, such as Pentel’s Recycology line.

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