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Totally Random Pen Stuff

• Look for more youth-oriented marketing from Sharpie in the months to come, according to the New York Times.

Directed at teenagers, the campaign also includes new print, TV, Internet and cinema advertising, extensive use of social media, and new packaging, markers and colors.

Apparently, Sanford, maker of the ubiquitous permanent marker, feels that it has been aiming ad messages at adults, even though teens are the ones who get the most use out of Sharpies. So, now the ad focus is going to shift to young people and the creative ways they use the popular markers, the Times reports.

...the stars of the new campaign are four avid Sharpie users. They are Erica Domesek, a do-it-yourself aficionado who employs a new Sharpie fabric marker to turn a pencil case into a purse; Cheeming Boey, who uses pens to turn paper coffee cups into works of art that sell for as much as $900; Mark Rivard, who customizes skateboards with markers; and Marirose Weldon, a young singer and songwriter who uses a Sharpie Liquid Pencil to write lyrics.

We've already seen some of the new youth-oriented products that Sharpie is producing and they are brilliant, so this looks like a good direction for them.

• Ever wondered how prison tattoos are made?

A former jailhouse tattoo artist explains the ink-pen tattoo process to the San Antonio Current in a great little piece of insider (no pun intended) detail.

Victor Sandifer (from San Antonio Current)For shade work, you use a Walkman tape player. The motor is slower and turns less rpms. For line work, you use the tracking motor on a portable CD player — it turns at a higher rpm. I always make a pair. You take the motor out. Mount it to a modified ink pen cap with Saran Wrap and then mount that to the barrel of an ink pen cut to length. Break the ballpoint off the pen. Run your needle through it. It slides right in. Once you get that mounted, you pull the spring out of the pen and stretch it out over a candle till it goes straight and pops in the middle. When it breaks, it’s going to leave a perfect point on both sides — that’s going to be your needle.

The question is, does it have to be ballpoint ink, or could some gel inks work also?

• The global economy may be in shambles, but that isn't stopping pen makers from continuing to turn out new luxury ranges.

According to USP magazine, Parker is planning to introduce the Premier Monochrome Edition next month at a price point of between £115 and £215.

The ultra-sleek Parker Premier Monochrome Edition is produced with a full-colour finish that coats the entire pen. Pink Gold physical vapour deposition (PVD), Titanium PVD tones join sleek Ceramic Black as part of the collection.

PVD is an ultra-resistant coating process revealing underlying texture while providing colour and lustre. It is used in top luxury or technology industries like the watch, glasses or phone industry.

At some point, don't all these luxury pens just sort of blur together into one indistinguishable mass of over-indulgence?

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