Pen Craftsmanship


Wednesday, 26 March, 2008

Content In the past, whenever I had to handwrite anything (yes, there was a time before the keyboard existed!), I was perfectly happy with a cheap but functional Bic Biro. In fact, I used to like drawing with one, as you could vary the weight with the pressure you applied as you drew.

However, more recently I started to ponder upon those (rare) moments when I had to actually write instead of type. I wanted to *cherish* those moments a bit more.

Its as if typing is now the common form of written communication, but handwriting is something that elevates its author to a distinguished, classy level of communicator who brings along his/her personal touch. (!)

I feel like I've reached that point in a designer's life where I feel I deserve a decent writing instrument. Where I can half turn my back to the digital world and declare my allegiance to the written word. And as a designer, I need to do it in "style".

The feel of a decent pen is reserved for that age when you can appreciate its weight and its feel (and expense!) when you flourish it over that highly important contract before you stroke it magnificently over the surface and on the dotted line.

So off I pop, down to the nearest specialist pen shop where I started to explore the culture of pens and their value. I've heard of Mont Blanc as a brand, but I've never really been drawn to it - not just because I find their prices are a little too excessive, but I thought their design was too.

I named-checked Mont Blanc as the shopkeeper had mentioned how she sold a limited edition Mont Blanc pen earlier that day for £1,200.. (Did that include VAT?) I decided my limit would fall well under three figures..

So, armed with my research and shortlist of desired pens, I eventually settled for a Cross Apogee in Sable Herringbone. Does that sound good? It feels good. (You can just read "expensive, but not that expensive" in that name.)

I felt like it was the start of a beautiful relationship. Where I can feel more important than I really am.

Two weeks later, about the only thing I've signed is a cheque. I better get used to it.

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