Writing is a form of creative expression. Writing by hand, is a form of art. No matter what you are writing, your craft deserves to be refined using tools that allow for sophistication, control, and personal expression. No drugstore rollerball pen could offer the type of craftsmanship, quality, and precision of a fountain pen. If you’re ready to make the transition from mundane note taker, to fine artist, read our guide below to learn how to choose the right fountain pen.
Consider Nib Type
The fountain pen’s nib is a thin, pointed piece of metal that draws the ink from inside the pen and channels it through a small slit onto the paper. The nib is the most important feature that will impact the appearance of your fountain pen writing.
Depending on your style preference, handwriting quality, and the type of writing you will be doing, consider what size nib will be most appropriate for you. The size of the nib determines the thickness of the lines your pen will create. Standard nib sizes include fine, medium and broad. A fine nib best suites the needs of most writers.
Nib Tip Shape
Not only should you consider the size of the nib, you must consider its shape. Nib tips can either be round or shaped. A round nib produces lines that are always the same width. Shaped nibs produce lines with varying thicknesses, which will produce letters that seem to have more of an italic shape. Rounded nibs are recommended for most beginners, as they provide a more consistent style.
Ink Re-filling Preference
Fountain pens allow you to use a variety of finely crafted, expressive inks, however those inks need to be refilled. Choose a pen that offers the refilling mechanism that suites your needs. Some pens have a greater ink capacity, which means you can refill your pen less often. If you anticipate wanting to switch colors more frequently, a pen with a smaller ink capacity may be a better choice.
Some fountain pens are fitted with disposable ink cartridges, which can be replaced as needed. Before choosing a pen with an ink cartridge, know that cartridges are comparatively costly, and depending on the pen you choose, you may be limited to only the manufacturer’s refill products.
To provide optimal flexibility, ink color choices, and to provide a more refined overall style, we recommend instead choosing a pen with a converter. A converter is a small, syringe-like device that inserts into the pen allowing you to refill it over and over again with whatever bottled ink you choose. Not only are bottled inks less expensive, there are hundreds of colors to choose from, providing you with the greatest opportunity to refine your unique writing style.
If you link traditional blue or black ink, consider J. Herbin La Perle Des Encres Fountain Pen Ink in Bleu Nuit or Perle Noire. If you’re feeling more creative, consider Diabolo Menthe or Orange Indien.