The Bluest Ink
Prior to working a job with the understandable, yet still rather draconian “Blue ink only” rule, I displayed almost no bias for or against blue ink. I worked for a psych unit still carrying on a maddening affair with paper charts, thus there was lots of writing by hand. However, all this paper charting facilitated the need to quickly identify original documents from copies; as a result I soon grew to loathe the sight of blue ink.
I’m fairly certain it was my distaste for the job rather than the ink or the ink use policy, which created this irrational disdain for blue ink, but nevertheless when given the choice I generally opt for black or green ink. More often than not, the former rather than the latter. But while employed as a program assistant – read: secretary – I tried just about every blue ink pen Staples had to offer in hopes of finding one that was nearly black, but still visibly blue. This was not unlike my search for a similarly hued nail polish, though I had much better luck with the nail polish.
Anyway, as the writing career barrels forward I find myself with fewer opportunities to write by hand – even list making often occurs on the computer – and oddly enough I’ve found myself messing around with different blue ink pens, since for some reason I have billions of them.
When I started that job I really believe all blue ink pens – not talking about fountain pen ink – were pretty much the same, drawing on the vivid memory of unremarkable ballpoint stick pens of my high school years, featuring ink color that nearly matched the lines on notebook paper.
- Post-it® Flag Pen – I’ve been using these pens a lot lately since they were 75% at Kmart and I bought a couple of sets. I don’t find the ink particularly dazzling, but do prefer it to the gel ink cousin, which is kind of scratchy and disappointing. This is another example of the barrel exciting me more than the ink, which more often than not tends to happen with me.
- Staples® Sonix™ Gel-Ink Pen – Dark Blue – This one’s extremely dark – nearly black – but clearly a blue ink pen. I love the way it writes on thick notecards, but find it entirely too scratchy on thinner paper. It tends to skip quite a bit, which has been a pretty typical experience for me in relation to this pen.
- Staples® Sonix™ Gel-Ink Pens – Med Blue – This ink, more than any I tested, conjures up all those dreadful memories of Trapper Keepers and study hall.
- Zig Millennium Writer – I’ve reviewed this pen before and the black version is definitely one of my favorite pens. The blue ink version is boring and tend to pawn these off on unsuspecting friends and strangers.
- Freewriter Pen – in my review of this pen I wrote as following: “The barrel is attractive and well designed. I loved the use of contrasting shades of blue on the barrel. The grip is sturdy rubber thus ensuring a fatigue-free writing experience. The ink is a nice medium blue, which generally I don’t particularly like, but in this case I’ll make an exception because the pen is so dang fun to write with.” and I’m pretty sure I mentioned the blue pen (came in a set with a red and black pens) was the true showstopper of the set.
- Foray Liquid Pen – Dark Blue Ink – I love this pen and am relieved to discover they aren’t going to stop making it. I scored a couple of these for less than a dollar each and generally that’s a good indication the product will disappear off the planet and leave me heartbroken.
- Foray Liquid Pen – Turquoise Ink – I have a thing for turquoise/aqua ink, which I don’t really understand since it doesn’t often show well on white paper. This one reminds me of the Inc Brand “Megatank” or whatever they’re call, which I can’t seem to find anymore. It writes smoothly and lays down a pretty sweet looking line.
- Staedtler 1.6 MM Ballpoint Pen – Turquoise Ink – I adore this pen, though it does have the same drawbacks as most of the Turquoise ink pens I like using. I mostly enjoy its thick line, but don’t tend it use it for stuff other people have to read as it tends to make already chubby writing, even chubbier and more challenging to read. My favorite blue ink is actually this same pen but in dark blue. I would have listed it here, but the one I own dried up!
- Gelly Roll Metallic Blue Black – I know people go bonks for these pens, but I can never seem to make them perform consistently well for me. Sometimes I can get them to write without skipping and other times I can’t even get them to write after a several rounds of “swirly scratch scratch swirly” on scratch paper. I dig them sparkles and when I can get the pen to behave, I do really love the color.
- Foray® Retractable Rubber Grip Ballpoint Pen – This was the most surprising of the bunch. When I got this pen I didn’t expect much and quickly stashed it with the rest of my blue pens, but retrieved it one day when I was signing for a package. I was pretty impressed with its performance, though the ink didn’t do too much for me.