Posts filed under Paper Mate

Paper Mate Flair Candy Pop Limited Edition Review

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(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

The fifty-year legacy workhorse of felt-tip pens has a new set of colors out! The Paper Mate Flair Candy Pop edition adds a few fun colors to their portfolio. Blueberry Bubblegum, Grape Gumdrop, Gummy Green, Raspberry Fizz, Strawberry Lollipop, and Salted Caramel are all lovely shades, and though the palette is a little purple heavy, it's nicely coordinated. The colors aren't too similar, so they work well together for coding lists or planner entries.

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The build of the pens are the same as the standard Ultra Fine Flairs. They have a silvery matte plastic body and ink-coordinated lids. The sections also match the ink color, so it's always easy to tell what you're reaching for, whether caps are on or off. There are no color names on the barrel, which I feel is a bit of a bummer for a limited color line. The UF tip is a plasticky felt with a metal needlepoint reinforcement. The tips will wear out after a while, but they're priced to be easily replaced (though the limited edition colors may be harder to track down for seconds--better stock up).

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The sections are flared and smooth, but not too slippery. They're comfortable to hold and to write with for long periods of time. The clips are stiff and the underside of the metal is sharp--so be careful if you're trying to pull the clip open to slide it onto something. The caps snap in place securely and post well. The pen itself is so light that posting doesn't affect the balance at all. The lightness does give it a bit of a cheap feel--as does the imperfectly-molded plastic--but these pens are tough and reliable.

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The tips write smoothly with no skipping. They don't dry out when left uncapped for a coloring session, but the ink dries quickly on the page. It is water-based and acid-free, but it isn't waterproof, so it may not be the best choice for lining a drawing before adding paint or ink, but they are excellent for sketching in their own right. The colors are very bright and saturated and the pigments are designed to resist smearing and bleed-through. They're perfect for scrapbooks and planners or coloring books--or any time you need a reliable felt-tip pen. They haven't changed much in more than fifty years, but they haven't had to.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Posted on October 19, 2017 and filed under Paper Mate, Pen Reviews.

Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine Review

(Everyone say hello to Sarah, the latest addition to the Pen Addict writing crew! Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

My first impression of the Paper Mate Flair felt tip pens didn’t leave me with very high expectations. The packaging is a flimsy vinyl pouch in a cardboard sleeve and the pens themselves are very light plastic. They feel and look cheap, and they are, in fact, fairly inexpensive. They pretty much shattered this impression once I started to play, though.

These pens are fun little workhorses. The colors are bright and vibrant in acid-free water-based ink. The ultra fine tips are very precise. They performed well with doodling, coloring in, and plain writing, offering smooth feedback and no skipping. They remain well-balanced when posted, which they do very securely.

With such teeny tiny felt tips, I expected some dry-out after longer periods of being uncapped, but I had no issues, even when I felt like I was surely pushing the limits. I used this set to create an elaborate, color-coded chore chart for my family. With the UF tips, I was able to fit tyrannically long lists of chores into each square, and even then I could not stymie the pens. When I made the chart, I outlined it first with pencil, then retraced my lines with the Flairs. When I erased the pencil lines, there was no smudging of the ink at all. There was also no show-through on the Rhodia paper I used.

Next I tried coloring. So many of the new coloring books coming out have itty bitty spaces to fill in, so I thought I’d take these teeny tips for a spin on my art deco coloring postcards. The Flair’s UF tips definitely performed well for teeny coloring, though the cardstock I was working on isn’t the best paper for this sort of ink. There was a bit of feathering, and there are some over-saturated areas where too much ink soaked in. And here is also where the lighter weight became an advantage. I don’t know what your particular coloring practices are, but when I sit down to color, I’m planning on being there a while. The light pens never caused my hands to fatigue or cramp the way my beloved colored pencils sometimes do. Even when filling in the itty bittiest of teeny tiny spaces. As a disclaimer, the grip section is quite narrow. It suits my small hands very well, but may un-zen the zentangles for those with larger hands.

I think I’ll be getting a lot of use out of these pens. They’re perfect for doodles or zentangles, great for color coding planners and charts, and super useful for tiny coloring. I think they’d even be great for class notes. In the end, I have no real criticisms on their functionality. I think I’ll even be picking up a few more colors. And if the cheap-feeling plastic is what keeps these worker bees affordable enough for me to have lots of them, well maybe that’s more of a pro than a con, too.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Posted on September 8, 2016 and filed under Paper Mate, Pen Reviews.

Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Ten Pen Set 0.7mm: A Review

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

I'm not much of a ballpoint pen user, but I was given a set of Paper Mate InkJoy pens to review. I've been using them to decorate my Traveler's Notebook refills, but my artistic daughter has already claimed them as soon as my review is done. Spoiler alert: I'm planning to buy my own set in the 0.5mm size because I like them so much.

The pens are packaged in plastic and cardboard. There's a hole in the back of the cardboard so you can feel the texture of the pens, which are coated with rubber for comfortable writing.

Each pen comes with a little plastic ball on the nib to keep the ink fresh. Obviously, you remove these before use.

The pens themselves are made of sturdy plastic covered with a grippy rubber surface.

The pen barrel has a clear portion that allows you to see how much ink is in the pen and the inner-workings of the click mechanism. The clip is also made of translucent plastic.

Both the clip and the back of the pen are adorned with two hearts.

The click mechanism is chrome colored as is the lettering on the barrel with the brand name and the ballpoint pen size. These pens are well designed and nice looking. They are also very comfortable in the hand.

This package comes with ten colored pens: black, red, teal, yellow, light blue, purple, light green, pink, orange, and violet.

The darker colors are highly saturated and work well on any paper. The lighter colors are harder to see on white paper and they disappear on black paper.

The gel ink flows well from the pen, though the lighter colors seem to be a little less smooth. It may be my imagination, but these lighter inks seem more viscous than the darker ones. Perhaps, because the ink colors are so light, I'm unconsciously pressing harder.

One of the claims for the InkJoy pens is that they dry fast and smear less. The ink is pretty much smear-proof after at least five seconds, though you do have to be careful not to smudge it immediately after writing. Still, the smudging, when it happens, is pretty minimal.

The ink works well on the Mnemosyne paper I used for my handwritten review. I also used it in my Traveler's Notebook and on Tomoe River Paper. The ink demonstrates considerable show through, especially in the Traveler's Notebook. In fact, when I colored in the names of the months in the TN, there was both show through and bleed through.

These pens would certainly work well for students taking notes, for general writing, and for filling in all those fancy new adult coloring books. If I were to buy a set of these pens, I would choose the fine point (0.5mm size) simply because I prefer slimmer lines. The pens only come in 0.5mm and 0.7mm, and they are not refillable. The ten pack set costs $20.00; the fourteen pack set $28.00; or you can buy individual pens for $2.00 each.

Pros

  • The InkJoy gel pens write a super smooth, saturated line.
  • The pens are comfortable to hold in the hand and the grippy rubber helps, especially if you have sweaty hands like me.
  • The pen design is eye-catching.
  • InkJoy offers a good variety of colors.
  • The InkJoy is priced slightly lower than comparable gel pens from Zebra and Pilot.

Cons

  • The InkJoy pens are not refillable which just seems wasteful to me. I don't know how long each pen lasts because I haven't used them enough to get through all the ink. The ink amount seems quite adequate, but I prefer refillable pens.
  • The pens are fairly wide in diameter (10.6mm), so if you're used to Pilot Hi-Tec C pens or other thinner gel pens, you might find these a bit wide.
  • On certain paper, especially Tomoe River and Traveler's Notebook paper, there is considerable show through.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, which I am very grateful for.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Posted on August 12, 2016 and filed under Paper Mate, Pen Reviews.