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jotter promotional pen in bright color

Last updated on November 4th, 2021 at 09:56 pm

The Ultimate Guide to Promotional Pens

promotional pen guide

When you read the title “guide to promo pens”, you may say promotional pens are so.. ordinary, every show I’ve been to, people give out pens! Before you dismiss the effects of pens, think about how often you use a pen – grocery list, meeting notes, sign your child’s paper, signing checks, etc. The truth is, everyone needs a good pen in the purse, on the desk, somewhere! The real question is, how do you emerge from hundreds of promo pens to be the one that people just love?

How well do promo pens write?

elite slim frost promotional pen
Elite slim frost pen

When it comes to promo pens, the first thing that you want to know if it writes well or not right? There are generally types when it comes to promo pens:

Rollerball Pen: use ball point writing mechanisms with water-based liquid or gelled ink, as opposed to the oil-based viscous inks found in ballpoint pens. These less viscous inks, which tend to saturate more deeply and more widely into paper than other types of ink, give rollerball pens their distinctive writing qualities. Rollerpens are usually chosen for their elegant writing qualities and thus popular for executive gifts

Gel Pen:  Gel pen uses a water-based gel that isn’t quite as thick as typical ballpoint paste, but isn’t quite as thin as rollerball liquid. The idea of gel ink is to achieve a balance so that it dries quickly and is less likely to blot or smudge, but still flows freely enough to write more smoothly than a standard ballpoint.

Gel pens, like liquid ink rollerballs, create bold, rich lines and tend to write quite comfortably.

Gels produce the cleanest, most precise lines without sacrificing vibrancy. They’re perfect for adding bold signatures to documents, for writing journal entries, or for artwork. Our favorite is the BIC® Intensity® Clic™ Gel Pen, it has a comfortable grip and writes smoothly like an ink pen.

Ballpoint: These use a thick, oil-based ink that is essentially a paste. Obviously the advantage to ink that dries quickly is that it’s less likely to smudge. And, because the ink is thick, the ink is also far less likely to bleed through the paper. However, it takes more writing pressure to apply to the paper. Since you have to press harder, it makes for a less comfortable writing experience. One of favorites is the Elite Slim Frost Pen that features the Eversmooth Ink for an extraordinary writing experience similar to gel ink.


What are the promotional pens made of?

Plastic: Plastic promo pens are generally most cost effective, so if you have a larger audience this is a great choice. There are many great plastic pens with bright colors that will match to your brand colors, which is a big plus when you are putting together a corporate gift set. The Jotter Pen is out favorite because it comes in more than 20 different colors and some with matching ink! Talk about choices!

jotter promotional pen in bright color
The Jotter pen comes in more than 20 different colors

Metal: For executive employee gifts or a more targeted list of clients, metal pens like Tres-Chic Softy give a high quality look and will look good when you carry them around. Metal pens are no longer limited to black and silver. Just check out this Ellipse Softy Rose Gold Metallic Pen in soft colors and rose gold accents.

tres chic metal pen
tres chic metal pen
rose gold soft touch stylus pen
rose gold soft touch stylus pen

Get a grip?

Another important feature is grip. A soft grip will allow you write in better form, longer and comfortably. Most people do prefer a pen with a grip like the Fullerton SGC Stylus Pen. A promo pen that writes well and is comfortable is a definitely a keeper!

Fullerton stylus grip pen
Fullerton stylus grip pen

A multi-functional promo pen

incline stylus pen
Incline stylus pen
Multi-tool flashlight pen
Multi-tool flashlight pen

If you use any drawing app you know that using a stylus is more responsive and allows better control. We especially like the Incline Stylus Pen. Writing under low light? The Volt Ballpoint Pen / Stylus / LED Light comes with flashlight, perfect for restaurants and night clubs. For those who are adventurous and work outdoors, the Crossover Outdoor Multi-Tool Pen With LED Light is a flashlight, compass, stylus, cell phone stand and a small screwdriver. All of these promo pens are multi-functional and truthfully, what’s not to love?

The brand factor

Some may prefer to use a retail brand that they know and trust. Well we can accommodate that too! Well known pen makers such as Papermate, Pilot and Cross have all entered the promo pens market, which means you could brand them with your logo as well. Using a trusted pen maker will ensure that you are getting a quality custom printed pen, and the recipients will be more likely to keep them around.

papermate inkjoy gel pen with logo
cross black laquer pen
About the Author

Shirley Ho

Shirley is the co-founder of Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions. With a background in print production and graphic design, she specializes in promotional products marketing, creating end-products that aligns with her client's marketing goals and brand strategy.

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