For Me, uni-ball Gets it Write!

As a fan of USA Network’s hit series, “Suits” I chuckled during the episode when Louis Litt practically had a meltdown over the fact that Pearson Darby no longer supplied uni-ball® pens.



This resonated with me on many levels. While in Law School at the University of Illinois, uni-balls were the only pens I would use—period. If one ran out of ink or I happened to forget my stash, an immediate stationary store run was in order. I remember how some of my colleagues were amused—if not perplexed—by my particularity. To boot, I had them in assorted colors, of course, to suit my color-coded note taking. Mind-you this was the mid-90’s (i.e., the pre-smartphone and tablet crazed era). Though I did have a laptop, my preferred note taking process was (and still is by the way) kickin’ it old school. Indeed, many articles address how handwritten notes outweigh digital notetaking when it comes to learning, processing, and memory retention. By way of example, check out this NOW Powered by Northrup Grumman piece.

Fast forward to this century, when I initially entered the promotional products industry and discovered that I now am a b2b representative of these marvelous pens, I did a proverbial jump for joy. In addition to the gliding feel when writing with a uni-ball in hand, some of their selections have added benefits, including fraud protection for check writing.

As you probably realize from your daily adventures, pens are among the most popular and ubiquitous promotional items. But are all pens created equal? I think not. Pens, or “writing instruments” as they are often referred to in the industry, while universal, are certainly not indistinguishable.

Though I am obviously a fan of the uni-ball line, we have many other known brands and quality product lines that we work with to provide our clients with the right-write, so to speak. The list proves long, ranging from BIC® to Cross® to Paper Mate®, Parker®, Pilot®, Sharpie®, Waterman® and well beyond. Also, many promo industry manufacturers produce great quality private label pens, expanding the repertoire tremendously, thus accommodating virtually any budget. Indeed, which writing instrument we recommend to our clients really depends on many factors. Aside from customization options, budget and timetable, the context is important.

For example, at a trade show where every proverbial Tom, Dick and Harry walks by your booth for the free giveaway, a basic pen, at a lower price point yet with decent writing and imprint quality will serve its purpose. For instance, the Paper Mate Sport Retractable is a great budget-friendly candidate. At a sales conference, however, you may want to invest in pen that has more heft and distinction, like the private label Soho Roller Ball Pen. For getting down to business and to have on hand at the office, no doubt, uni-ball options, like the gel ink 207 Fashion Pen (especially when colored ink is a preference) would rank high on my list of recommendations.

Also, over the years, we’ve had many requests for classic fountain pens, like the Waterman Expert, for holiday gifts and commemorative occasions. And, apparently, the enthusiasm for fountain pens, lives on, as covered through an article on Further, to rise above the noise of social media and email correspondence, many business savvy brands have returned to the hand-written note. See the related article in Adweek.