I recently took a quick weekend trip to New York City, where I had the opportunity to buy a myriad host of fantastic pens with reckless abandon. My first pen-stop of the trip was to Muji, a store of which I’d only heard tell of, in hushed and awestruck whispers, through the aether of the internet. If you’ve never been to Muji, imagine IKEA and Japan having a baby, and that baby is a store. It’s something like that.
Among the many items acquired in my orbit around the stationery display, we have three very similar, brightly colored and hexagonally shaped pens.
I was drawn to the simplicity of design; these pens are like a reimagining of the traditional #2 pencil, if pencils were pens, and were rendered in rich, brilliant colors instead of the most boring shade of yellow ever conceived. The pen, being almost entirely plastic, is lightweight, and does feel in the hand very much like a standard pencil–but perhaps that is just a consequence of the hexagonal shape they share.
The colored body of the pen has two stand-out features. The plastic of the body consists of some kind of non-slip texture, almost like matte (as opposed to being smooth/glossy)…I’m trying to think of something to compare it to, it’s so unusual. Perhaps like the handle of a no-slip kitchen knife? There is no grip on this pen because it is entirely grip, in a very subtle and unobtrusive way.
The other feature I find interesting is the little slit of window near the writing end of the pen on the body–there are two such little windows, on opposite sides of the pen, presumably so that you’ll be able to see when the ink is running low. Very minimalist. These windows are the only additional elements of design on the body of the pen.
The cap is clear, shiny plastic that snaps securely into place when closing the pen. There’s no snap when posting the cap on the other end, but it feels secure. The clip seems pretty easily breakable, but that just means I won’t clip this pen onto anything. I was concerned that lining up the hexagonal cap and barrel would require some extra effort, but it’s easy to put the cap on without having to have a second thought as to whether the hexagons are in alignment.
Matching the matte-texture of the colored body, the [whatever that conical section piece is called] is done in frosted metal. It’s thematically consistent. These things are important, especially in such a minimalist design. Every detail counts. And, at this point, I think we’ve covered every detail existing in the exterior design of this pen. So let’s delve inside.
The writing experience: satisfactory. I feel like I’m getting a little more resistance when writing than perhaps a right-handed individual would get, but maybe I’m just being overly sensitive and setting the smoothness bar too high. This is what happens when a pen is pretty good–I expect it to be even better.
Ink flow was equally consistent with the two different sizes, though the 0.4mm wrote a bit more smoothly to my liking than the 0.3mm. Both sizes made crisp lines–not too much ink, rarely if ever too little, and no bleedthrough. My hand did start to pick up some of the already dried ink while writing, but it doesn’t look like it smudged anything or put transported ink back down on the page.
The best part about these pens, for me, was the color. These colors are vibrant, and the bright color on the barrel really is about the exact color that comes out of the pen. They’re suitable for sketching (I felt neither particularly inspired nor particularly ..uh..creatively oppressed?), but if I got more of these it would be for the fun, minimalist design and deliciously saturated colors.
Unfortunately, I don’t think all the colors I bought are available on the website, but I think you’d do well with any of the color choices. I didn’t have any outstanding problems with any of my pens (except that I grip my pens too hard and it hurts my hand, but that’s my fault) and I’d bet this is a consistent product.