Uni Live Pigment Sign Pen – Extra Fine – Black

18 05 2012

After an unexpected disappointment comes an unexpected delight!

Porous tip pens aren’t usually my kind of thing, but the Uni Live Pigment Sign Pen was fairly new, and whims are funny things. Thank you JetPens, for indulging those whims with this sample free of charge. I expected this to be the most underwhelming of the recent goodies, but I was five cents shy of a full order, so I threw it in.

Do not be fooled by its commonplace appearance. It is not what is outside, but what is inside that counts. But hey, the outside actually ain’t too bad!

Inexpensive pens have a unique design challenge. You don’t want the pen to look like cheap crap, but at that price point, options are limited. The Bic big mistake is overcompensating with gaudy printed-on accents. Minimalist is probably the best way to go, but if you don’t play it right you overshoot minimalist straight into boring ink cylinder territory. I think Uni got it just right on this one. The barrel’s evocative of a Kuretake No. 33 brush pen, and the cap looks like a happy face.

Oh mai gahsh! It’s greaeat to be a pen, eh!

The only bit of design I don’t know what to do with is the directions printed on the barrel in a language I obviously don’t understand.

The only language I speak is “Pen.” And also “English.” And I used to know French and Italian but we’re getting off topic here, moving on

For writing, the porous tip style of pen just isn’t very amenable to my left-handed pushing across the page style. But it’s sufficient for any writing I need to add to a drawing, and boy howdy am I digging this pen for drawing.

Plays well with other art supplies. I’d say it’s almost 99% waterproof. The water test has a faint, nigh-impossible-to-see-in-the-scan wash of gray picked up from the ink, but the ink itself didn’t get washed away.

I haven’t quite puzzled out exactly why some of the pens I don’t like writing with, say they’re too scratchy or have too much resistance when writing, can be such absolute delights to draw with. Once I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

Porous tip pens baffle me. How do they work? Is it witchcraft, or advanced space technology?

There’s a nice amount of pressure-dependent line variation while sacrificing none of the stability and control that get lost when you first try to use a brush pen. The lines have character (within a limited scope), and the ink is a rich, dark black. I had no problems with smudging, smearing, no ink getting picked up onto my hand—the pen performs like a dream.

If I had to guess, I’d say this part says something like “Uni Live Pigment Sign Pen / Awesome Little Treasure”

I’m trying really hard to think of any suggestions for improvement regarding this pen, but I can’t think of anything. It hits all the right points—great price, pleasant design, stellar performance—with no niggling problems or caveats needed. Good job, Uni! I didn’t even know I needed this pen, and now I’m not sure how I’ve managed so long without it.

Uni Live Pigment Sign Pen – Extra Fine – Black at JetPens

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2 responses

22 05 2012
Pilot/Uni Fan

I bought the blue pen and am very impressed with it. It’s one of those pens that shakes up my confidence in knowing what I like in the pen world.

28 07 2012
No Pen Intended

:) Those pens are some of the best!

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