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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.