Pens and personality

Have you ever thought about the type of pen you prefer writing with? Or maybe you like pencils? The art and practice of writing is sadly diminishing or being squashed due to the demands of digital technology. However, I asked a few students at school what they prefer and why. I also thought about their personalities.

A bright young girl who is spontaneous and has a strong sense of self loves a variety of pens – sparkly, blue and black, good quality uni ball with a fine tip; she sees herself as versatile and I wonder if the pens she uses demonstrate this too. Pens need to be reliable and interesting. “Black is best,” she says.

Another student prefers to write with pencil. Not broken and blunt ones, but finely sharpened. I like to know that I can erase mistakes and I cannot do this with a biro. Sometimes I even write with the chewed ones. I’m a bit of a hoarder and get bored easily.

Pencils are cheaper; if you lose a pen, it becomes frustrating. She goes on to tell me that she is relaxed, a go with the flow girl. Pencils are sharp and neat and I can be messy with them.

Now pens with personality can be bought in shops like TYPO. They are fun, individual and different.



The artistic souls prefer pens with style and quality, bought from art supplies, pens that glide across the paper, good to grip and can illustrate their drawings in journals. There are roller ball pens, ball point, fountain pens dipped in ink. The latter ones are less used with teenagers and yet they have a distinctive look; they are a piece of art and boast a smoother and easier flow onto the paper.

Some pens are made from ebony, walnut, maple and zebra wood. Some pens are gripped so tightly like squeezing a lemon that the marks are too intense and untidy. Does this remind you of anyone you know? Others hold their pens with poise and ease, confident in their writing.


As a teacher I see many styles of hand writing – scribbly, tight, small and loose, flowery and neat – I still marvel at the markings and sense of communication that writing “letters” brings. Birthday cards are a good example. Have a look at your most recent cards and often you can work out who the person was by their hand writing. Do you know your father’s hand writing, or sons? Do you smile when you see a note that’s written just for you?

With the swing towards Mindful colouring in books many people prefer to use colour pencils. They are bright and happy lifting the spirits – perhaps these personalities love to see colour around them. It’s contagious and beautiful.



To sum up then, when asked about their hand writing students have said, messy, neat, pathetic, amazing! Such a variety of personalities and responses.

Do you have a favourite pen/ pencil? Are you in a hurry to write or slow and careful?

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1 Comment

March 31, 2017 at 6:29 am

The new Ink Joy gel pens are nice and many teenagers like them. I find many use large note books as journals and change the colour of pen they are writing with. Many add sticks for the theme or mood they are in. I never had coloured pens in my earlier days, started out with chalk and chalkboard.

M.J. Gibbs
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