Dayspring Pens

How to Select the Ideal Custom Pen

Notebook and pen top on the table

Are you in the market for a new pen that will be an excellent utility? One that will look fantastic, and still feel nice in your hand?

Are you unsure of the kind of pen you should get?

Why not let us highlight the factors to consider when getting your customizable pen?

Finding the Right Pen Type

You don’t need to understand how the different pens work, but it sure makes the whole experience smoother if you do.

Let’s look at three of the most widely available pen types:

Ballpoint Pens

Ballpoints use a tiny ball at the tip of their nib to dispense oil-based ink on the paper.

The ink used in ballpoints is typically very thick compared to fountain pen ink. This makes ballpoint pen ink very long-lasting.

The downside is that you need more pressure with each stroke to allow the ink to flow onto the paper. This means you’ll get tired quicker when writing.

The ballpoint is the workhorse of the pen world. They are easy to use and they work well on almost all kinds of paper.

Check out this Cross Century II 10 Karat Rolled Gold Ballpoint Pen.

Cross Century II 10 Karat Rolled Gold Ballpoint Pen
Cross Century II 10 Karat Rolled Gold Ballpoint Pen

Rollerball Pens

As is the case with ballpoints, rollerballs use a revolving ball to dispense ink onto your paper. However, instead of oil-based ink, rollerballs use water-based dye ink.

The ink used in rollerballs is less viscous than the oil-based ink used in ballpoints. The ink, therefore, flows effortlessly onto your paper. You don’t need to use as much pressure during your writing process.

Rollerballs are most suitable for people who suffer from hand cramps. This is because the liquid ink requires minimal pressure to dispense ink onto your paper.

Be mindful of the kind of paper you use with your rollerball. Low-quality paper will lead to bleeding of the liquid ink.

Take a look at this Waterman Expert Black Chrome Trim rollerball pen.

Personalized Waterman Expert Black Chrome Trim Rollerball Pen
Waterman Expert Black Chrome Trim Rollerball Pen

Fountain Pens

"To write with a fountain pen on creamy paper is one of life’s great sensual pleasures." - Daisy Goodwin of the Sunday Times.

The ink from a fountain pen flows effortlessly onto your writing surface. This results in lush strokes and handwriting that is uniquely yours all through.

You can also change up your nibs to suit your style.

A fountain pen is a statement maker. It writes words on paper, but it does so with style and grace.

Fountain pens use a metal nib to dispense ink from the reservoir enclosed within the barrel.

There are two main types of ink refilling systems for fountain pens.

  1. Cartridges. These come prefilled with ink. You install them in your pen, and you’re ready to start writing your next best-seller.
  2. Converters. These allow you to refill your pen from ink pots. This gives you a lot of freedom and variety. Bottled ink has a lot more ink color options compared to cartridges.

If you’re in the market for a quality fountain pen, take a look at this Cross Townsend Lustrous Chrome Fountain Pen.

Imagine how good it’d look if it had your name or initials engraved along the chrome barrel.

Engraving Your Pen

There are a few factors to consider when deciding on the engraving of your personalized pens. They include:


When deciding on the color filling of your engraving grooves, make sure you apply a bit of color theory. The crux being that the colors opposite each other on the color wheel complement each other best.

For example, if the barrel of your pen is red, green engraving will pop better because of the contrast.

Full-color wheel showing the basic colors
Image from: pinterest

If your pen’s barrel is red and you decide to go with a pink engraving, it won’t be very visible. This defeats the purpose of engraving.

If it's a corporate order, consider your brand colors. Both the colors of your pen and your engraving should emphasize your brand identity.


The font you pick speaks volumes. Take care not to send the wrong message.

For a formal business setting, sans serif fonts are your best choice. The focus will be on your message rather than the aesthetics of the characters.

The best examples include Lato or Helvetica.

Exhibit of how the Lato font looks like in its different forms

Exhibit of how the Helvetica font looks like in its different forms

Don’t squeeze too many words in your engraving. This will lead to overcrowding and illegibility. In most cases, 10-20 characters along the barrel is a good amount.

To ensure you get the most out of the limited space on your pen, stick to only the most critical information.

If it's a graduation gift, make sure to include the graduate’s name and certificate.

If you’re engraving promotional pens, ensure you include your business contact.

Consider the Ink Filling System

When you decide to go for a fountain pen, there are two main methods of refilling it with ink:

  1. Ink cartridges 
  2. Converters


An ink cartridge is the simplest form of pen refill available. It comes in the form of a capsule of ink.

When refilling, you only need to screw in the new cartridge. Once you exhaust the ink, unscrew the used cartridge and dispose of it.

Take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using ink cartridges;


  1. They offer the best portability. All the other refilling methods require you to carry clunky ink bottles with you.
  2. Cartridges are the easiest method of all. All you need to do is pop in the cartridge that is already pre-filled with ink. No spills. No mess.


  1. Limited capacity. Because of their small size, cartridges hold a small capacity of ink. This means that refills will be more frequent. This piles up the overall cost of using cartridges.
  2. Limited color choice. Most pen brands use proprietary cartridges. You’re therefore limited to using only the colors that your pen brand manufactures.


Converters draw ink from your ink bottles. There are two types of converters:

Piston converters which use a piston enclosed within a cylinder. The sealed piston head is pushed down to expel air from the cylinder. It is then pulled back up to create a vacuum that is filled with ink. Simple.

Squeeze converters where the air is expelled from the cylinder by squeezing it between fingers. As you release, ink is pulled into the cylinder to fill the vacuum created by the squeezing action.


  1. The main advantage of using ink converters is that they give you a wide range of colors to choose from. You can fill your custom pens from any ink bottle you can get your hands on.
  2. Low cost of use. An ink bottle can serve you for months before you start thinking of buying a new bottle. However, this depends on your usage frequency.


  1. Using converters can get messy in case of accidental spillage from the inkpot.
  2. Ink bottles are not very travel-friendly. They are bulkier as compared to cartridges.

Let’s Engrave Your Pen

Personalized pens are one of the best ways of showing loved ones or your clients that you value them.

At Dayspring Pens, we understand this, and we aim for the best with every new order of custom pens.

For promotional pens, we can customize orders like name initials, company logos, and more.

For individual custom pens, we handle everything from birthdays, graduations, and anniversary gifts.

Browse our collection of customizable pens, select the best option you find, and make your order. Then wait to be impressed, and for the wide smiles on your recipients’ faces.

If you need assistance in placing your personalized order, give us a call today. We’re eager to answer any questions you might have.


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