White Journaling Pens
This was a fun experiment. We took 15 white pens that are designed to write on black paper, and put them to the test. We wanted it to be a fair test, so
we kept all of the variables the same. We used the same black, porous, smooth cardstock from Paper Reflections. My friend, Jackie, did the writing, and
trust me, her writing is much nicer than mine! We tested all of the pens and markers out on scrap paper first – to get an accurate feel of the ink, and the
delivery. Then, we judged each pen for it’s whiteness, smoothness of writing, consistency of ink, difficulty in using the pen correctly (learning curve),
fading, and globbing.
For our purposes, we did not rewrite over any areas. The ink is as it appeared for us when we wrote. These pens were all new, so it is possible that any
skipping may be contributed to that.
Here are our results.
1. Gel Excel – Marvy. It came out white, with little fading. It did skip a little, but was otherwise smooth. Based on how you held the pen – angled or
straight up – the consistency of the ink (how thick the line is in parts) could be uneven. The tips were a little whiter than the lettering, implying that it did
glob a little at the end of a letter or a line. Writing slower was better, and gave better results. Straight up was better then holding it at an angle.
2. The Ultimate Gel Pen – Pastel from American Crafts. Starts out white, but did fade rather quickly as it absorbed into the paper. It went on thick,
and only writing at an angle created any skipping. Writing slower didn’t change any of the qualities. It was not globby, even on the tips.
3. Souffle – Sakura. This was a fun pen. It goes on light white, then turns blue, then after a while – dries to a bright white with an embossed, raised
lettering. You really need to write slowly and evenly (with no hesitation) to get a smooth line. It didn’t skip, and there were no globs, even on the tips.
4. Gel Xtreme – Y & C. The brightness of the white is medium. It was smooth, without skipping, and the consistency of the ink was even. It was best to
go slow, and hold the pen straight up, but the color will fade into the black paper, regardless.
5. White Gel Pen – Fiskars. This was a surprise. It was white and held its color. It didn’t fade too much. It pulled as you wrote, the pen seemed to
pause, but the ink kept flowing, so you did need to work with it while you wrote. But if you got the feel of the pen, then there wasn’t any skipping. It gave
better results when you wrote slower, and moved with the ink. Also, it worked better when you didn’t push down too hard, as this left a crease in the
center of the line.
6. Galaxy Marker – American Crafts. This is a marker, not a pen. It started out white, and faded into the black paper. It was very smooth, and there
was no need to try to hold it upright, or write an angle. There was a little globbing on the tips. It didn’t matter if you wrote faster or slower. It required
very little pressure.
7. Chalk Writer – Zig. It was interesting, as this pen went on clear, and then dried white. This possibly shouldn’t be called a “journaling pen”. It went on
smooth, was even, with no globbing. It was easy to write with, just hard to see the lines as you wrote, as they started out invisible. (There’s more on the
uses for chalk markers in another section).
8. Opaque Writer – Zig. It went on white, and held its color. It was smooth, and consistent, with no skipping. It didn’t matter if you held it at an angle.
9. Poster Paint – Sharpie. It was white, and stayed white. It was smooth, and even, with only a little globbing at the tips. It did fade some, but worked
better after it had been used for a few minutes. It worked better with a smooth writing stroke, as the course tip would sometimes catch on the paper, and
spray small drops of ink on the page.
10. Signo - Uniball. This pen is all it is said to be. It goes on bright white, and stays bright white. There is a little build up of the ink on the pen tip, but it
can be managed. There was no globbing on the letters either when beginning or ending writing. The consistency was even and holding upright or at an
angle made no difference in the quality of the ink flow. It was best to start slowly, and allow the ink to begin, before writing. If you started our too quickly,
the ink would skip the first 1/2 inch of writing.
11. Hybrid Gel Grip - Pentel. This ink went on bright, but quickly faded as it absorbed into the black cardstock. Holding the pen at an angle or straight
up, made no difference in the writing quality. It was a good consistency, and there wasn't any globbing on the tips of the letters. The was no buildup on
the pen roller.
12. Hybrid Roller - Pentel. (This may be the same ink as in the pen listed above, just in a different pen case.) This pen has the exact same properties
as the above listed pen. It went on white, but faded quickly as it was absorbed. It had an even consistency, and no globbing.
Also tested, but not shown were the Glimmer Gel pen, Sakura Aqualip, and the Met-Al paint pens. The Glimmer Gel pen, white, just wouldn't get started -
and we really tried. It may be that it was just a new pen, as all of my other Glimmer Gels write beautifully. When we did get it to write (but not enough for
a demonstration) its qualities were similar to that of the Ultimate Gel Pen by American Crafts. The Sakura Aqualip looks white in the pen case, but is
actually a clear glaze pen. The Met-Al pen is not designed for journaling (as we found out) but meant for writing on metal and only marking a small bit at
White Journaling Pens