Kickstarter Pens: Revitalising Writing Tools in the Workplace

By Koh Wanzi

In an age of styluses, tablets, and advanced word processing, the pen – the most humble of writing tools – has been relegated to a secondary position. Unless you are a pen connoisseur, a battered old Bic pen which you hardly glance at twice is most probably your first resort when you need to pen something down at the office.

However, a deluge of hand-made, machined pens that have found their way onto Kickstarter look set to change this. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that aims to help people fund all manner of creative projects, and many of these pens are the products of small businesses or solo craftsmen. With lovingly moulded aluminium, titanium or steel bodies, these pens are poised to revitalise the act of writing and reassert the pen’s place as a crucial tool in the office.

Here are four of the best pens on Kickstarter that you should check out. As we get caught up in the frenetic pace of a digital workplace, shelling out for a more durable pen that will be with you for a long time can arguably help you to catch your breath, slow down, and pay more attention to small things like the feel – perhaps now foreign – of pen on paper.

Render K
Built by KarasKustoms, this pen is machined from 6061-T6 (artificially hardened and aged) aluminium and features a stainless clip and a threaded cap with a beautifully knurled top. This pen comes in several variants and accepts refills such as the Pilot Hi-Tec-C and the widely available Pilot G2 refill.

The Pen Project
The brainchild of engineer turned designer Ian Schon, the Pen Project is a masterpiece of minimalism and function. Machined from 6061-T6 aluminium like the Render K, it takes the Fisher space pen (PR4) refill, complementing its rugged, industrial minimalism with a refill that will write reliably even in space. At only four inches with the cap closed, the Pen Project will fit into any pocket or purse.

Tactile Turn Z
This pen sports a stainless steel clip and is machined from 7075 aluminium, which is harder than 6061 aluminium. The Tactile Turn Z takes a stunning range of refills, from the steadfast Pilot G2 to the Tul BP3 Retractable Rollerball. Sporting a clean, smooth look, it comes in a wide array of colours and finishes, ensuring that most people should be able to find a version that suits their taste and workspace.

Ti Post RAW Pen + Stylus
The only titanium pen on the list, the Ti Post RAW comes with a stylus as well, a firm nod to the styluses and tablets that are continuing to edge the old-fashioned pen out of office space. With a stylus and pen in one body, the Ti Post RAW is testament to the fact that technology and the pen can in fact co-exist.

The Value of Things Done by Hand
It has become easy – and uncomfortably quick – to send out thank you emails and other forms of correspondence en masse. It is no wonder some of us consider ourselves office drones, as we let machines do everything for us and produce the majority of our goods.

What sets these Kickstarter pens apart is the human element – each pen has been painstakingly taken to the lathe and machined by hand – and the thought that has gone into their design. They embody the things that matter most, that is, putting the human back into many of our daily office tasks. Instead of rushing to translate our thoughts to pixels on screen, set some time aside to put pen to paper and embrace the added sincerity of a handwritten note, or the lightning flash of inspiration.

As increasingly large parts of our work migrate online, these pens and the act of writing are reassuringly tangible.

Would you support one of these pens on Kickstarter? Share with us in the comment box below!

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