I've felt a strong connection to every aspect of writing since I first picked up a pen as a child. To me, writing is so much more than simply putting pen to paper. It’s a personal and meaningful experience that should be enjoyable, even luxurious. I suggest to anyone contemplating a new pen to first consider the look and feel of the writing instrument. The shape, weight and girth (or width) of a pen all affect the way it feels in your hand. But just as important are the color of the pen’s finish, the texture and the pattern, as these details make an important statement about your individual style.
To me, a pen is like a signature watch or piece of jewelry. It expresses your uniqueness and conveys the importance you place on fine design and quality craftsmanship. Experiment with different pens in your hand, decide what looks and feels best, and then use these tips to choose your most suitable writing technology.
BALLPOINTS: THE GREAT BASIC. There's a reason they’re so popular (every second, over 125 ballpoints are sold worldwide). First, they don’t require a cap. Just twist the pen or click the top to propel and retract the tip. Fast and easy. I recommend ballpoints to anyone who writes with firm hand pressure, because they lay down dry, long-lasting ink in fine, consistent lines. They're also a smart choice if you do any extensive writing, like long note-taking sessions, daily journaling or creative writing. And because the ink is always protected when retracted, ballpoints are perfect for carrying with you every day, especially when traveling. Shop our selection of ballpoint pens
ROLLERBALLS: SMOOTH AND FLUID. If you prefer a pen that glides across the page with very little hand pressure, a rollerball is your best choice. The pen’s tip is a tiny rolling ball that transfers a gel-based ink onto the paper as you write. Cross gel inks are noticeably fluid and free-flowing, yet they dry quickly to prevent unwanted smudging. This makes rollerball pens ideal if you’re left-handed, since the ink won’t transfer to the hand. Cross gel inks are also formulated to archival standards to resist fading over time – an important benefit for avid letter writers and nostalgia buffs who save meaningful documents over a lifetime. And if you enjoy the smart, balanced look of a cap posted on the barrel, rollerball pens are an excellent choice. Just be sure to replace the cap to keep the gel ink from drying out when not in use. As a Mechanical Engineer with a passion for innovative design, I am particularly proud of a unique aspect of our Cross Rollerball Pens. They can also be converted to a ballpoint or a porous-point/felt-tip pen simply by changing the refill. So your Cross Rollerball is really three different pens in one. Shop our selection of Rollerball Pens
FOUNTAIN PENS: EVERYDAY LUXURY. Many people think that fountain pens are too formal to use every day. Not so. The first pen I ever used as a child was a fountain pen, so I’m a lifelong fan. I’m so enthusiastic about fountain pens not only because of my early connection to them, but because the give us many options for a personalized and truly rewarding writing experience. The pen’s most distinctive feature is the nib, a flexible metal writing tip with a small split that allows ink to flow from the internal feed system. The nib flexes slightly to adapt to the user’s unique grip and hand motions, so a fountain pen will start to feel like it’s custom made. If you’ve noticed that your penmanship could use some improving, try a fountain pen. Many Cross customers tell us that their handwriting actually got better once they started using one. The nib requires very little hand pressure, so the writing experience is comfortable and notably tactile. I feel connected to every stroke of the pen as I write, which is incredibly satisfying.
Fountain pens also allow writers to choose the width of the strokes and lines they create. For example, an extra fine nib is ideal for writing Chinese or Japanese characters or drawing with intricate detail. A medium nib, on the other hand, really shows off different ink colors nicely and is my top choice for creating a strong, stunning signature. I recommend trying multiple nib sizes to experience the differences. You may even choose, like I have, to keep a variety of nibs on hand for your specific writing needs. The Cross Nib Collection includes solid 18KT gold and stainless steel options, all polished by hand for a pristine appearance and smooth edges that prevent feathering of the ink.
Every day before school, my routine included filling my fountain pen with bottled ink. To me, bottled ink is essential for the complete fountain pen experience. Fortunately, it’s easy to use. Cross offers a special piston converter that fits into our fountain pens and draws ink directly from the bottle into the pen. But if you prefer to keep things even simpler, feel free to use our Cross ink cartridges. We design them to be as easy to insert as a ballpoint refill. But no matter what ink or nib you use with your fountain pen, you’ll discover that the everyday act of writing has become a moment of true luxury. Shop our selection of fountain pens.