What does a "ballpoint" mean?
In short, it's the smoothest, most consistent writing-pen style. The unique design places a small ball bearing at the tip of the ink cartridge. As the bearing rolls across the paper, the ink is drawn out of the cartridge and deposited on the paper. The ink also serves as a lubricant—that's why writing with a ballpoint feels so smooth.
How does a roller ball differ from a ballpoint?
They are actually the same design (a rolling ball at the tip dispensing ink), but differ in the ink they use. Ballpoints use oil-based inks that dry faster and don't smudge. The traditional water-based inks used in roller ball designs are thinner, flow easier and require less pressure to make a mark.
What is a "retractable" ballpoint pen? How does it differ from other types of ballpoints?
The popular retractable pen has a "click" button at the top that you press down to extend the rolling ball tip for writing and retract it when not using the pen. With a "twist action" pen, you twist the barrel to extend and retract the tip. A third type of ballpoint, the cap pen, has a removable cap over the tip so its ink won't make marks when the pen is not in use.
How do you add art and logos to the pens?
There are two basic processes, silkscreening and laser engraving.
Nearly all plastic-body pens are silkscreened. This is the same process used on T-shirts: ink is transferred through a screen onto the pen. This process allows many color choices and good detail.
For metal pens, laser engraving uses a laser to remove the top layer of material on the pen body, exposing the contrasting natural metal color underneath. Laser engraving offers precise detail and refined looks.
What's the difference between standard and wide body pens?
Larger hands appreciate the bigger size of wide body pens. While no two people are built exactly alike, it is possible to tailor your pen choice to the largest portion of your audience. For example, a reunion of all-pro football players probably would have a larger percentage of big hands than, say, a meeting of computer programmers.
What if you don't offer the kind of pen I'm looking for?
If we don't carry the type of pen (or any other meeting supply) you have in mind, our out-of-catalog service will find it for you. Just call us! 888.354.7868.