Recently, Ed Jelley wrote about Paper Mate Liquid Flair Felt Tip Pens and that was enough to persuade me to purchase a set of eight colors. They won’t replace fountain pens, but they are a handy way to put ink on paper.
The pens are plastic and lightweight, but with enough girth to feel comfortable in my hand. The top snaps on rather loudly and firmly and can be posted without overbalancing the pen. The nib produces clean lines and glides easily with just a hint of feedback. In fact it quite nearly skated over the Midori #013 Tomoe River paper. Adjusting the speed at which I wrote improved control. The smooth, juicy flow produces strong coverage, but dries a little slowly with the medium nib on Tomoe. A more absorbent paper speeds the drying time to a second or two.
The reusable pouch states that the colors are vivid and with that I would agree. The blue has a lot of red in it and dries with a sheen you might expect of fountain pen ink. It wasn’t evident except where ink puddled, but still impressive when it did happen.
Turquoise, green, orange and pink are reflective catching the light at some angles. However, those colors aren’t as strong as the other four. Black, purple and deep red are very saturated and matte in comparison.
The black will likely find a regular home in the pen box on my desk. The dark red is a rich color and good contrast for the black, so it is headed for the box as well. Turquoise is usually an easy sell for me, but this one is a bit more pale than my preference. However, for the convenience of a felt tip, it will have its opportunities.
None of my fountain pens felt displaced or jealous. Big yawns mostly. However, Paper Mate has done a creditable job of bringing a useful felt tip to market with the Liquid Flair. Besides the attractive colors and comfortable form, these pens should weather the summer heat without fuss. Don’t tell my fountain pens, but that will keep the Flair pens on my desk for months to come. Instant starts and no dried out nibs sound very appealing after last week’s hundred degree days.
My kit of Liquid Flair pens came from Amazon along with the Traveler’s Notebook #013 used for testing. But here’s an idea worth considering. These pens would write very well in those notebooks that can’t handle fountain pen ink. Finally, that stack of Moleskines might get put to use. My FPs certainly won’t mind since they know inferior paper is beneath them. Who can argue with such clever little devils?