Fountain Pens vs Calligraphy Pens

Fountain Pens vs Calligraphy Pens

Fountain Pens

These pens belong to a family of the finest writing implements. They are still presented as gifts to graduates or retirees of law, industry and commerce. Fountain pens may be considered a mark of sophistication. They are also the tools of choice for artists, illustrators, cartoonists, poets and others.

Only the style of nib distinguishes between a fountain pen and a calligraphy pen. The nib, or writing tip, is the point that delivers the ink to the paper. Both fountain and calligraphy pens rely on capillary action, rather than friction, to write. Capillary action is the inter-molecular attractive force or surface tension that causes water molecules to follow molecule-by-molecule out of fountain and calligraphy nibs. As a result, both styles of pens effortlessly glide over the page and give handwriting a unique character.

Pen nibs can be divided into two main types: pointed and broad. The pointed nib is usually associated with a fountain pen. Fountain pen ink is thin and flows quite freely through a pointed nib. Little effort is required to put ink onto paper. However, the pen must be held at a suitable and constant angle for writing. 

The nib determines smoothness and flexibility. Nibs are made from different materials such as steel, rhodium, and gold. It is craftsmanship that determines the quality and durability of the nib. Nibs come in various sizes: EF (extra-fine), F (fine), M (medium), and B (bold). A medium nib is common for most handwriting. If you write small perhaps a fine nib would be preferable. Use a flourish in your signature when signing important contracts? A bolder nib may suit your needs Thick and thin strokes are achieved by varying the pressure you put on the nib. How you write is a part of the criteria for selecting a nib.

Part of the fun of using a fountain pen is knowing that these pens are a piece of history.


Calligraphy Pens

Calligraphy pens are a special class of fountain pen. The broader, flat edge is the older of the two nib types. It creates marks varying in thickness. Calligraphy pens are primarily used for art projects and stylized penmanship. The pen is usually held at a constant angle, different scripts requiring different nib angles. Thick and thin strokes are created by varying the direction of the stroke. Nib sizes are generally considered to be small, medium or large as measured in millimeters. For expressive journaling, several sizes of nibs are useful.


Therefore, although these two types of luxurious pens are quite similar, the main difference between them is that Fountain Pen nibs are fine and pointy and Calligraphy Pen nibs are more flat and horizontal.


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