Review – PaperMate Flair Colors – Olive, Lilac, Navy, Plum, and Turquoise

And now for part 3 of my look at the 20 colors of Papermate Flair pens. This time I’ll be looking at five of the cooler colors in the lineup. I’ll just get started.

Papermate flair colors part 3

Olive – Olive is a nice green, forest-y color that looks quite natural and is very pleasant. It is quite conservative and laid back. One might be able to get away with using it at an office, but it’s unlikely. In poor lighting it almost blends in with dark blues and blacks, though. On the smearing side it’s one of the worst, easily smearing and becoming unreadable with contact with water.

Lilac – It’s a light purplish color that is smooth and quite easy to look at. It wouldn’t be appropriate in most offices, but in many a field of flowers there are similar colors. The color looks almost washed out before water is applied, but it smears and feathers probably the least out of the entire set.

Navy – Navy is a very dark, office-appropriate blue that goes well in most places. Artistically, it would be most at home in the dark, but there may be other applications. It does smear, but very little, and it is often readable afterwards. The main problem when water is applied is that there is so much pigment that it covers a wide area with a bluish tinge.

Plum – A bit off from most of the fruit I’ve seen, this plum is a dark, red-ish, purple color. It could pass for a plum still, just not one from a supermarket. It could also make its home in an office for a bit of fun, but not for everything. It bleeds, feathers, and smears pretty badly, but does stay mostly readable.

Turquoise – Turquoise is a nice color at points, but it shades quite a bit, and the color variation can at times be unpleasant. It’s a good sky, but doesn’t look like the stone, and going over it multiple times will turn it into more of an aquamarine. If your work doesn’t have a problem with blue, it should still work. With a wipe from water nothing changes, but if left for a few moments the color dissolves completely and is unreadable.

And that’s it for part 3. These colors are some of my favorites in the set, and much more usable than their warm counterparts. Next time I’ll be taking a look at the remaining 4 pens, which aren’t officially named anywhere I can find.

Review – PaperMate Flair Colors – Black, Blue, Red, Green, Purple, and Yellow

The Papermate Flair is a good porous-point pen; I’ve looked at both the black and red versions in the past. But they do come in a host of colors. I got the largest pack I could find, which seems to be exclusive to Sam’s Club, with 20 colors. And it’s so exclusive that I can’t find official color names for 4 of them. Those 4 will be in the last part of this series, the first 3 being Standard, Warm, then Cool. And now onto the colors.

Papermate flair colors part 1

Black – The black is a fairly standard black (most are): it’s deep and cool. It’s office-appropriate and moderately smear-resistant. While it does smear, it is readable after most spills.

Blue – A dark, office-type blue that is not a very natural color, but a pleasant one. It is legible and unintrusive. It lightens considerably and smudges when wet, but doesn’t erase.

Red – A dull (but still punchy) red, nice to look at, but a bit pinkish. It’s less glaring and hard on the eyes for grading and warnings than comparable pen reds, but similar to most marker reds. Is fairly smear resistant, but does lighten.

Green – A dark green, slightly darker than, say, a crayon green. It’s a deep, grassy, natural color. Noticeably different from the other, more common colors, but nothing that’ll jump out from across the room. It could be used in a liberal office. It smears and lightens quite a bit, though.

Purple – One of the more usual, pops-off-the-page purples. It is noticeable as a purple and isn’t the most natural-looking color. It stands out from dark blues, but could get lost in a page of dark inks. Almost no smudging on this one, though it does feather a lot when wet. It could be used in a similar office to the green one.

Yellow – A super-bright, stereotypical yellow. It’s almost illegible on white paper. It’s the most water-resistant after red and purple, but it all but disappears anyway. It hurts they eyes to look at for a long time (I’m not sure if it’s the brightness or the fact it’s hard to read) and isn’t a very natural-looking color. I wouldn’t recommend this one unless you’re coloring in books.

And that’s part 1 of my look at the 20 Papermate Flair colors. A good general assortment here, but nothing groundbreaking. Next week I’ll take a look at 5 of the more Warm colors in the set.

Review – Papermate Flair Part 2 Red

A while back I reviewed the Papermate Flair pen, and I was going to say that this was a review of the red version of the same pen; but really I intend this as a continuation of the last review after some more use, and as a review of the red color for the pen.

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I can confirm that the inner cap will keep the tip dry for extended periods of time. The clip is very difficult to use and is easy to get bent out of shape. And while the black pen has a problem with the color rubbing off, the red has no such problem.

The red color itself is more of a pinkish, and it’s kinda washed out. The line for the medium is spread out enough that it is very noticeable as a not-quite red. It isn’t very aggressive, so if one was grading papers and such and wanting to use something that didn’t offend the viewer, this would work. However, as far as I can see there are no other practical applications. Perhaps marking on technical drawings, but again there are easier and better solutions. Using the pen on a very absorbent paper will make a much deeper color, so that is an option.

Overall the Flair is still a great pen, but I wouldn’t recommend the red color as it is not a very strong red, or a good covering color.

 

Review – Pentel Sign Pen

A felt tip marker can be a useful art supply. If you want to use a high quality marker pen from a well established brand, and don’t need a particularly thick line, the Pentel Sign Pen may be the thing you’re looking for.

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The pen itself is black, fairly flat, combining the worst of matte and shiny blacks. The base has a small tan disk. It’s got a slightly hexagonal design, and both ends taper down to a cylinder. The cap is in the same design. The clip is a long piece of plastic, and it ends in a slightly sharp, shirt tearing, tip. The grip section tapers down to a metal holder and a thin felt tip.

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The ink is a nice black, and it is very black. The tip doesn’t seem to have much line variation. It looks about the same no matter the pressure. Using enough pressure to give variation would damage the tip. Tilting the tip can cause some variation. The ink is mildly waterproof. It does turn grey and does smudge heavily, though it doesn’t fully disappear and can in most cases be read.

So if you need a fine-to-medium point, water-resistant black marker, which sounds specific but really isn’t, this could be the pen for you. In my opinion it is more comfortable than a sharpie, and is a bit smaller, which is nice. It is a very good pen for line art especially on larger works.

Review – Black Papermate Flair Medium

Okay, so you want to ink a drawing, or maybe just sketch with a nice bold line, but you don’t have a technical pen. Either you can’t afford them or they aren’t available in the shops you have. Well, maybe you could try the Papermate Flair. The one I’ll be reviewing is the black, medium version.

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The body of the pen is a simple matte black. Sometimes this wears off and reveals a smooth body underneath. The ends are tapered, with a bulge in the middle. The name and size of the pen are printed in fairly high quality on the side. The clip is metal, works fine, but a bit tight, and has two hearts as decoration. On the top of the cap there’s a white breather hole. Removing the cap reveals a slick, tapered grip section. Despite this it is pleasant to hold because it flares out at the end, giving your fingers a place to rest.

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The tip is a nice felt tip. The medium is a fair bit wide, but is almost uncomfortable far from the grip. It writes well but sometimes has so much feedback that it seems to drag on the paper. Its ink is a nice black, though sometimes it can fade to a deep grey. It applies easily and consistently, having very little line variation, which is good if you’re inking something. The nib does feel like it can get bent out of shape fairly easily though, so be careful.

So really, if you want an impromptu inking pen, or something to sketch or make technical drawings with, but don’t have a technical pen, this is a fairly nice replacement. It isn’t as high a quality so it won’t last as long, but it it still a superb writing instrument and a very cheap alternative, even if it doesn’t have all the same quality features.