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June 19, 2014 - Posted by Miriam to Guides

Hailed by many as the holy grail among gel ink pens, the Uni-ball Signo line is lauded for its legendary archival quality ink and continuous smooth flow. With tip sizes that range from 0.28 mm to 1.0 mm and a vivid array of colors to choose from, it's revered by pen lovers everywhere.

The extremely viscous formula behind the gel ink is what sets it apart. As the ink passes through the tip of the pen, its viscosity is reduced by the rotating ball to enable smooth writing. When the ink touches the paper, it returns to its original viscosity to prevent feathering and bleeding. The pigment contained in the ink is water-resistant and light-resistant, so you can enjoy your work for a long time.

A recent innovation of the Uni-ball Signo that is particular to the retractable RT1 line is its "edgeless tip." Instead of conventional cornered tips, the tips of the RT1 are rounded to reduce friction against the paper. This allows the pen to glide more effortlessly across the page.

Characteristics of the Uni-ball Signo
Form Factor
The product lines under the Uni-ball Signo brand can be split into capped or retractable. Within those aspects, there are also slight variations in factors such as grip material, length and weight of the pen, and so on.
Pen Name Length Diameter Weight
Uni-ball Signo UM-151 UM-151 13.6 cm 10.3 mm 0.40 oz
Uni-ball Signo UM-100 UM-100 15.1 cm 9.8 mm 0.40 oz
Uni-ball Signo RT UM-138 RT UM-138 13.9 cm 10.6 mm 0.35 oz
Uni-ball Signo RT1 UMN-155 RT1 UMN-155 14.1 cm 10.9 mm 0.39 oz
Uni-ball Signo 207 207 14.2 cm 11.5 mm 0.35 oz
Uni-ball Signo Broad UM-153 Broad UM-153 13.9 cm 11.3 mm 0.40 oz
Uni-ball Signo Angelic UM-120AC Angelic UM-120AC 15.5 cm 9.8 mm 0.40 oz
Uni-ball Signo Sparkling Glitter Sparkling 15.6 cm 9.8 mm 0.45 oz
Uni Noble Metal Metallic Noble Metal 15.6 cm 9.8 mm 0.45 oz
Note: "Length" refers to capped or retracted length.
Tip Size
Uni-ball Signo product lines feature a wide range of tip sizes: 0.28 mm, 0.38 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, 0.8 mm, and 1.0 mm. At one point, the legendary Signo Bit UM-201 in the 0.18 mm tip size was also offered, but has since been discontinued. (0.18 mm refills are still available on JetPens.) Some product lines offer more tip sizes, while others only offer one. Although all Uni-ball Signo pens write effortlessly, the larger the tip size, the smoother the writing.
Pen Uni-ball Signo 0.28 mm Uni-ball Signo 0.38 mm Uni-ball Signo 0.5 mm Uni-ball Signo 0.7 mm Uni-ball Signo 0.8 mm Uni-ball Signo 1.0 mm
Uni-ball Signo UM-151 Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.5 mm
Uni-ball Signo UM-100 Uni-ball Signo UM-100 0.5 mm Uni-ball Signo UM-100 0.7 mm Uni-ball Signo UM-100 0.8 mm
Uni-ball Signo RT Uni-ball Signo RT 0.38 mm
Uni-ball Signo RT1 UMN-155 Uni-ball Signo RT1 0.28 mm Uni-ball Signo RT1 0.38 mm
Uni-ball Signo 207 Uni-ball Signo 207 0.5 mm Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm
Uni-ball Broad UM-153 Uni-ball Broad UM-153 1.0 mm
Uni-ball Signo Angelic UM120AC Uni-ball Signo Angelic UM120AC 0.7 mm
Uni-ball Signo Sparkling Glitter Uni-ball Signo Sparkling Glitter 1.0 mm
Uni-ball Noble Metal Metallic Uni-ball Noble Metal Metallic 0.8 mm
Colors
The Uni-ball Signo pens have a whole range of colors you can choose from. Different product lines offer different colors and finishes. While some of the names of the colors are the same across the product lines, there are slight differences between a few of the colors. We sorted the different product lines into Writing and Craft lines. The writing samples for the Writing lines are in the table below, while the samples for the Craft lines are in their own sections further down this post.
Color Names Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm Uni-ball Signo UM-100 0.5 mm Uni-ball Signo UM-100 0.7 mm Uni-ball Signo RT Uni-ball Signo RT1 Uni-ball Signo 207 0.5 mm Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm
Uni-ball Signo in Baby Pink Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Baby Pink Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Baby Pink Uni-ball Signo RT1 in Baby Pink
Uni-ball Signo in Black Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Black Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Black Uni-ball Signo UM-100 0.5 mm in Black Uni-ball Signo RT1 in Black Uni-ball Signo RT in Black Uni-ball Signo 207 0.5 mm in Black Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm in Black
Uni-ball Signo in Blue Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Blue Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Blue Uni-ball Signo UM-100 0.5 mm in Blue Uni-ball Signo RT1 in Blue Uni-ball Signo RT in Blue Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm in Blue
Uni-ball Signo in Blue Black Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Blue Black Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Blue Black Uni-ball Signo UM-100 0.5 mm in Blue Black Uni-ball Signo RT1 in Blue Black Uni-ball Signo RT in Blue Black Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm in Blue Black
Uni-ball Signo in Bordeaux Black Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Bordeaux Black
Uni-ball Signo in Brown Black Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Brown Black Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Brown Black Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm in Brown Black
Uni-ball Signo in Emerald Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Emerald Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Emerald
Uni-ball Signo in Fluorescent Pink Uni-ball Signo UM-100 in Fluorescent Pink
Uni-ball Signo in Golden Yellow Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Golden Yellow Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Golden Yellow Uni-ball Signo UM-100 in Golden Yellow
Uni-ball Signo in Green Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Green Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Green Uni-ball Signo UM-100 in Green Uni-ball Signo RT1 in Green
Uni-ball Signo in Green Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm in Green
Uni-ball Signo in Green Black Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Green Black Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm in Green Black
Uni-ball Signo in Lavender Black Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Lavender Black Uni-ball Signo RT in Lavender Black
Uni-ball Signo in Light Blue Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Light Blue Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Light Blue Uni-ball Signo RT1 in Light Blue Uni-ball Signo RT in Light Blue Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm in Light Blue
Uni-ball Signo in Light Blue Uni-ball Signo UM-100 in Light Blue
Uni-ball Signo in Light Green Uni-ball Signo UM-100 in Light Green
Uni-ball Signo in Lime Green Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Lime Green Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Lime Green Uni-ball Signo RT in Lime Green
Uni-ball Signo in Mandarin Orange Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Mandarin Orange Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Mandarin Orange
Uni-ball Signo in Orange Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Orange Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Orange Uni-ball Signo RT1 in Orange Uni-ball Signo RT in Orange Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm in Orange
Uni-ball Signo in Pink Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Pink Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Pink Uni-ball Signo RT in Pink Uni-ball Signo 207 in Pink
Uni-ball Signo in Pure Pink Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Pure Pink Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Pure Pink
Uni-ball Signo in Purple Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm in Purple
Uni-ball Signo in Purple Black Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm in Purple Black
Uni-ball Signo in Red Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Red Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Red Uni-ball Signo UM-100 0.5 mm in Red Uni-ball Signo RT1 in Red Uni-ball Signo RT in Red Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm in Red
Uni-ball Signo in Red Black Uni-ball Signo 207 0.7 mm in Red Black
Uni-ball Signo in Sky Blue Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Sky Blue Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Sky Blue
Uni-ball Signo in Violet Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.28 mm and 0.5 mm in Violet Uni-ball Signo UM-151 0.38 mm in Violet Uni-ball Signo RT UMN-155 in Violet
Uni-ball Signo in Violet Uni-ball Signo UM-100 0.5 mm in Violet
Uni-ball Signo in Yellow Uni-ball Signo UM-100 in Yellow
Note: some colors are repeated because they vary between different lines even though they're named the same color.
Product Lines for Writing
UM-151 Gel Ink Pens
20 colors of the UM-151.

With their comfortable grips and balanced weight, these fine-tipped pens are great for everyday writing. There is a huge range of colors, but we're especially smitten with the off-black colors (Green Black, Bordeaux Black, and Lavender Black) only offered in the 0.38 mm tip size. They're the perfect alternative to plain old black ink. Some of you may know these pens as the Signo DX, which is what they are called outside of Japan.

UM-100 Gel Ink Pens
11 colors of the UM-100.

These pens are for people who don't want anything extra in their pen and just need it to write well. Going back to the basics with their stripped down, economical body, the UM-100 pens offer normal writing colors in 0.5 mm as well as fun, bright colors in 0.7 mm for writing. You can use the normal colors for taking notes in class or at work, and use the other colors for journaling or writing notes to friends.

RT UM-138 Gel Ink Pens
8 colors of the RT UM-138.

For those who can't be bothered with a cap, we recommend the retractable RT pens. Extremely lightweight, these pens are comfortable to hold and use. They carry a bit more of weight toward the top of pen where the clicker is, so you may have to adjust your grip accordingly. Regardless, they carry the same Signo gel ink for a smooth writing experience.

RT1 UMN-155 Gel Ink Pens
10 colors of the RT1 UMN-155 and 4 UMN-155C body colors.

Also retractable, the RT1 pens feature the innovative tip design mentioned earlier. The tip is rounded to reduce friction against the paper and allows it to glide effortlessly across the page. The design of the pen mirrors the writing experience, with a simple body consisting of a clicker with clip and a rubber grip that blends almost seamlessly into the barrel. Slightly fatter than its capped counterparts, the pen is light and easy to hold. The C line is purely cosmetic, and signifies that the pen holds black ink with an unmatched body color.

207 Retractable Gel Ink Pens
13 colors of the 207.

These pens have slightly larger tip sizes, ideal for people who enjoy writing with a thicker line. The 207 BLX pens feature different shades of black that provide a subtle softness to the normal black, while the regular 207 offers more standard colors. Great for legal and official documents, the 207 line has been used in countless check washing demonstrations to prove its prowess in adhering to paper. The secret is Uni-ball's special gel ink formula that are also be found in other Uni-ball gel ink pens in darker colors such as black, blue, red, and purple. The ink contains tiny color pigments that get trapped within the paper fibers, making them virtually impossible to remove.

Applications
Check Washing Prevention

Check washing is a form of identity theft where ink is removed from a check by using common household products such as acetone. In the demonstration to the left, we dipped a check written with a regular ballpoint pen and the Uni-ball Signo 207 in black into nail polish remover (acetone).

Product used: Uni-ball Signo 207 Retractable Gel Ink Pen - Black Ink.

Journaling

The archival qualities of Uni-ball's gel ink make it great for activities such as journaling. The words or doodles you pen will maintain their vibrant color for you to enjoy for a long time.

Products used: Uni-ball Signo UM-151 Gel Ink Pens and Life Vermilion Notebook.

Product Lines for Crafting
UM-100 Gel Ink Pens
2 colors of the UM-100 Gel Ink Pen.
Writing sample on white and black paper.

We've already mentioned this line in the Writing section, but the Gold and Silver colors deserve their own segment. Their 0.8 mm tip is not too thick and not too thin, perfect for laying down metallic accents in your craft projects. We especially love the look of these pens on dark paper.

Broad UM-153 Gel Ink Pens
8 colors of the Broad UM-153 Gel Ink Pen.
Writing sample on white and black paper.

For those who prefer a thicker line, the Broad UM-153 is available in a variety of colors in 1.0 mm. This line contains one of our most popular pens, the white UM-153, famous for its high opacity and versatility. If you like the look of the UM-100 silver and gold, but prefer a bigger tip, the UM-153 also offers silver and gold. The silver and gold pens in this line are remarkably similar, if not the same, as the Uni-ball Gel Impact Gel Ink Pens in silver and gold. This pen is great for both crafting purposes and writing.

Angelic UM-120AC Gel Pens
Writing sample on white and black paper.

We look to this line for all our scrapbooking needs, because of its opaque and acid-free pigment. The ink in these pens is different than the ink in other Signo lines. It has a milky texture and look to it, which translates well on dark paper and photos, no matter which color you choose.

Sparkling Glitter Gel Ink Pens
Writing sample on white and black paper.

These glitzy pens add sparkling glitter to your craft project. Use them to glam up your notes, artwork, scrapbooks, cards and more. Their 1.0 mm tip gives you a solid thick line of ink that showcases the fine particles of glitter beautifully. You can try it on both light and dark paper, but the glitter shows significantly better on light paper.

Noble Metal Metallic Gel Ink Pens
Writing sample on white and black paper.

If glitter is not your cup of tea, but you still want a bit of shine, the Noble Metal pens give your crafts a lovely metallic sheen. The colors catch the light and change ever so slightly for a multi-dimensional effect. On dark paper, the colors look more muted than on white, so they're perfect for subtle accents.

Applications
Scrapbooking

The milky, opaque ink of the Angelic line is perfect for scrapbooking. Whether you're writing on photos, light, dark, or patterned paper, the ink shines through clearly.

Products used: Uni-ball Signo Angelic UM-120AC Gel Ink Pens and Mt Deco Masking Tapes.

Paper Crafts

From invitations to seating cards to DIY framed mottos and more, use these gel pens to create one-of-a-kind crafts that your friends and family will love.

Products used: Uni-ball Signo Noble Metal Metallic Gel Ink Pens and Sun-Star Fakus 2 Pencil Case in Pink.

Final Thoughts

The Uni-ball Signo offers an extensive line of pens that are perfect for everything from everyday writing to craft projects. The smooth writing qualities of the archival gel ink make it a must-have for our pen cases. What's your favorite Uni-ball Signo pen?




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