JetPens Blog

JetPens Blog

September 6, 2012 - Posted by David to Pen Pics

Sean McCabe is a lettering artist and type designer from San Antonio, Texas. His full time job is running a web design firm, Bold Perspective, in which he handles user interface design and branding. At all other hours of the day and weekends, you can consistently find him at his desk drawing letters. Sean recounts his passion here:

September 3, 2012 - Posted by David to Pen Pals Interviews

A new interview series featuring notable people within the pen, art, and design worlds. JetPens is pleased to introduce Caroline Lau of Maya Road. Walk with us as we delve into scrapbooking.

Tell us about yourself and what you do.

I am Caroline Lau, Managing Partner at Maya Road. Maya Road is a wholesale scrapbooking company which specializes in innovative basic products that allow for every day memory keeping for everyone. We strive to keep our products unique and our pricing competitive every day. My sister, Deb, and I started Maya Road 9 years ago. I run the day to day operations as well as plan and organize all of our releases. Maya Road is a family business; along with Deb and myself, our husbands are equal partners in the business.

John Skoyles writes the column "Pen and Ink" and is a professor at Emerson College, a poet, and author of the memoir, Secret Frequencies: A New York Education. Find out more about John and his work at

My interest in fountain pens started when a friend gave me a Lamy Safari. Then it escalated as I investigated other brands and moved onto high end Pelikans (the Souveran M1000); Mont Blanc 149; Visconti Opera Master; Omas Paragon Wild, and Omas Etruria.

The funny thing is that in my experience, most of the pens (both high and low end) write very well and pretty much the same. Today’s steel nibs can be good as gold. Exceptions are the nibs I’ve had adjusted by top-notch nibmeisters like Mike Masuyama who does business at Mike-It-Work. He refit the nib and feed on my Omas Paragon so that it has continuous flow, and he ground the tip to a 0.6mm stub. It is smoother than any pen I have and glides across the page — remember, of course, that fine paper adds to the experience. Clairefontaine, Rhodia, Exacompta, Maruman and Pelle are among my favorites. (Last month I sent a leather Pelle journal as a gift to a friend who wrote me back, calling it “a gorgeous and generous piece of craft and artistry”). Which reminds me that I tried a cheaper journal the other day, and the ink feathered and blotted...totally useless for fountain pens.

The high end pens have an allure, almost like works of art.

August 29, 2012 - Posted by Lucy to Staff Musings

Origins of Cursive

Cursive exists in many languages, including Greek, Russian, and Chinese, but this article will concentrate solely on English cursive, which is the practice of writing conjoined letters. Although it was originally used to increase writing speed, cursive is also valued for its aesthetic qualities.

Its exact origins are difficult to pinpoint, but it’s certain that English cursive existed in some form before 1066. By the 16th century it was quite popular, but tended to vary from person to person and defied standardization. When Thomas Jefferson committed the Declaration of Independence to paper, he joined most -- but not all -- of his letters. By the time Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address, cursive had developed into a more modern and recognizable form.

The original draft of the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson on July 4, 1776.

A draft of The Gettysburg Address written by Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863.

New products are here!

Fresh from Japan, these Zebra Fullst Mechanical Pencils come in 6 stylish designs and can extend lead via both shaker and knock mechanisms. The 0.5 mm lead size is perfect for taking crisp and precise notes, while the