The wonderful thing about writing by hand is that you have a whole array of tools to use depending on your needs. You can take notes, journal, or even just unwind by creating some art. Choosing the right pen for the job is important as not all writing instruments are created equally, even if they are very similar. This also goes for fountain pens and calligraphy pens, which are often confused with one another. Here, we’ll be talking about the differences between the two so you can figure out which one is right for you.
Fountain pens vs. calligraphy pens
While they have many similarities, fountain pens and calligraphy pens are ultimately different writing instruments that serve different purposes.
Fountain pens are more commonly used for everyday writing while calligraphy pens are designed for art projects such as lettering. Calligraphy is a very specific and stylized form of writing that is often slow and deliberate as the objective is to make one’s writing beautiful. While fountain pens can also improve your handwriting and add some artistic flair, they are used for more general writing such as notes, journaling, or letter writing.
Both pens use a metal nib (steel, gold, or rhodium) that comes into contact with paper. These nibs look very similar, but there are some distinct differences between them. Fountain pens typically come with a standard round-tipped nib while calligraphy pens only come with flat-ended nibs. Fountain pens may offer flat nibs as well (such as stub nibs or italic nibs) that may be suitable for line variation in everyday writing, but pens designed specifically for calligraphy will offer exclusively flat-ended nibs that are truly meant for stylized writing.
Both fountain pen nibs and calligraphy nibs come in different sizes. Fountain pens often range from extra fine, fine, medium, and broad to stub nibs. Calligraphy nib sizes are referred to in terms of their width size, which often start at 1.1mm and range up to 2.3mm or more. Both fountain pens and calligraphy nibs may have some “give” or a slight flex depending on the material used. This adds more line variation and flexibility in writing.
Ink and filling system
Fountain pen ink is often thinner than ink used in calligraphy pens, which are more viscous. Fountain pens also always have an ink reservoir. Calligraphy pens usually have a holding section for ink on the handle that is connected to the nib. Many work by simply being dipped in ink (similar to dip pens).
There are many fountain and calligraphy pens that can be purchased from $5 to $30, but the price varies a lot more for fountain pens. You can easily find models that cost $100 to $300 while other pens from brands like Montblanc may cost you as much as $1,000.
The Bottom Line
Both fountain pens and calligraphy pens share many similarities, but choosing which one is best for you depends on what type of writing you want to do. Perhaps you prefer everyday note-taking. You might also find stylized lettering therapeutic. Maybe you prefer doing both! Whichever you prefer, a good way to get a feel for it is to get started with stub nibs. It can give you an idea of how much line variation you want in your writing and whether calligraphy is something you want to dabble in.
Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting