Anthony Newman is currently producing some really interesting and challenging writing on his UK Fountain Pens website. Two recent posts that made me reflect on the fountain pens I use; one on narrowing pens down to a top three and a later post about categorising pens against two orthogonal scales — love and usage.
Go read them both then come back…
The first article made me realise there was no way I could narrow my choice down to just three pens without a lot of heartache. The second article got me thinking how I would review my pens against this model and what would be my tourists, tools, trophies and treasures.
This model appeals to me because it’s really simple to do (especially compared with rejecting pens) as it only needs an assessment against two scales:
- How much do I love this pen?
- How often do I use this pen?
And then drop the results into a quadrant where they become tourists, tools, trophies or treasures. In reverse order…
- Treasures are pens that are loved and used often.
- Tools are pens that are less well-loved but get used regularly. For me, a ‘tool’ pen needs to be one that you can simply pick up and know it will just work. That means just being able to uncap the pen and start writing!
- Trophies are pens that are loved but, for whatever reason, don’t get used often.
- Tourists are pens that are less well-loved and are rarely used. I may think of this as the waiting room for a future sale!
Anthony used a ‘binary’ classification where all pens in a category are the same. I was conscious that I feel I have a few pens that are ‘edge cases’, for example pens that are ‘treasures’ but are close to becoming ‘trophies’ because I don’t use them as often as they warrant. Similarly, I have pens that get used regularly but aren’t loved as much as others so sit close to that border between tools and treasures.
So here are my pens.
And here’s how I scored them.
This proved to be an interesting exercise although there were no great surprises. It identified the pens I keep coming back to, the ones I like but don’t find practical and the those pens I hesitate before packing into my pen case. The results next week might be slightly different but the pen that “spark joy” will stay in that top right corner!Posted on May 26, 2020 #Design #Pens