With so much focus on cyber-security, it’s easy to forget the risks associated with written information. Pen To Paper looks at why you should consider using a permanent rollerball and what options are available.
Sitting somewhere between a ballpoint and fountain pen is the rollerball. Ideal for everyday use, it combines the reliability and convenience of a ballpoint pen with the smooth ink flow and fluidity of a fountain pen.
Among the wide choice of rollerballs on the market are ones with permanent, document-proof ink. These have obvious benefis for business, as they reduce the risk of fraud and ensure that ink on important documents can’t be erased.
Pentel marketing manager Wendy Vickery says permanent ink provides useful protection against deliberate and accidental alteration. “Identity fraud doesn’t only manifest itself in the theft of electronic data or printed details. Any important written information, such as signatures, address details, witness statements or affidavits, can fade after time, and not only when exposed to strong sunlight. Often without knowing, individuals can be vulnerable to the misuse of their documents, with costly results,” she warned.
In October last year, Pentel announced a new addition to its popular EnerGel range, boasting the quick drying, non-smudging properties of its sister products and an important new attribute – permanent ink. Certifid to DIN ISO 27668-2:2009, EnerGel Permanent ink is light-fast, non-erasable and resistant to ethanol, hydrochloric acid, bleach, ammonia and water. This makes it perfect for signing cheques, contracts and legal documents with the surety of archival-quality ink.
Writing instruments manufacturer Schneider has had permanent rollerballs in its product range since 1974, selling them both to businesses and to schools where they are used to create more durable notices.
CEO Frank Groß says there are certain standards that rollerball pens must meet if they are to be used for documentary purposes. “The document proof ink has to comply with special criteria to obtain the ISO 14145-2 norm. For example, the ink must dry quickly (wiping resistance), so it doesn’t smear. This also makes it suitable for lefthanders. The ink should not be erasable, ensuring that it can’t be removed without a trace. The colour must remain legible after a defied dose of sunlight and should not fade (light fastness). Furthermore, it should be water-resistant and resistant to certain chemicals,” he said.
Rollerballs have had a firm place in Schneider’s product range for many years, and last year it added a new series – the rollerball series One – designed specifially to meet the changing habits of digital natives.
“In times of digital revolution, people mostly write quick, short and striking notes rather than long texts. Features like an immediate start, easy-flwing ink, brilliant colours, wear-resistance and an easy usable tip are therefore particularly useful,” explained Groß.
The rollerball series One, described by Schneider as a ‘next generation rollerball’, includes the One Business, available in fie colours, and the One Hybrid, available in four. The pens feature an ink regulator that equalises pressure, preventing leaks and ensuring consistent ink flow to the last drop. The ink is waterproof to ISO 14145-2 and the cap can be left open for 2 to 3 days without drying.
Another manufacturer to offer permanent rollerball pens is the Mitsubishi Pencil Company. Its uni-ball brand has included permanent liquid ink rollerballs since the late 1970s. Jacob Lewis, marketing manager at uni-ball, said: “The uni-ball Eye is the UK’s best selling permanent liquid ink rollerball and has been hugely popular for over 25 years, with nearly 8 million sold in the UK last year. It offers a very high quality writing experience, but one of the things that makes this pen unique is its nonfade, tamper-proof and water-resistant uni Super Ink.”
Pigment ‘Super Ink’ is also used in uni-ball’s new permanent rollerball, the uni-ball Air, which according to Lewis also offers a unique writing experience. “Instead of a metal tip, it has a composite tip that can move and flex as you use it,” he said. “This reduces any scratchiness, giving a very soft, almost feltpen-like feel. It also allows the pen to adapt to your writing style. For example, it will write perfectly whatever your grip or writing angle. Plus, when you press lightly you will get a thin line and the more pressure you put on the pen, the bolder your writing will become. This pen is now available in most high street stationers, supermarkets and wholesalers, and will feature in its own TV ad campaign in June.”
Permanent rollerball pens offer added protection for written information and can provide businesses with peace of mind when signing cheques and other important documents. Buyers should look out for rollerballs compliant with ISO 14145-2 (rollerballs for documentary use) and the newer ISO 27668-2 (gel ink ball pens for documentary use) to ensure that what they write stands the test of time – and fraudsters.