General Question

explorable's avatar

Why do some people write in blue ink and some in black?

Asked by explorable (3points) April 24th, 2009

Does it even matter?

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34 Answers

elijah's avatar

I only write with blue. I don’t know why, but I don’t like black ink. It seems like blue is easier to read, and looks nicer.

knitfroggy's avatar

I have to use black at work because according to the powers that be it’s the only color that photocopies well. I actually use different colored ink for just about everything else-orange is my favorite color and I get all excited in my dorky way when I find a good orange pen.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Because pens come with blue or black ink.

seekingwolf's avatar

Preference I suppose. Any other colour is unacceptable in the work place, so people really have to choose between these two colours.

I prefer black ink. It’s classic and I like it.
If I want to go back and “correct” something, then I’ll use blue. I used to have a red pen but it exploded. :(

yeah I gotta stop chewing on the ends…

augustlan's avatar

I only buy one kind of pen: Zebra F-402. Fine point, black ink. I love them.

Jeruba's avatar

Any other color is unacceptable in the workplace? I didn’t know that.

I use blue, black, red, pink, purple, green, aqua, brown, and orange, depending on my mood and what I’m doing.

Red photocopies as well as or better than black.

3or4monsters's avatar

I use whichever pen is closest. And works.

The application for our marriage license insisted on black ink, though.

Divalicious's avatar

In the jail we use both colors. The officers use black ink and the inmates get flex pens with blue ink. We do this so the inmates can’t alter legal documents and responses to requests or grievances. They don’t like to tattoo with blue ink, either. Fewer tattoos means fewer “blood-borne” exposures.

Jack79's avatar

Ink was originally blue (there were many varieties, but this was the easiest to come by). It became a standard in schools, offices, all sorts of institutions. When black ink became easily available a couple of decades ago, a lot of people switched to that because of the higher contrast. Others stuck with the more traditional blue ink.
I use both.

rooeytoo's avatar

Whatever color is in the last pen I walked away with!

casheroo's avatar

I prefer black. Not cheap bic pens, or gel ones..just regular fine point black pens. But, I use whatever’s handy. I can use any color at my work…tere’s no rule on pen usage here.

bythebay's avatar

While it is today based more on personal preference, traditionally following strict etiquette, Crane’s Blue Book of Stationery suggests always using black ink for addressing formal invitations. I have had a notary ask me to sign in a color other than black to avoid the look of a photocopy. I have had jobs insist on black for work and red for corrections/errors.

Coming from a family of printers, I have always used black. In fact, there’s not a blue pen in my home. My daughter, who is wildly artistic, writes with rainbow pens! Whatever makes you happy.

@augustlan – I share your lurve of the Zebra!

sdeutsch's avatar

I hate writing in blue pen – it just seems so boring, but without the elegance of being black (unless it’s an ultra-fine point – then the wonderfulness of the point overcomes the boringness of the ink!) Purple is my very favorite color to write in – when I see one in the store, I have to buy it – and in my stocking this Christmas I found 6 different varieties of purple pens! Santa knows what I like… =)

Bagardbilla's avatar

I write in whatever colour pen I happen to grab, unless I pull out my fountain pen which ONLY has Parker’s Blue/Black.
Yes, it is an option in bottled inks. I feel it looks very classy Its mostly black, with just a hint of blue, it gives it an air of epistemologial superiority!

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I write in purple. I buy the Uniball Vision liquid ink pens. I order them from Office Max online by the box. I can’t stand to write with a ball point. I hate them. Even when I was working & doing title policies, I signed them in purple ink. My address stamp is purple, too. I just like purple ink. It looks regal.

knitfroggy's avatar

@Jeruba Good to know on the red ink. Does anyone know anyone that loves pens? I work with a girl that buys new pens every payday, she’ll go to other stores and see if they have any new ones that we don’t carry. She uses a different set of pens everyday-in her position she doesn’t have to only use black. I just think it’s kinda strange, but I guess everyone has to have something.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@knitfroggy I’m not quite that extreme, but I do love pens, too. Put me in a stationery store & I’m in 7th heaven. There’s all kinds of little goodies to be had there.

knitfroggy's avatar

@jbfletcherfan I’m the same, I love pens, I love finding a new pen that writes smooth and feels comfortable to write with, but this chick is extreme.

bianlink's avatar

You gotta have at least two options, otherwise, writing would be so boring.

chyna's avatar

I prefer to sign things in blue ink so I can tell right off if it is an original or a copy.
But just to write, I use whatever I pick up first.

augustlan's avatar

@knitfroggy I used to be pretty similar to your workmate. I used to buy all different kinds of pens, as often as I could. It turns out, I was just looking for the perfect pen! Once I found the Zebras I mentioned above, I stopped. Now I just stock up on them several times a year.

Office supply stores are my second favorite place to shop (hardware stores being the first).

Jeruba's avatar

@Jack79, ink was originally blue? Which “originally” was that? Are you speaking of ballpoint pens? Or did you go to school in days when school desks actually had little bottles of ink in the inkwells and you wrote with pens that you dipped into the ink? That ink was all black, I assure you. I wore some of it on my favorite pastel plaid skirt after my pigtail really was dipped by the boy behind me, whom I never spoke to again.

I don’t believe the Declaration of Independence was signed in blue, nor the Magna Carta.

In the 1960s I was able to buy fountain pen ink at stationery stores in nearly as many colors as I listed in my earlier message. I think of those colors only pink and orange were not available in standard bottles. “Peacock” was very popular. I used to buy purple ink by the quart.

@knitfroggy, I am definitely one of those who love pens—and pencils and every other sort of stationery item. I don’t buy new ones every payday, but I do carry an assortment, and I do find it hard to walk through a stationery department without picking up something. When I was a youngster I often spent my tiny allowance on a ballpoint pen (then a novelty item) and a little pad of paper.

arnbev959's avatar

More important than color for me is how well the pen writes. That said, when faced with two pens that are equal in every other way, I’ll go with the black. It’s easier to see.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Jeruba oh, I remember Peacock. I used it all the time. I love color, not just the usual black & blue.

Jeruba's avatar

I can’t believe I forgot blue-black. For a long time blue-black fountain pen ink was the genteel favorite of so many, from adolescents to grandfathers. I didn’t like it for exactly that reason.

Fountain pens—the wonderful innovation of pens that carried ink inside them instead of being dipped in a bottle!—were standard writing implements for more than a century before cartridge pens came along. Replaceable cartridges of liquid ink increased the convenience but reduced the color scheme. That’s when I started finding fewer colors available. No more brown, no more purple. I bought the last quart of purple Sheaffer’s Skrip ink sold in Boston.

Contemporary gel and felt-tip and other disposable pens of varying widths have increased the palette to a far broader range than we had before, but the writing experience offers nothing like the feel of ink flowing onto crisp rag bond through a gold-tipped nib.

cwilbur's avatar

I’m a fountain pen user. I always have one pen full of black ink; the others vary. Right now they’re hunter green, and a deep blue-green called squeteague.

@Jeruba: I hope you’ve discovered Noodler’s Inks. If you’re still in the Boston area, you can find them at the Bromfield Pen Shop, which is on Bromfield Street, which is off Tremont Street not far from Park Street. They have one of the best permanent blacks I’ve discovered, and I like their range of colors.

knitfroggy's avatar

I’m guilty of loving pens-but not as much as my coworker. I’m also very territorial about my pens-I keep a couple cheap pens with me so if someone asks to use my pen they don’t get away with my good ones!

When I was a kid one of my favorite days of the summer was the day we went to buy school supplies, because I loved them! I always have. Now, I get to enjoy buying the kids supplies!

Does anyone remember a pen called “Le Pen”? I could only get them at K-Mart when I was a kid. They were the first pens I ever saw that was not blue, black or red. I bought a purple one with my allowance and used it to write in my diary. I thought it was awesome.

augustlan's avatar

@knitfroggy I remember Le Pen! A group of girls and I owned several different colors between us. We used them to write notes to each other and boys! in junior high.

knitfroggy's avatar

@augustlan Those were great pens. I loved the way they wrote. I wonder if they still make them. I know I had several-I loved the gold one, but my favorite was purple because that was my favorite color at the time.

sdeutsch's avatar

I forgot about fountain pens – that’s my one exception to using blue ink. For some reason, blue ink out of a fountain pen is so much more interesting than out of a normal pen…

I have a great, fairly cheap fountain pen that I love. It’s a Lamy Safari – it writes beautifully, and it was cheap enough that I’m not paranoid about throwing it in my bag or potentially losing it somewhere. (Plus, I got the limited edition blue pen with a red clip – it just makes me happy to look at it!)

Jeruba's avatar

@cwilbur, I do know where Bromfield Street is. Unfortunately it is about 3000 miles away. But I see that those products are available online. I’ll check them out. I haven’t used a fountain pen in years and years, mainly for want of color, but this thread has made me want to again, especially after I romanced myself with my own rhetoric.

cwilbur's avatar

@Jeruba: ah!—they’re actually in Malaysia, if memory serves, but the inventory and price makes up for it. The Safari, Al-Star, and Logo are in really sweet spots on the price-performance curve, if you like a stiff nib.

And Noodler’s Inks are pretty widely available, although if you don’t have a good pen shop nearby you’ll have to order online.

jo_with_no_space's avatar

Personal preference, coupled with whatever happens to be available at the time?

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