Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12 -- Lisa's Musings (on pens) and Every Day Life

I'll admit it, I'm a pen snob.

Not an expensive, fancy gold pen snob, rather a Sarasa pen snob.

Ever heard of them? They're these cool gel pens that come in colors like fuchsia, orange, dark green, cobalt and mahogany, in addition to the usual black, blue, and red.

I buy them in 10 packs of assorted colors -- even though I'm not all that fond of orange and light green flavors. Although I like those colors, the ink is kinda hard to read on the page. Especially if I'm using yellow paper.

But I do like the fuchsia, and I conducted a fun little experiment with it at a Chelsea City Council meeting one night.

There's sign-in sheet as people walk into the meeting, and there wasn't a pen with the pad so I left one with pink ink. Then watched people's reactions as they came in the council chambers.

The women picked it up and smiled before signing in. The men took one look at it and started patting their pockets to see if they had a personal writing implement. In fact, I watched several men walk away from the table, ask another man if they had a pen, or simply not sign in at all.

These sleek and colorful beauties have a comfy finger grip and the ink flows like silk, smoothly and easily across the page. They make taking notes for stories, especially during those dreary assignments, a little more fun.

And choosing from among the many colors I have in my briefcase is one of the few pleasures I have while sitting through those excruciatingly long Ann Arbor City Council meetings.

OK, so they do have a bit of a downside -- like any gel pen, they're not so good in the rain -- the color really runs. But other than that, I'd call them one of life's inexpensive, simple pleasures.

That, and the fact I can buy them locally.

In fact, according to a survey released today, custom printed pens are still the most popular and cost effective promotional product for any company, organization or person.

Fifty percent of the people who took the survey said they remembered the person or organization that gave them the pen for up to two years later and 70 percent said they had custom pens in their home, office car or purse.

Hear that political candidates -- pens beat the heck out of a sticker or a bottle owner.

And if you lose this election, they'll still be hanging around people's houses for the next one.

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