Thursday, May 21, 2015

Colored Pen Review: Foray Stylemark

Recently I reviewed some Papermate Flair pens I purchased at an Office Depot.  In that review, I mentioned that I'd also purchased some Foray Stylemark pens, which I'll be reviewing today.

Like the Papermate Flairs, the Foray Stylemarks are porous point pens, available online and in brick and mortar office supply stores such as Office Depot and Office Max.  I picked these up because the Office Max I was at was having a going out of business sale, and Heidi said they weren't bad.  These pens aren't marketed at an art application, but after uncapping, I thought they looked pretty similar to technical pens, so I decided to buy some and give them a try.

Foray Stylemark pens come with a couple variations on nib type- there's a porous point that looks similar to the Papermate Flair pens, ballpoint pens,  and fineliner, which looks like a technical pen.

The Foray site apparently doesn't realize that their products are a common sight at American big box office supply stores, as the options are limited to the UK and a handful of European countries.  The finerliners I purchased in store seem to be older versions of those available on the site.  The Stylemark has non waterproof ink, which might make it compatible with Copics and other alcohol based markers (I'll have to test this soon).

The Pens 


My Office Depot had three colors of Foray Stylemark Fineliners left, so I bought one of each.


The plastic bodied pens have the brand name written across the barrel, as well as the tip size (Fine or .5mm) and have an ink indicator on the barrel.


Uncapped, you can see that the softer plastic grip is the same color as the ink inside.  The cap has a metal clip, a colored plastic top that coordinates with the grip and the ink color, and posts to the back of the pen when not in use.
The Field Test


In use, the pen feels light- I'm not sure if this is just cheap construction or the fact that as this pen is openstock, I may have purchased a nearly dead pen.  While the pen, in general, handles like a technical pen (since both are fineliners), the non photo blue lead I use constantly clogged up the nib, impacting ink flow.


 
The Verdict
 
While these pens aren't bad, I think your local big box office supply store probably has better options available.  If you're in the market for fineliners for art purposes, Office Max covers Staedtler's Triplus Fineliners in a variety of package sizes.  These pens aren't bad- I used them myself years ago for lineart, and come in a wide range of colors.  Office Max also carry's Pentel's Color Pens.
 
 

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