Is The Pen Outdated?

Reports of the untimely demise of the ink pen have been greatly exaggerated. Case and point: Just try to buy a house or execute a legal document of any kind without "pulling out the pen!” Courts of law and financial institutions want to see nothing but ink at the bottom of the document. Only then is the deal truly "done."

In ancient times, to consummate an agreement, known as a covenant,  a stone monument was erected and the parties to the agreement left their mark on the monument in blood, showing that the covenant was seriously binding upon all parties. Thus the expressions "written in stone" and "signed in blood" were literal, just look at the scars. Later, sticks were used to make impressions on dried mud or clay tablets, pottery, and even building materials like wood.

Historians and anthropologist don't really know when the first pen was invented or by whom, but it is widely believed that ancient indigenous people in various areas fashioned writing instruments out of bamboo sticks and/or bird feathers, based on materials that were readily available to them. They left their mark on wood, animal skin, and even stone. Ancient prose of Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas used this type of writing instrument circa 5000 BCE. In ancient Egypt, pens made out of thin reeds were used to write on papyrus scrolls. In certain regions of Pakistan, reed pens crafted from bamboo are still used by students, who write their lessons on wood planks.

Today, Computers and Smart Phones make communication faster and easier. But when sending a letter of thanks or apology, or a card to Mom, nothing expresses emotion and depth of feeling like "the pen.” I doubt that Mom will keep your text with the smiley face :-), but she will keep that precious “hand-written” card. The Pen is still the most personalized and sincere ways to express yourself and your convictions.

Since pens and writing can convey emotion, it is important to choose the correct color for the writing task. From a search of the internet, we came to the following ink color conclusions :

"Black Ink pens are used in business letters that convey facts, or explanation of facts,  rather than emotion. Black is used for official signatures as well as payment or collection letters."

"Blue Ink pens expressions are less ridged and a little friendlier. Blue ink exudes confidence in oneself and the ability to meet an objective. Blue in appropriate for formal writing and business letters of all kinds." Blue ink is usually acceptable for signatures. However, black ink is preferred."

"Red Ink letters are 'power documents.' Red ink can be used when stating demands or for collection notices. However, Red ink may be viewed as insulting to the reader, and tantamount to a declaration of war. Though red ink guarantees maximum impact, such impact is almost always negative."

"Green Ink conveys the impression that one is goal oriented, and serious about making money. Green conveys a health concern for the environment. I’m just not a “green ink guy”,  but if you want to be different,  green ink may be right for you."

Could it be that people see a correlation between the type of pen a business person uses and the quality of the business product and service? Could it be that bringing a  BIC pen to a sales or board meeting is like taking a rubber band to a gun fight?

Yes, I text and send email. But when I send a sales letter, it is hand-written in blue ink, and very sincere. When I mess up and can't meet a delivery date, after the in-person apology, I always follow up with a hand written blue ink and very sincere letter. And when it comes time to close the deal, I always use my most impressive pen, one that reflects the superior quality of our products and services, one that says this agreement is "written in stone" and "signed in blood, that you can count on this covenant and that my company and I will never fail you. Now that’s impressive. A computer email or Smart Phone test just can't touch that. Only a pen can convey "that important message beyond words."

What does your pen say about you and your business?