Research Proposal

Pen and Paper Pairings


Obtain information on the best type of paper that can be paired with ballpoint, gel, and rollerball pens. The information will be used to educate users who are not familiar with this topic.

Early Findings

Pen and Paper Pairings

Ballpoint pens

  • Ballpoint pens contain quick-dry ink that has no tendency to soak through layers of paper.
  • This type of pen can generally write well on common paper types such as those that have a thickness of 70, 75, 80, 90, or 100 grams per square meter (GSM).

Rollerball and Gel Pens

  • Rollerball and gel pens typically have inks that are thinner than those in other types of pens.
  • Thinner inks have a tendency to be absorbed rapidly by the paper. This can normally result in fuzzy or feathering marks on the paper.
  • To lessen this undesirable effect, it is advisable to use rollerball and gel pens on denser paper materials with over 80 GSM thickness.
  • With thicker paper, the inks on rollerball and gel pens are less likely to cause a shadow or soak through the material. This way, both sides of the paper can be used.

Paper Types

  • For notebook paper that have "thin, bright blue-white, and matte" texture, the best pens to use are ballpoint and gel pens.
  • Ballpoint and rollerball pens are best used in legal pads. This type of pen is thin but still thicker than a notebook paper.
  • It typically has some sheen on its surface and is usually yellow or white with red lines. This paper is usually part of a pad.
  • For letter or printer papers, the best pens to use are ballpoint, fine line/plastic nib, and fountain pens.
  • These papers are thicker than notebook or legal papers. This paper type usually comes in individual sheets or as part of a binder bundle.
  • It has a bright white sheen like the legal pad.

Summary of Findings:

Our one hour of research provided some insights into the recommended paper types for gel, ballpoint, and rollerball pens.

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