Into the Book


In my journeys over the interwebs reading articles on hand-lettering and typography, some of the tools of the trade that kept recurring were primarily Sakura’s Pigma Microns. I was desperate to get my hands on a set of these pens since everyone seemed to be raving about them, and – to my sheer delight – managed to get my hands on a set whilst in America last month. So today I get to review a Sakura Pigma Micron 03.

First impressions of this pen were that I could feel the quality, vastly superior to the Artline Fineline. Smooth, easy to grip, plus: the lid clips onto the end of the pen perfectly in line with the body, which satisfied my OCD side. The nib is a lot tougher, and doesn’t show any signs of flattening out, something I was pleased to discover. The ink dries quickly and doesn’t smudge (left-hander bonus points).

Rough versus smooth textured paper.

Though the quality of the nib and casing far outweigh many other pens of its type, it still unfortunately has it’s downsides. The ink tube inside of the pen is fairly loose, and it rattles unnervingly when you move it (which upon researching online I found to be a common thing) and it is surprisingly distracting. For fast writers out there, if you are using this pen on courser paper, you will find that it has a scratchy finish; not quite what I was expecting from a pen that has been spoken so highly of.

Having said that, the Micron makes up for these flaws in spades. It doesn’t bleed through paper, and only in very minor instances where it is used to colour in heavily does it start to show through. They sport waterproof and fadeproof ink, which, in the words of Sakura themselves:

This permanent, fade resistant, chemically stable, pigment-based ink will not bleed or run if liquids are spilled on or applied to the document after the ink has dried. Perfect for legal situations, Pigma ink is nearly impossible to alter on documents, in log books, or on checks. It’s no wonder architects, archivists, anthropologists, entomologists and laboratories depend on Pigma Micron for record keeping.

On the whole, despite its quirks, the Sakura Pigma Micron 03 is a reliable, good quality pen. It has the capacity to hold up under serious typography, but also is sturdy enough to be an endurance writer in the form of fiction or journalling if you can get past it’s niggling rattle. I’m looking forward to using more materials from Sakura in the future. All in all, I would give this Micron 4 out of 5 stars.


Sakura Pigma Micron 03Enjoyed the review? Pick up a copy yourself and support ItB:
Sakura Pigma Micron 03 — , $2.89

Published on 30 December, 2015. Last updated on

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