The Right Instrument
WHEN AMAZON RELEASED Kindle, its wireless reading device, bibliophiles everywhere shuddered. It was just another instance of a new technology running up against a treasured pastime. As any book lover will attest, there’s just something irreplaceable about the look, feel, and yes, even smell of a bound volume.
The same change has already happened with
writing. Handwritten letters are rare today, in an age
of digital signatures and e-mail correspondence, and this scarcity has increased handwriting’s perceived value. If one really wants to make a good impression following a job interview or after meeting future in-laws for the first time, then there’s no more personal way than to put thoughts in ink.
As good, old-fashioned handwritten notes become more prized than typed messages, end-users will value their writing instruments even more, as objets d’art beyond the utilitarian function of the keyboard and BlackBerry. Distributors can even play the old-versus-new game, by offering a selection of classic old-world fountain pens and even some new space-aged options.
Pens Steeped in History
Sanford Business-to-Business offers two classic pen lines, Parker and Waterman, each loaded with more than 100 years of history. Both companies originated in the U.S. in the late 1800s and then opened factories in England (Parker) and France (Waterman), where their pens are still being manufactured today. It’s this storied history, combined with their styling and fine workmanship, that make these pens so highly valued by distributors, said Peggy Eagan, assistant marketing communications manager for Janesville, Wisconsin-based Sanford Business-to-Business.
“There’s a very strong international presence [for] both Waterman and Parker. A lot of the people in Europe call pens ‘Parkers’ like we call tissues Kleenex,”
she added. The pens garner international prestige in part because they’ve been repeatedly selected to commemorate such important events as the 1987 signing of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, at which Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev exchanged Parker pens.