The Perils of Left-handed Writing

(Southpaws, We Feel Your Pen Pain)

Lefties get a bad rap. And even the good news isn’t so good. Ever hear about how loads of U.S. presidents were left-handed? Sadly, only 14% were south paws. That’s more than the general leftie population but not by much. Or studies suggest that left-handers are far superior in math and art and verbal expression. Except for the studies that suggest that’s all bunk.

Is there any good news in all this? Well, lefties are no longer viewed as tools of Satan. So that’s a plus. And in Buddhism the left hand represents wisdom. You can’t take that away. But overall the leftie brand is stalled out for now, leaving lefties under the radar, struggling quietly to work with power saws without amputating limbs, cut wrapping paper while remaining sane, and perhaps most arduous of all…write on a piece of paper without the side of their palm looking like a gosh darn asphalt road and their paper looking like a Rorschach inkblot test.

With this – the asphalt and the inkblot – we can help.

In our 50 years of promotional pens, we’ve amassed some knowledge about left-handed writing and the best pens for lefties. Below, a brief summary:

The tragedies:

  • Poor ink flow. Writing left to right as we do in many languages means, if you’re right-handed, that you’re simply pulling the pen effortlessly along as you write that love letter or sign that check. Like a softly flowing stream, right? Not so for lefties. Left handed writing is hard. Lefties have to push the pen away from their hand while simultaneously creating legible loops and slants, crossing ‘t’s and dotting ‘i’s. Pushing means it’s more likely that the pen tip skips and the line gets broken.
  • The asphalt and inkblot referenced above? Well, when your hand plows through freshly drying ink in order to create words on paper, what else can be expected but an inky palm and messy paper?
  • Hand fatigue. It’s tough business, writing as a leftie, pushing rather than pulling, contorting hands to avoid wet ink, contriving an angle that’s just not right, er, right-handed.

The triumphs:

  • Low viscosity ink. Hurray! Lefties need smooth ink to help with the weird physics of writing as a leftie. Low viscosity is another way of saying smooth ink flow. This is great for everyone but a necessity for the leftie. Less pressure is required for ink flow, meaning more comfort and less exertion while writing. The words “low viscosity” and “best pens for lefties” go hand in hand (er, left hand in left hand).
  • Quick drying ink. Another win for Team Leftie! Rapid Dry Ink dries in just a second, provides a smooth flow, and is designed with lefties in mind. Fast-drying pens for left handed folks are a must.
  • Ergonomic features. With computer integrated manufacturing (CIM), the range of pen grips, barrel widths, and weights available is pretty much limitless. This means the under-represented lefties now have a plethora of options for more comfortable writing.

Best Pens for Lefties

With this in mind, we submit, for your consideration, two sure-bet pens that your left-handed clients, customers, students and employees will be ever-so-grateful to receive. On behalf of southpaws everywhere, we say, if you’re inclusive, please show it, with a pen that doesn’t drive 10-14% of your target audience to distraction.

Attach your logo to this Zebra Sarasa Gel Retractable or this uni-ball® Jetstream Sport Roller Pen. Both feature your logo along with low viscosity, quick drying ink and an ergonomic rubber grip for fewer hand cramps and happier customers–thanks to you, of course!

Left handed writing is worthy of your consideration. Left Handers Day is August 13 but lefties need love throughout the year, so jump the gun and be the first to make their day!

Karleen Wise Andersen

From marketing tips to product recommendations, I’m here to help small businesses be their best.

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