The Challenges of Left-Handed Writing (And Promotional Pens to Make Your Left-Handed Customers Feel Loved)
If you’re not one of the 10% of the population that is left-handed, you may be less aware that the world is not designed with their needs in mind. Your left-handed customers have learned to deal with all sorts of challenges the right-handed among us do not face, including:
Using Machines: Being left-handed can be life-threatening! Table saws are designed to cut wood and metal, not to endanger the limbs of users whose dominant side does not happen to be the right one.
Daily Tasks: Left-handers struggle with everything from can openers to card swipers. Zip covers favour right-handed people, as do pens attached to desks. Using scissors as a left-handed person can make wrapping a gift or cutting decorative string an exercise in frustration rather than creativity.
Dining: Unless your host has thought ahead and placed you at the head of the table, on a side by yourself, or next to another left-handed person, sitting at a dinner table when you’re left-handed can involve far too much elbow bumping and apologising.
Being Different: If you’re a kid, it’s hard to be left-handed, and not just because pens, paper and scissors aren’t designed with you in mind. It’s tough to be different, especially when you’re learning to write, draw or take notes.
Writing: Perhaps most arduous of all, writing on a piece of paper without lines getting smudged and palms getting stained with ink. Apart from ink mishaps, spiral notebooks and three-ring binders are especially challenging — and uncomfortable.
Left-Handed Writers and the Problem with Pens:
When it comes to left-handers and pens, we have studied the struggle. Here are just a few of the highlights (or, shall we say, lowlights):
Poor Ink Flow: Writing left to right as we do in many languages means that, if you’re right-handed, you’re simply pulling the pen effortlessly along with every word and line. Not so for those who are left-handed. Left-handed writing is hard. Left-handers have to push the pen away from their hand while simultaneously creating legible loops and slants, crossing ‘t’s and dotting ‘i’s. Pushing rather than pulling the pen means it’s more likely that the pen tip skips, and the line gets broken.
Smudges: For left-handed writers, it’s easy for the hand to accidentally touch freshly drying ink, resulting in an inky palm and messy paper.
Hand Fatigue: Writing when you’re left-handed requires pushing rather than pulling, contorting hands to avoid wet ink and writing at a tiring angle.
Good News for Previously Left-Out Left-Handers!
Is there any good news for left-handers? Yes! In our 60 years in the business of promotional pens, we have amassed some knowledge about left-handed writing and the best pens for left-handers. Key features to look for when shopping for a promotional pen that left-handers will love:
Low-Viscosity Ink: Left-handers need smooth ink (called low viscosity), to help with the odd physics of writing with their left hand. Low viscosity means smooth ink flow and includes gel and rollerball ink. This is great for all writers, but is a necessity for the left-handers. Less pressure is required for ink flow, meaning more comfort and less exertion while writing.
Quick-Drying Ink: Fast-drying ink, like gel ink, provides a smooth flow and is designed with left-handers in mind. So when it comes to left-handed pens, fast-drying ink is a must.
Ergonomic Design: With computer integrated manufacturing (CIM), the range of pen grips, barrel widths and weights available is nearly limitless. This means the under-represented left-handers now have a plethora of options for more comfortable writing. If you want to learn more about ergonomic pens, don’t miss our blog post.
Best Pens for Lefties
The following are two sure-bet pens that your left-handed customers and employees will be grateful to receive:
A Bright Barrel and Great Grip: Attach your logo to this BIC® Grip Roller with smooth, quick-drying rollerball ink and a textured rubber grip for fewer hand cramps and happier customers.
Left-handed writing is worthy of your consideration. International Left Handers Day is 13 August, but left-handers need love throughout the year too, so order ahead and be the first to make their day with left-handed products!