Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sakura Pigma Micron Archival Quality Pens: Sizes 01 and 05

While searching for the right pen to use in high quality Bibles, I came across Sakura's Pigma Micron. This pen is superior to the other types of disposable pens I have used in the past, both for drawing and writing. The ink flows smoothly while drawing and writing and doesn't bleed through most types of Bible paper. The ink is acid-free, chemically stable, waterproof, and fade resistant making it perfect for long lasting projects and writings. For these reasons I decided to test the Pigma Micron on different thicknesses of Bible paper (shown below).

History of PIGMA:
The Sakura Color Products Corporation was founded in 1921 and has become one of the major suppliers of fine drawing and writing materials. PIGMA ink was invented by the Sakura Color Products Corporation 25 years ago, since then PIGMA ink has become the standard for what is define as high quality permanent pens. Originally invented as a drafting tool PIGMA ink is now used in a variety of applications and pen styles, nib sizes and colors. PIGMA Micron pens come in 6 point sizes for writing or creating precise lines. This pen is widely used by designers, scientist, archivists, architects, manga artists, cartoonists, illustrators, scrapbookers and craft hobbyists. Sakura's Pigma Micron was also used in the presidential election of 2008 "Pigma Micron used in Historic Presidential Election"

Unique Qualities:
The below features make the Pigma Micron a very unique and useful pen.
  • Archival Quality PIGMA Ink
  • Waterproof
  • Fade and Chemical Resistant
  • Will Not Smear or Feather When Dry
  • Does not bleed through most types of paper
  • Comes in 6 different point sizes 005-.20mm, 01-.25mm, 02-.30mm, 03-.35mm, 05-.45mm, 08-.50mm
  • Comes in fifteen Colors: Black, Blue, Blue/Black, Brown, Burgundy, Fresh Green, Green, Hunter Green, Orange, Purple, Red, Rose, Royal Blue, Sepia, and Yellow
  • Meets the ACMI "AP" seal non-toxicity standards
Technical Stuff behind the Pigma Micron:
The pigment molecules in PIGMA ink are 100 times larger and chemically more complex than that of dry based ink, resulting in a longer lasting ink which is less
susceptible to UV rays, chemical degradation, pollution from contact with oils and other chemicals on paper. The researchers at Sakura discovered a way to reduce these pigment particles to sub-micron size (1/25,000 of an inch), which allows this ink to flow evenly through even the narrowest of pen nibs. Single color pigments are used to eliminate pigment separation, which results in less fading and changing of ink color. The ink dries to a neutral pH, neither acidic nor alkaline, which protects the paper or other materials it is being used on. Resins are added to make PIGMA ink waterproof, making it universally compatible with other media such as watercolors, oils, acrylic paints, etc. The micron practicals are small enough to remain stable within its water-based solvent, which promotes color shade consistency and smooth ink flow.

Color and Readability:
The colors you choose to write or underline with can effect readability. Below are examples of how color can effect
Readability. Note how certain colors are easier for you to read, while others are harder. Click on the images to view then full size.

The Above text was written using the Pigma Micron pen size 05 which creates a .45mm line
This size is very useful for underlining keywords or phrases.

The Above text was written using the Pigma Micron pen size 01 which creates a .25mm line
This size is very useful for writing notes,symbols, or drawings in the margins of a Bible.

Each person will find certain colors easier to read while others are harder to read which can cause eye strain over an extended period of time. It's recommend that you test different colors on a notebook to see which colors work best for you. Personally I find pink, blue, red and green to be the most readable. Or if you are following a color system like that used in The New Inductive Study Bible you could make use of all the colors.

The Pigma Micron and Your Bible:
After looking through
different Bibles I chose five to test the 01 and 05 Micron pens. Below are five short slide shows featuring the front and back of each page tested.

The In Touch Ministries Wide Margin Edition

The Pigma Micron writes exultantly on this type of paper Bible. For writing notes and drawings I used the Pigma Micron 01, for underlining I used the 05. As one can tell from the photos there is no bleed through on the paper, which is very impressive.

The New Inductive Study Bible

The Chronological Study Bible

NAB Catholic Companion Edition Giant Print

The Ignatius Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

Drawing with The Sakura Pigma Micron:
After reading about artists using this pen for drawing I decided to test them for myself.

The above drawing of Pepe Le Pew
was drawn using Sakura Pigma Micron sizes 01 and 05.

This pen works very well for drawing weither its filling in larger sections or drawing finer details. Drawing fine lines is much easier using this pen because of the thin tips. The ink flows smoothly from pen to paper which is a nice feature when drawing. Personally I love that the ink does not smear while drawing and has no smell.

My Personally Opinion:
After testing the Sakura Pigma Micron I have to say that I am very impressed. Using this pen makes writing small much easier, making it ideal for taking notes in the margins of a Bible or underlining key passages. This pen also preformed very well for drawing. I have used many different pens for drawing but this one is the best I have ever used.

Bible marking kits featuring Sakura Pigma Micron Archival Quality pens can be found at the links below.
Sakura Pigma Micron Archival Quality Pens can be found at

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