The Keyboard vs the Power of the Pen

Many believed that once we put a computer in every pocket, the pen would have no place to go. Ironically, the more time people spend online, the more powerful the need for a digital detox becomes.

Nikhil Ranjan, MD of William Penn, is often asked whether the writing is on the wall for fine writing in the digital age. His response: “This question was particularly relevant 5-7 years ago when smart phones first became widespread. Today, it is an established fact that writing is here to stay. Writing is no longer just about communicating; it’s about journaling, taking notes in a meeting etc. We’ve seen that there is an essential analogue aspect in the digital world, no matter the technology or platform du jour. For example, many regard pen and paper as essential companions during Zoom meetings, just as they were during Skype and traditional teleconferences. The future is going to be a combination of digital and analogue and the future of writing instruments looks bright.” 

There are many good reasons for why people still love putting pen to paper. Writing by hand is a neurosensory exercise that is proven to improve your memory and sharpen critical thinking. Activities like journalling and letter writing are effective therapies encouraged by mental health experts. Writing is also an activity that connects and speaks across generations. The magic of receiving a handwritten letter or stumbling across an old journal entry can never be replicated by an email or scrolling down your Facebook timeline.


Following the paper trail

The global luxury pens market was valued at US$ 2,251.10 million in 2020 and is projected to reach US$ 3,287.53 million by 2028; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.0% from 2021 to 2028. While Europe is currently the most profitable market, luxury writing instruments are writing their way into the hearts of many Indian homes.


Writing new chapters in emerging economies

Emerging economies are likely to drive demand in this segment for several reasons. Most, if not all of them have young populations and are focused on increasing literacy rates. As their populations gain prosperity, people seek aspirational products and brands; creating a market for luxury products across the spectrum.

India, in particular, is a very large and important market for fine writing instruments. The country’s famed demographic dividend and cultural appreciation for education make it a lucrative place for fine writing instruments. India’s economy is also growing rapidly when compared to other countries and as disposable incomes rise, the appetite for fine writing instruments also increases.

Luxury pens currently occupy 12% of India’s Rs 4,500-crore writing instruments market. Data from William Penn, the country’s largest player in the organised stationery sector reveals that gifting is actually what drives a large portion (approx. 70%) of customers to purchase a luxury pen. Only around 30 % of the customer base is made up of pen lovers who come to find fine writing instruments for themselves.

The beauty and longevity of fine writing instruments make them a perennially popular gifting choice and the country’s myriad of festive occasions ensures that this segment of sales will continue to show strong results.


Falling in love with fountain pens

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

–          Eleanor Roosevelt  

Much like people who’ve experienced freshly ground coffee, those who’ve put a quality fountain paper to paper find it hard to go back. Writing with one is a subtle, solitary pleasure that engages your senses and your mind – the reassuring weight of your pen, the crisp sound each stroke makes, the smell of fresh paper and the beauty of the free-flowing ink that brings your thoughts into being.

Manufacturers of high-end fine writing instruments tend to save the most intricate detailing for their fountain pens, with many being true works of art. Fountain pens come with a range of nibs that offer a customised writing experience unmatched by another type of writing instrument. Writing is an intensely personal activity and a fountain pen which responds to each movement and the slightest variations in pressure only amplifies the experience.


The right time to write

Fountain Pen Day is celebrated worldwide on the first Friday in November; however, William Penn celebrates our favourite writing instruments for the whole month. Walk into any of our stores to check out our exclusive offers and put any pen to the test.

  1. The Benefits of Handwriting vs.Typing – National Pen
  2. Global Luxury Pens Market Forecast to 2028 – COVID-19 Impact and Global Analysis By Product Type
  3. The future of fine writing instruments shines bright – Times Of India