Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

March 19, 2010

AE Reviews: Testing White Pens For Scrapbooking


Jet Pens was kind enough to recently send me four different white pens to test out from their favorites. Here's a list of the ones I tried both on cardstock and on a photo:

Uni-Ball Signo Angelic Colour
Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip
Uni-Ball Signo
Pilot Latte

The third one, the Uni-Ball Signo, definitely seemed to go on the
best on both the cardstock & the photo (the examples on the photo are in the same order as above).


In my stash I still have a few of the Sharpie Poster Paint Pens (supposedly discontinued) that I have used on a variety of projects in the past. This site still has some of the white ones in stock. Dick Blick also still has some in stock (except white).

I did see on the Sharpie website that they have a new water-based paint pen. I will probably give that one a try too. Anyone tried this one yet? I especially liked how those poster paint pens worked on my photos and will be interested to see if this works in the same way.

Any other white pens you are using and loving these days?


  • 1.
    Marti said…

    I love love love my Uni-Ball Signo. It has never failed me on any surface. :)

  • 2.
    cathie said…

    the uni-ball signo looks so much better than the rest! i will have to purchase one… i have a bunch of leftover black envelopes from our wedding last year.

  • 3.
    Carole Hepburn said…

    love the tips – thanks !!! I like the Ranger / Tim Holtz one from a few years back. Going to the site to get another sharpie – have a great weekend !!!

  • 4.
    Allie said…

    I liked my Signo for awhile, but it started skipping A LOT. I actually like the Sakura Gelly Roll Glaze pen. You can’t see it while you’re writing, which is kind of irritating. But it shows up well on cardstock and photos (matte & glossy) and is very smooth.

  • 5.
    KathleenA said…

    Wow- what timing. I was just at the store this weekend looking for a white pen and didn’t have any luck finding one I liked. Thanks for the information!

  • 6.
    Deb J said…

    I have a Inkessentials White pen that I loved at first but 1/3 of the way through using it up it starts to skip. I want the Sharpie back. I hope the paint pens will be just as good. Let us know what you find.

  • 7.
    Steph H said…

    Thanks for the side by side comparison. I have not tried the signo but might pick one up based on this. I have been really happy with the sharpie, had no idea it was discontinued.

  • 8.
    Molly Irwin said…

    I’m a fan of Uni-ball pens in general, so glad to know their white is good too.
    I have the Sakura Pen-touch white fine point 1.0mm for drawing and doodles on cardstock, but it’s still too thick a line for photos and lengthy journaling/copy.

  • 9.
    Carrie said…

    I like the Sakura souffle pens – the white and all the pastel colors look great on black.

  • 10.
    cristalfab said…

    I love the Uni-ball also, but mine isn’t flowing very well anymore. Wish I could get more mileage out of it. I don’t use it daily, which could be the problem. White pens have always been a pain for me. But I really like them.

  • 11.
    leanne said…

    I’ve been looking for a white pen that worked for me, and most that I’ve tried have left me a lttle “grey” . . . if you know what I mean? ; )
    I appreciate you testing these 4 and think I will give the Uni-Ball a try. I like how it looks.
    As always, thanks Ali!

  • 12.
    tara pakosta said…

    I never did find the sharpie one.
    I have the uniball signo.
    love it, except they all dry out before
    I get the chance to use them again.
    I scrap so rarely these days. I have maybe done
    5 hours total of scrapping since last october!

  • 13.
    Annette said…

    I have been using the signo for a long time and I really love it….

  • 14.
    iHanna said…

    I’ve tried Uni-ball signo and I agree with you that it’s really good and has a nice flow of white. I also like the Gelly Roll white from sakura as well as the metal colored once!

  • 15.
    ToLiveInspired said…

    I love my Gelly roll Sakura white gel pen, a lot.. It has showed up in many collages and art journal pages..

  • 16.
    D@nielle said…

    allways get the uniball signo from jet pens, actually never tried the sharpie. Maybe I’ll try that new paint pen bcause I have the skipping problem too, wonder why that is …..

  • 17.
    Eva said…

    I’ve used the signo myself and liked it except I felt it made too thick lines and sometimes skipped a little. Then I got a hold of my Sakura gellyroll pen and I love it – it has the same great coverage as the signo, but with a slightly thinner line, and it never fails to make a complete line!

  • 18.
    Suz said…

    I like the Uniball Signo but I am looking forward to finally getting my hands on the Sharpie Poster Paint fine point pens! Thanks for the link on where I could get some!

  • 19.
    Sara said…

    Months ago there were still the white Sharpie paint pens at a very cluttered art store in Arlington, MA, for anyone in the area. I bought several and now wonder if I’ll ever get through them all.

  • 20.
    ReNi said…

    I use the uni-ball signo, too. Thanks for testing some alternatives! Always useful.

  • 21.
    Karen G said…

    The Uni-ball Signo is currently my favorite, but since I love writing on dark colors with white pens, I am always on the look out for another option. Thanks for the review & samples….its great to see them next to each other! :> Have a fantastic weekend !:>

  • 22.
    Teresa said…

    I have a Uni-Ball Signo. I love it. I wasn’t sure at first because I had bought one before and didn’t use it right away and then it wouldn’t work.

  • 23.
    sue said…

    can’t believe how much anna has grown, she’s just plain beautiful.. makes you want to have another one – thanks for the information ali

  • 24.
    Alison said…

    I have both the uniball signo and the sharpie. The main differences for me are:
    1. uniball occasionally has skipping problems, sharpie never does
    2. sharpie can sometimes “splatter” as you are writing b/c it is wet, uniball never does
    3. uniball is more widely available, sharpie less so
    A friend brought a bunch of uniballs back from Japan for me. It is weird, some are awesome and some are skippy.

  • 25.
    Lynsey said…

    I just bought the American Crafts Galaxy pen in white. If I go over it a couple times, it looks nice. However, it’s too transparent for my tastes if I just write it once.

  • 26.
    May said…

    I use the Sakura white souffle pen. Not a good choice for long journaling, but AWESOME to write on anything – photo or paper and very opaque.

  • 27.
    Kelli Johnson said…

    Hey Ali! I’m a super organized, tired of all my pens, kick. Can you also tell us what black pens you like ;) I feel like I use everything, and abuse everything. And may be it’s just the way I write, but I’m dying to find a pen that lasts longer then 3 months!

  • 28.
    becky said…

    My gelly roll white pen never works like I want it to. I need to get that signo one. Thanks for this review!

  • 29.
    Suzie said…

    To stop your uni-bol from skipping, put a little bit of undu in the cap and put the cap on your pen. Wait a few minutes, wipe off the tip and try writing again. This has worked really well for me. Good luck
    I LOVE the silver and gold sharpie pens and wish they would make more. Maybe if we all asked at once they would make them again.

  • 30.
    Barb M. said…

    Love the Uniball Signo. I liked it so much that I gave it as a gift for my tablemates at a crop.

  • 31.
    S said…

    The Uni-ball Signo is my go-to white pen also. I tried the Sharpie poster paint pen and didn’t like the results, but I do love the new Sharpie pens in black and blue.

  • 32.
    Karidan said…

    Oh My GOODNESS!! I have such a fuss with white pens… They never seem to work as well as others. I am currently using AC Galaxy but it is such a wide tip I hate it sometimes!! I am definetly going to look for that 3rd one though and see how it works for me!!

  • 33.
    kelly said…

    My favorite white pens are-
    Sakura glaze or souffle in White (not clear)
    Pilot Latte (or Sweets) in White
    Water based sharpie poster paint pen extra fine (I haven’t seen the new water based sharpies yet but will let you know when I do as I’ll try those!) The original set-the water based sharpie poster paint pens have been discontinued (like you said) but the warehouses still have them in stock. I don’t recommend stocking up on them at all as over time the white tends to separate no matter how much you shake and pump the pen.
    Uniball signos-I used the white pen for years but too often it acts dried up or skips even after only a few uses. I recommend the pens above first.
    I have a whole list of pens on my blog that I keep adding to-pens that I’ve tested and tried on acrylic paint, paper and the like. I’m a pen nut!
    I LOVE Jet pens!

  • 34.
    jukeb0x said…

    I like Uni-ball Signo the best although the white Inkssentials opaque pen comes in a close second, only because I need to keep cleaning the tip if I don’t use it frequently. I stocked up on the white Sharpie poster paint pens, as I love those when I need a much thicker line.

  • 35.
    Tona said…

    I’ve been using the Uni-Ball Signo for a couple of years now & have been happy with it. I joke that it will write on anything that will stand still long enough.

  • 36.
    Katemeri said…

    Thanks for testing these and sharing your thoughts. I love the look of white pen on dark paper and buy a new one every time I’m back home but don’t scrap often and when I do they’re all dried out.

  • 37.
    Jenink said…

    I like my uniball Signo. I have the Ranger one too but it doesn’t seem any better coverage wise than the Signo and gives me more skipping problems.
    I’d love to ditto one of the above comments about your black journaling pen recommendations too. Thanks Ali :)

  • 38.
    Tanya said…

    Hands down, Uniball Signo. I’ve used it for years! To get it going smooth, I usually start it on a test photo so that it it gets smooth before I put it on the photo I prefer to write on. (I do this with all of my pens though)

  • 39.
    Linda E said…

    Thanks for reaffirming that my pen of choice — the uni ball signo — is the best one around. As luck would have it, it’s the first pen I tried when I started scrapbooking and I have never looked back!

  • 40.
    Brenda in Sunny So Cal said…

    Hi Ali, I like how the Uniball Signo writes but it is gel and I can never get a continuos stroke on the gel pens, how I wish Sharpie had not discontinued their’s

  • 41.
    glee said…

    thank you. i have been looking for this info as i am unhappy w/ the souffle pen i’ve been using.

  • 42.

    I use the uniball. Love it!

  • 43.
    Julia said…

    I like the Uniball Signo a lot. Works well on black cardstock.
    It helps to store these kind of pens cap down.

  • 44.
    kris said…

    Uniball signo is great. Thanks for the comparison!

  • 45.
    lynne moore said…

    Uniball is good. I also like glaze pens: they go onto photos and paper and are a little raised when dry (pretty quickly) and you have color choices too. And then there is a white “chalk” pen I have somewhere. It shows up great on dark paper. But the trick is you can’t see it at first and then is fades in!

  • 46.
    christi said…

    I find the Ranger Inkssentials best because I like the finer line.

  • 47.
    PinkPug,INK. said…

    I just went to Michael’s yesterday to buy a white pen! I ended up buying one of the Sakura gelly roll ones but I will definitely have to get the Signo pen now!

  • 48.
    marta said…

    oh my goodness. this is awesome to see so many pen lovers out there. i just told my husband, this is why i love blogging! i was just commissioned to handwrite some wedding invitation envelopes and the bride requested white ink and thanks to your post, am no longer scared to death. am going to try out the favorites listed here. thank you!
    as for a good black pen. for journaling and a smooth fine line, my absolute favorite is the black 0.7 pilot p-700. available at any office supply store. really, i adore this pen to the nth degree. can’t wait to hear your picks. xo.

  • 49.
    Joyce said…

    The Uni-ball Signo is my absolute favorite white journal pen! I have used up 3 so far! I did try the sharpies a couple years ago, but I didn’t get reliable results. Sometimes it came out in a puddle on my project! Maybe they were old stock from the store where I purchased?

  • 50.
    Nicole said…

    The Uni-ball Signo works well but I mainly use Sharpies water based paint marker. I love them since they come in a few thicknesses but I typically like a thicker line work for my hand writing.
    Love the sharpie ones!!!

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