As the founder of a creative agency, I regularly work with clients to digitally capture information in a visual way using an iPad Pro and Procreate. During the pandemic, Inky Thinking turned to the iPad Pro to design bespoke graphic images for clients, turning important messages into illustrations, through graphic recording, animated videos, rich pictures, customer experience maps and infographics. Using the iPad Pro on a daily basis, I was initially curious to find out more about Pen Tips and what they could do to support me in my day-to-day work.
Although curious to find out more about Pen Tips, I was admittedly a little sceptical about the product, what it would offer me and how it would complement my visual work. Would this product make using the iPad Pro easier and less noisy? Less noisy, perhaps, yet would it really make a difference to my brush strokes?
Having ordered my box of orange pen tips I received an e-mail from Tree Nation inviting me to plant a tree in Madagascar with the compliments of Pen Tips. This was a welcome surprise and hats off to the Pen Tips team for this initiative as instantly I felt as if my purchase had done some good.
It took a little while for my package to arrive (due to Covid delays etc.) however I was not disappointed on opening the packet and seeing the card enclosed with the product, a nice professional touch.
Fitting the Pen Tips to the stylus was, as you would expect, easy and they stayed in place perfectly. When trying them out there was certainly a difference in the noise created when using the stylus on the screen. This was one big tick in terms of the promise from Pen Tips.
There appeared to be more precise control when using the Pen Tip when compared to using it without. Perhaps a psychological thing but I would say there was a difference. My strokes seemed more precise, so another big tick for Pen Tips.
Where I got unstuck with this product was the longevity. Admittedly, I have a tendency to press down hard when writing and drawing. I raise this as a small setback as my first Pen Tip lasted only a couple of days before a hole appeared at the end of the tip and I could see a small amount of rubber dragging. I wonder whether the combination of the Paperlike screen protector and the material of the Pen Tip may have contributed to the problem.
Although a little disappointed, I was prepared to put the sacrifice of one tip down to my eagerness and tendency to press down hard. The next Pen Tip lasted longer, about a week in total, and perhaps lightening my stroke on the iPad may explain the additional time the second tip managed before giving up.
In summary I applaud the simplicity of the product and it’s marketing. The customer service was excellent and the packaging touches made a positive difference to the overall customer experience.
I would recommend other iPad users to try Pen Tips, yet, I would hesitate in buying more myself. I put this down to my own writing style, which could have contributed to the early demise of tips 1 and 2. I think that if this were to be a problem for me in the future then I would be prepared to go without Pen Tips as the iPad experience on its own works for me in my work.
You can buy your own Pen Tips at https://pen.tips.
Tom Russell is an expert in meeting facilitation (www.russellsewell.com), visual communication (www.inkythinking.com) and author of Meet with Impact (available to buy via Amazon).