Are Gelly Roll Pens Permanent? Debunking the Myth

When it comes to writing or coloring, it’s essential to have the right tools for the job. The right pens, markers, or pencils can make a world of difference in the final product. One type of pen that has gained popularity in recent years is the Gelly Roll pen. But with all the hype around the pen, many people are still wondering, are Gelly Roll pens permanent?

In a world of fleeting moments and fading memories, it’s only natural to crave something that can stand the test of time. That’s why it’s not uncommon for us to seek out art supplies that can provide long-lasting results. In the case of Gelly Roll pens, their unique gel ink technology makes them a top contender for this need. However, it’s understandable to have questions about their permanency, especially if you’re putting in hours of work on a project.

As someone who’s tried and tested countless pens, I know the frustration of investing in a product that doesn’t live up to its claims. At the same time, I know the joy of finding something that exceeds my expectations. So, in the case of Gelly Roll pens, let’s explore the question on everyone’s mind: are they permanent? Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just a casual doodler, finding out the answer to this question could be the key to unlocking your creativity.

What are gelly roll pens?

Gelly roll pens are a type of gel pen that have become popular among both artists and everyday users. They are known for their bright, pigmented ink that stands out on any page. Developed by the Japanese company Sakura Color Products Corp in the 1980s, these pens quickly gained popularity and became a staple for artists and crafters alike.

Differences between permanent and non-permanent pens

As an expert blogger, it is vital to have an in-depth understanding of the types of pens available in the market. One of the most significant aspects is the differentiation between permanent and non-permanent pens.

  • Drying time: Permanent pens usually take longer to dry since they are designed to adhere to a wide range of surfaces, such as glass and metal. Conversely, non-permanent pens dry much faster and are more suitable for paper-based items.
  • Permanent ink: Permanent pens utilize specially formulated ink that is water-resistant and resistant to fading, making it an ideal choice for writing that will be exposed to the elements. Non-permanent pens, on the other hand, use ink that can easily be removed using water or a special eraser.
  • Surface compatibility: Permanent pens work well with almost all surfaces, including glossy, coated, or non-porous surfaces such as metal, glass, and plastic. Non-permanent pens are more suitable for porous surfaces such as paper, fabric, and cardboard, but can damage the surface if used on non-porous materials.

The differences between permanent and non-permanent pens make them suitable for different applications. Therefore, it is imperative to choose the right pen for the right project to achieve desirable results.

Here’s an overview of some popular types of permanent and non-permanent pens, and their most suitable applications:

Permanent Pens Suitable Applications
Sharpie Writing on non-porous surfaces such as glass, metal or plastic
Posca DIY projects such as painting mugs, wood, or fabric
Paint markers Art projects on almost any surface such as canvas or metal

Non-permanent pens, on the other hand, are great for:

  • Writing or drawing in notebooks or journals
  • Sketching or drawing out ideas before committing them to a permanent medium
  • Creating artwork on paper and fabric

Regardless of the type of pen you choose to work with, it is essential to be aware of its specific characteristics and properties, such as its drying time, ink type, and surface compatibility. This knowledge will help you select the appropriate pen to achieve optimal results for any project or creative endeavor.

What makes some pens permanent?

Permanent pens are designed to resist the effects of water, light, and other environmental factors that can cause ink to fade or wash away over time. The type of ink used in permanent pens is an important factor in determining their permanence.

Here are some of the key elements that make some pens permanent:

  • Ink composition: Permanent pens are typically made with pigment-based ink instead of dye-based ink. Pigment-based ink contains tiny particles of color that are suspended in a liquid medium. This type of ink is designed to bond more tightly with paper or other surfaces, making it more resistant to fading or smudging.
  • Acid-free: Acid can cause paper to deteriorate over time, which can affect the permanence of the ink. Permanent pens are usually acid-free, which means they are less likely to cause damage to paper or other materials over the long term.
  • Waterproof: Some permanent pens are designed to be waterproof, which means they can resist the effects of water or moisture. This can be especially important for artists or writers who want to create work that will last for many years without fading or smudging.

The importance of ink composition

The type of ink used in a pen is a crucial factor in determining its permanence. Pigment-based ink is generally considered to be more permanent than dye-based ink because the pigment particles are larger and more tightly bound to the paper fibers or other surfaces where the ink is applied. Dye-based ink, on the other hand, tends to be more soluble and can be more easily washed away or faded over time.

The use of pigment-based ink is especially important for artists or writers who want to create work that will last for many years without losing its vibrancy or color intensity. Pigment-based ink is also less prone to bleeding or smudging, which can be a major consideration for people who work with watercolors, markers, or other media that can be affected by moisture.

Care and maintenance of permanent pens

Even the most permanent pens can begin to fade or lose their intensity over time if they are not stored or cared for properly. Here are some tips for maintaining the permanence of your pens:

  • Store pens horizontally in a cool, dry place to prevent the ink from evaporating or drying out.
  • Cap your pens tightly after use to prevent air from getting in and drying out the ink.
  • Avoid exposing your pens to direct sunlight or high heat, which can degrade the ink over time.
  • Use only high-quality, acid-free paper to ensure that your writing or artwork will last for many years without degrading or fading.

The benefits of permanent pens

Benefits Description
Longevity Permanent pens can create work that lasts for many years without fading or smudging, making them ideal for artists, writers, and anyone who wants to create documents or records that are designed to stand the test of time.
Color intensity Pigment-based ink is often more vibrant and intense than dye-based ink, making it ideal for creating bright, bold drawings or writing.
Water-resistance Many permanent pens are designed to resist water or moisture, making them ideal for use in outdoor or wet environments.
Flexibility Permanent pens can be used on a wide variety of surfaces, including paper, plastic, metal, and more.

Overall, permanent pens are a great choice for anyone who wants to create work that will stand the test of time. With the right care and maintenance, these pens can provide long-lasting color intensity and durability, making them ideal for artists, writers, and other creatives who want to leave their mark on the world.

Factors affecting pen permanence

When it comes to the permanence of gelly roll pens, there are several factors that can impact their longevity and overall quality of ink. These factors include:

  • Paper quality
  • Exposure to light
  • Humidity
  • Chemical composition of ink

Paper quality plays a critical role in how long the ink will last. Coated paper that is designed to repel moisture and resist smudging will help to ensure that gelly roll pen ink stays put on the page. Conversely, uncoated paper that is prone to smudging or bleeding will make it more difficult for the ink to adhere properly.

Exposure to light is another important variable. Sunlight and UV rays can cause gelly roll pen ink to fade and lose its vibrancy over time. To avoid this, it’s important to keep your artwork or written documents out of direct sunlight and store them in a cool, dry place.

Humidity is also a factor to consider. If the air is too humid, the ink may become diluted or even run on the page. This can lead to a less permanent result that is more prone to smudging and fading over time. To avoid this, it’s recommended that artwork or written documents be stored in a climate-controlled environment, if possible.

Finally, the chemical composition of the ink itself can impact its permanence. Certain pigments and dyes may be more prone to fading than others, and some chemical compositions can break down more easily over time. It’s important to consider the intended use of the ink when selecting a gelly roll pen and to do your research to ensure that the chosen pen will meet your needs.

Factor Impact on Permanence
Paper quality Can impact how well the ink adheres to the page and resists smudging and bleeding.
Exposure to light Exposure to sunlight and UV rays can cause the ink to fade and lose vibrancy over time.
Humidity High humidity can cause the ink to become diluted or run on the page, leading to a less permanent result.
Chemical composition Certain pigments and dyes may be more prone to fading or breaking down over time.

By taking these factors into account when selecting and using gelly roll pens, you can help to ensure that your artwork and written documents will remain vibrant and legible for years to come.

Common uses for permanent pens

Permanent pens have a variety of uses, from labeling items to creating art. Here are just a few common uses:

  • Labeling: Permanent pens are perfect for labeling items that need to be identified in a permanent way. This could include labeling storage containers, office supplies, or even clothing items.
  • Art: Many artists prefer using permanent pens for their artwork because they offer long-lasting, fade-resistant colors. Gelly Roll pens, for example, are often used for scrapbooking and other paper crafts because they provide bright, vibrant colors that last.
  • Journaling: If you enjoy journaling, permanent pens are a great option because they won’t smudge or fade over time. You can use them to jot down your thoughts and memories without worrying about the ink fading away.
  • Photography: Permanent pens can be used on photographs to write notes or add captions. They’re also great for signing prints or artwork.
  • School projects: Students often use permanent pens for school projects that require labeling or creating visual aids. They’re also useful for writing on materials like cardboard or plastic.

Best Permanent Pen Brands

When it comes to finding the best permanent pen brands, there are a lot of factors to consider including ink quality, durability, and affordability. Here are six of our top picks for the best permanent pen brands:

  • Sharpie: With a wide range of colors and tip sizes, Sharpie is a well-known and trusted choice for permanent pens. They are great for writing on almost any surface and are fade-resistant and water-resistant.
  • Staedtler Lumocolor: This German brand is known for their high-quality markers and pens. Their Lumocolor permanent pens are no exception, with acid-free ink that is resistant to water, smudging, and fading.
  • Pilot: Pilot pens are a favorite among artists and writers for their smooth writing and bold colors. Their permanent pens use high-quality ink that is water-resistant and quick-drying.
  • Pigma Micron: Sakura’s Pigma Micron pens are well-loved for their archival quality ink that is both waterproof and fade-resistant. They are perfect for crafting, drawing, and writing.
  • Faber-Castell: Faber-Castell is a well-established brand known for their high-quality art supplies. Their permanent pens are no exception, with vibrant ink that is both waterproof and lightfast.
  • Zebra: Zebra pens are a budget-friendly option that doesn’t skimp on quality. Their permanent pens are perfect for everyday use, with fast-drying ink that is fade-resistant and water-resistant.

Tips for Choosing the Best Permanent Pen Brand for You

Before settling on a permanent pen brand, consider what you’ll be using it for. If you need a pen for crafting, look for one with a variety of tip sizes and colors. If you plan to use it for writing, look for a pen with comfortable grip and smooth ink flow. Additionally, keep in mind the surfaces you’ll be writing on. Not all permanent pens are created equal, and some may not write well on certain surfaces such as glass or plastic.

Comparison Table: Best Permanent Pen Brands

Brand Ink Quality Durability Affordability
Sharpie High High Low
Staedtler Lumocolor High High Medium
Pilot High High Medium
Pigma Micron High High Medium
Faber-Castell High High Medium
Zebra High High Low

This comparison table summarizes the qualities of each of the top permanent pen brands to help you make an informed decision.

Are Gelly Roll pens permanent?

1. Can I use Gelly Roll pens on fabric?

Yes, you can use Gelly Roll pens on fabric, but they might not be permanent. You will need to heat-set the ink with an iron to make the ink permanent.

2. Can I use Gelly Roll pens on glossy paper?

Yes, you can use Gelly Roll pens on glossy paper, but the ink may smear or smudge if it is not allowed to dry completely.

3. Can I use Gelly Roll pens on watercolor paper?

Yes, you can use Gelly Roll pens on watercolor paper, but the ink may bleed or feather if the paper is not high quality.

4. Are Gelly Roll pens waterproof?

No, Gelly Roll pens are not waterproof. The ink can smudge or bleed if it comes into contact with water.

5. Are Gelly Roll pens acid-free?

Yes, Gelly Roll pens are acid-free and archival quality, which means they will not deteriorate or fade over time.

6. Can I use Gelly Roll pens on photos?

Yes, you can use Gelly Roll pens on photos, but the ink may not be permanent. It is best to test the pens on a small area first and wait for it to dry before writing on the rest of the photo.

7. How long do Gelly Roll pens last?

The lifespan of Gelly Roll pens depends on how often they are used and how they are stored. Properly stored pens can last for several years.


Thanks for reading this article on Gelly Roll pens! We hope it has answered your questions about the permanence of the ink. Keep in mind that while Gelly Roll pens are not completely permanent, they are acid-free and archival quality. Don’t hesitate to use them in your crafting and artwork. Please visit us again for more tips and tricks!