Pens are one of the most versatile gift ideas, as they’re universal: everyone needs one or uses one on a regular or even semi-regular basis. From writing to sketching, drawing, and jotting down ideas or dreams in the morning, nothing compares to a quality pen that leaves ink marks on a sheet of paper. We have put together a list of creative and elegant minimalist pen ideas in this gift guide, along with a few gorgeous mechanical pencils and new releases to help you surprise someone special in style. Whether you’re looking for a pen to gift to a Bauhaus fan, a brutalist architecture lover, a fan of elegant calligraphy, or someone who appreciates artisan crafting techniques, you’ll find the perfect design here.

Before we reveal our favorite pen designs, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions people have about pens and pen gifts.

Which is best pen to gift?

The best pen to give as a gift ultimately comes down to the recipient. For example, someone who loves more traditional designs would probably appreciate a well-made fountain pen. Fans of Nordic design would love a minimalist pen that embodies their aesthetic preferences. And architecture aficionados would probably be delighted to receive the perfect gift, a pen inspired by brutalism, for example. Likewise, writers, artists, designers, architects, and calligraphy fans may prefer an ink or gel pen that suits specific tasks. Regardless of design, you can make any pen gift more memorable with elegant packaging such as a wooden box with a black laquer finish.

What does it mean to give a pen to someone?

Giving an EDC or special pen to someone can symbolize many things, including an appreciation for the recipient’s creativity, innovative thinking, freedom of expression, bright career future, and more. Sometimes, giving a pen is simply a beautiful gesture meant to celebrate a special event. Customized corporate gifts offer a great way to mark a holiday, milestone, or meaningful occasion.

What to say while gifting a pen?

What you say while gifting a pen depends on the relationship between you and the person receiving the gift. For example, some messages suit a close, intimate relationship, and others suit more formal interactions. Ideas include “May this pen bring your best ideas to life” or “I hope you’ll think of me whenever you’re using this pen.”

What is the difference between pen and pencil?

A pen leaves a permanent mark on paper through a tip that dispenses ink – whether liquid or gel ink. By contrast, a pencil leaves graphite marks that the user can erase. Pencils need sharpening while pens need refills. Both pens and pencils come in a variety of styles. Types of pens include fountain pens, ballpoint pens and rollerball pens, while pencils come in graphite, charcoal, color, wax, and mechanical varieties.

What is the most popular pen?

The most popular pens, including office supplies or EDC items, are now ballpoint and gel pens, which have dethroned the classic fountain pens from the top spot. Practical and convenient, ballpoint pens are easier to refill and their ink dries faster on the page to minimize smudging, improving the writing experience. We should mention that choosing a high-quality ballpoint or gel pen is worth it. It will last much longer than a cheaper alternative and is more sustainable in the long run.

How to gift a pen to someone?

Making a minimalist pen gift extra-special is easy. After choosing a high-quality pen (and you’ll have plenty of options in our gift guide), you can package it in a beautiful pen case, gift box or gift bag. Some pens come with the option to add custom engraving, which is a beautiful touch whether you want to surprise a friend or are looking to personalize corporate gifts. Other writing tools come with included cases. A luxury pen may even come with a gift box that features a black lacquer and/or gold trim, for example. You can also package pens in elegant wrapping paper and add a personal note.

22 Design Studio Module Rollerball Pen

A perfect pen gift for butalism fans.

Taiwan-based 22 Design Studio uses high-density concrete to make writing instruments, watches, and other accessories. Safe to say, their collection is one of a kind. The Module Rollerball Pen showcases the brand’s signature style perfectly. This is the ideal pen to gift to a fan of brutalism, as it draws inspiration from raw concrete architecture. The minimalist pen features “drilling” holes reminiscent of concrete building plates. Completed with a spindle shape, these cool pens are a joy to hold. Crafted from high-density concrete with a specially curing technique, the pen will develop a beautiful patina over time and with use. Comes with a black Schmidt 888F refill.

Buy $99

LAMY Lx Rollerball

A style-conscious pen to gift to someone special.

The LAMY Lx Rollerball is designed as a stylish accessory as much as it’s made as a quality writing instrument. Refined and durable, this pen is crafted from anodized aluminum with a rich brown color and a bronze-colored metal clip completed with a long-lasting PVD finish. The grip is transparent and has an ergonomic shape to offer excellent support while writing. Apart from the included M 63 M black refill, this minimalist pen also comes with a matching, color-coordinated metal case, which means that it’s ready to give as a gift.

Buy $25

Craft Design Technology Multifunctional Pen

A 3-in-1 design.

Offering an elegant take on the multi-color pens from childhood, the Multifunctional Pen from Craft Design Technology has a practical 3-in-1 design. It has black ink and red ink made with an oil and water-based formula, and a mechanical pencil with a 0.5mm lead. Made with a chrome body, the pen boasts the brand’s signature pattern that gives a beautiful texture to the metal and also ensures a perfect grip. This pen is manufactured in Japan.

Buy $64

Craighill Kepler Pen

A pen inspired by astronomy and the golden ratio.

Part of the Craighill collection, the Kepler Pen stands out with a creative design that references everything from astronomy to the golden ratio and the feeling of writing by hand on paper. Like all other products from the brand, this one is not only distinctive but also high-quality. Precision-turned on a lathe, it features a brass or steel body. A PVD-coated version with a black finish is also available. The wave-like pattern creates “ripples” that are placed closer together toward the tip of the pen. A plunger with a spring mechanism allows the user to smoothly press the end of the minimalist pen to reveal or hide the tip. This is a perfect pen to gift to someone who loves creative designs. The Kepler Pen works with Schmidt 635 refills.

Buy $78

Ajoto The Pen (Stellar)

A design that takes inspiration from outer space.

For lovers of astronomy, outer space, or Jackson Pollock, we have the best gift idea. The Ajoto The Pen (Stellar) makes a lasting first impression. Inspired by the beauty of a starry sky and by the wonders of the universe, the pen features an eye-catching speckled pattern in vibrant colors. Each pen is precision-machined in the UK from either hi-grade aluminium or steel and then polished by hand. The Stellar version also features a hand-applied ceramic layer that has been baked in a kiln for extra-hardness and durability. This also means that every pen is unique, as the speckles vary from one product to another. Finally, this Ajoto pen comes in a bespoke letter-pressed card and cork packaging that is also eco-friendly and sustainably made.

Buy $265

Wörther Baden-Baden Fallminenstift_2

A quality, long-lasting pencil.

Founded in 1985, German brand Wörther Baden-Baden was one of the first in the world to introduce a series of durable aluminum pens. The Fallminenstift_2 pencil is one of the brand’s classic designs. Simple and practical, this writing tool works with 5.6mm 4B graphite lead, making it one of the best pens for writing, drawing, and sketching. Made from solid aluminum, the pencil features an anodized finish in natural, gray, or black. A sharpener that doubles as a stand is also available separately. The company also offers colored leads for this product, including bright colors like yellow, red, and green. Comes with an elegant black box.

Buy $39

Parafernalia Falter 2D

A dream pen gift for a DIY fan.

Designed by Albert Ebenbichler for Italian brand Parafernalia, Falter 2D is a one of a kind gift that will certainly make a strong impression. Especially if you’re planning to surprise a design lover who is also a fan of DIY projects and functionality. This imaginative design allows the user to build the pen in four steps. The assembly kit includes a key, which is the only required tool to create the ballpoint pen. A ruler and a pen holder are also included, with the latter offering an elegant way to show off the design on a desk. This product is also durable and top quality, as it’s crafted by hand from steel in Italy. Falter 2D works with P900 Stroke M Parker refills.

Buy $39

Kaweco Steel Sport Ballpen

A heavier pen that makes writing more comfortable.

Not all the cool pens from our list optimize writing comfort with an ergonomic form. The Steel Sport Ballpen from Kaweco does this with a heftier weight. Made from steel, this pen is heavier than standard writing tools and thus requires less pressure to leave marks on a sheet of paper. A brushed finish gives an elegant texture and tactile surface to the steel. Other features include a high quality dropping ball tip retracting mechanism that doesn’t “click” and an included blue 1.0mm D1 refill. The Kaweco collection also includes clips and leather pouches specially made for the Sport series.

Buy $85

Giuliano Mazzuoli Fresa Brushed Chrome

A handcrafted Italian pen.

Fresa might be the perfect pen to gift to a fan of industrial style. Designed by Giuliano Mazzuoli, this pen takes inspiration from tools found in industrial workshops. Crafted by hand in Italy from aluminum, Fresa features a milling pattern and a machined metal clip. The screw cap attaches to either the tip or the end of the pen’s body, for more convenience. Ideal for writing, drawing, sketching or simply jotting down some ideas, the Fresa pen comes in different finishes. While we love the brushed chrome version, you can also get this pen in gunmetal gray or vintage ivory. The Fresa series includes fountain pens and ballpoint pens.

Buy $180

Kaweco Liliput Ballpen (Eco-) Brass

A simple and elegant design.

A minimalist design would make a great pen gift idea. Take the Liliput Ballpen from Kaweco, for example. Elegant and simple, this pen is an excellent choice as it’s versatile and timeless. It’s also crafted to last. Made from Eco brass in Germany, Liliput is lead-free and boasts an untreated surface. As a result, the golden grass will develop an individual patina with use. Keeping true to its name, this ballpen is shorter than standard writing instruments, which makes it easier to carry in a pocket. Comes with an included blue refill of 1.0mm.

Buy $70

CW&T Black Cerakote Pen

A versatile pen.

Designed and engineered by Brooklyn-based art and design studio CW&T, the Cerakote black pen is specially made to last a lifetime. Ideal for designers, illustrators, architects, and other creatives, this is one of the best pens for writing, journaling, sketching, and taking notes. Cerakote is precision-machined in Vermont from titanium and features a black ceramic-polymer sleeve with a tactile finish. With use, the coating will start to wear off to reveal the silver gray titanium underneath. This high-quality pen also features magnets at the bottom of the sleeve. Ready to use straight out of the box, the CW&T Black Cerakote comes with a Black Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm cartridge.

Buy $230

Hightide Penco Bullet Ballpoint Pen Light

A lightweight writing tool.

Made by Japanese brand Hightide, the Penco Bullet Ballpoint Pen Light has a rounded, almost bulky shape but it’s extremely lightweight at only 8 grams. As a result, it’s easy to carry around in a pocket and keep it close at hand for whenever the inspiration strikes. The compact pen is manufactured from durable ABS resin and comes in ten different colors. Apart from classics like black and gray, you can also get this pen in hues that include khaki, blue, yellow, red, or orange. Penco works with D1 refills and comes with an oil-based black ink.

Buy $16

Livework Life & Pieces 4 Color Ballpoint Pen

An everyday pen with four colors.

Part of the Livework collection, the Life & Pieces ballpoint pen is a fantastic pen gift idea. That’s because this is one of the most versatile writing instruments from our list. Designed with a 0.5mm tip for extra precision, it suits both everyday tasks and more creative projects, including sketching and drawing. This pen comes in three versions, each with its own combination of four refills. For example, the Salmon pen comes with black, sky blue, lime, and pink ink; the Mint pen has black, red, blue, and green ink; and the Beige version comes with black, purple, brown, and orange ink.

Buy $16

Torpedo GB Torpedo Ballpoint Pen

A high-end pen to gift to fan of creative designs.

In our list of unique pens and seriously cool pens, the Torpedo GB stands out with an imaginative design. Inspired by the first self-propelled torpedo in the world, this ballpoint pen aims to become the perfect tool to express one’s creativity. The handmade pen comes to life through state-of-the-art manufacturing processes. It features a curved torpedo shape that makes writing every letter a joy, and a propeller decorated with a Swarovski stone in white, ruby red, or sapphire blue. This pen is assembled by hand and comes in a solid walnut box with a hand-sewn leather pouch, ready to give as a gift.

Buy $880

Traveler’s Company Brass Ballpoint Pen

A great pen to gift to a fan of traveling.

Portable and compact, the Brass Ballpoint Pen from Traveler’s Company is a perfect pen gift idea for those who travel frequently or love extra-practical products. Made in Tokyo, Japan, the pen is beautifully crafted from solid brass and boasts a golden color. Over time and with use, it will develop an individual patina and will thus become one of a kind. This pen features two parts, the writing tool and a holder. When not in use, the pen fits neatly inside of the holder for easy portability. Finally, at the top, there’s a small ring which allows the user to attach anything from a string to a key holder.

Buy $29

Antou Pen C Mini

A pen that can take in over 100 types of refills.

Many people prefer either black or blue ink for their main writing or sketching tool. However, some also love the versatility and creative potential of a wider range of colors or refills. The Pen C Mini from Antou offers a convenient way to use the same pen with different refills. How different, you ask? Well, this design works with over 100 types of ballpoint pen refills, so it’s safe to say that it won’t run out of options. Built with CNC machining techniques from a quality aluminum alloy, the pen comes with an aluminum casing ready for gifting and has a gel-ink refill.

Buy $90

Lamy 2000 Stainless-Steel Ballpoint Pen

A classic design.

Refined and timeless, this classic design is an excellent pen gift idea for virtually anyone, but especially for Bauhaus fans. It has a rounded shape and a high-quality stainless steel barrel with a silver gray hue and a smooth finish. The minimalist pen also features a retractable, push-button mechanism and a metal clip. A medium black M16 oil-based ink refill is also included. Ideal as a gift for a fan of minimalist design, the Lamy 2000 Stainless-Steel Ballpoint Pen conveniently comes in elegant packaging.

Buy $94

22 Design Studio Merge Desk Pen

A pen specially designed for desks.

Another minimal writing tool from Taiwan-based 22 Design Studio, the Merge Desk Pen is truly one of a kind. That’s because unlike most pens, this one is specially made with desks and table use in mind. Merge Desk features a block-like base which doubles as a cap when the pen is not in use. As for the pen itself, it boasts a matching stocky body with a wider circumference than most writing utensils. Both the minimalist pen and the base are crafted from high-density concrete. Apart from the classic gray version, this product also comes in a reddish-orange option. The Merge Desk Pen works with widely available Schmidt P900M refills.

Buy $80

Before Breakfast Onigiri Fountain Pen

A modern take on a classic pen.

Part of the Before Breakfast collection, the Onigiri Fountain Pen has an elegantly simple design that offers a modern take on classic fountain pens. It features a rounded body and the brand’s signature Onigiri grip that ensures optimal comfort for a smooth writing experience, drawing, or sketching. Made in the UK from aluminum, the minimalist pen also features a magnetic cap. This pen comes in a beautiful Space Blue color. Before Breakfast offers this product with either a medium or a fine nib. Finally, the pen comes with a Schmidt Converter to also take international standard ink cartridges.

Buy $105

Ystudio Classic Revolve Mechanical Pencil

A pencil inspired by classic designs.

Similarly to old pencils made of wood, the Classic Revolve Mechanical Pencil from Ystudio has a hexagonal shape. However, it has a brass body and a copper cap. The solid brass material will gain a patina and more character over time, but the user can also restore the pencil’s original shine with a brass polish treatment. Perfectly balanced, this pencil feels comfortable to hold and to use. It fits 0.7mm leads and suits anything from sketching to note-taking and drawing. A beautiful box is also included, making this pencil ideal as a gift.

Buy $119

Ystudio Classic Renaissance Yakihaku Fountain Pen

An exquisitely crafted fountain pen.

Made in a collaboration between Ystudio and master craftsman Kohei Murata, the Classic Renaissance Yakihaku Fountain Pen is a celebration of traditional Japanese artisan techniques. This pen is beautifully made and simply beautiful. It features a foil art technique completed with the rare ‘Unryūhaku’ material on vulcanized silver. A 14K nib made in Germany completes the sophisticated design. This elegant fountain pen comes with a minimal stand and an international standard cartridge converter. Plus, the gorgeous packaging makes it the perfect pen to gift to someone special.

Buy $759

22 Design Studio Concrete Rollerball Pen

A pen designed with concrete ridges.

Ridges and plateaus seem carved with a sculpting tool and a fine touch in this concrete pen from 22 Design Studio. A joy to behold, this gorgeous pen is also a pleasure to use thanks to the delicately cut curves. The high-density concrete barrel erodes over time to fit the user’s hand perfectly. This also makes the pen unique and extra-special. A stainless steel cap protects the 0.7mm tip and adds a sleek accent to the light gray concrete. The 22 Design Studio Concrete Rollerball Pen comes in three versions: Original, Dark Gray, and White.

Buy $89

Lamy Pico Pocket Pen

A compact but mighty pen.

Good things come in small packages. That’s the idea behind Pico, a cleverly designed pen that expands to reveal the nib when needed and contracts to occupy minimal space when not in use. Created by Swiss designer Franco Clivio, the minimalist pen features a playful design with a smooth push mechanism that thrusts the nib forward. Pico thus efficiently solves the issue of unwanted pen scribbles in bags or pockets. This pocket pen comes in 6 colors. Apart from classic black and white, you can also order it in blue, orange, silver, or pink. While the blue and black versions have a matte finish, the others are glossier. Finally, Pico works with Lamy M 22M refills.

Buy $79

HMM Ballpoint Pen Raw

A milled aluminum pen.

Created for longer sessions of writing or sketching, the HMM Ballpoint Pen is a delight to hold and to use, even all day long. The pen is crafted from milled aluminum and weighs only 22 grams. It also features a fine texture created by a vibration polishing technique. A heavy-duty spring ensures that this pen will stand up to the test of time. The HMM Ballpoint Pen Raw also comes in two darker versions. All of them work with a standard Schmidt P900M pen refill. A great pen gift for someone who loves minimalist designs and quality craftsmanship.

Buy $35

Tactile Turn Side Click Pen

A tactile copper pen.

Simple designs are timeless, but when they’re also made with long-lasting materials that age beautifully, you’ve hit the jackpot. In that note, let us introduce you to the minimal Side Click Pen from Tactile Turn. As pared down as a writing tool can get, this pen features an elegantly rounded shape and a simple gray clip. Made from copper, the pen has natural antimicrobial properties and a beautiful golden color. The copper will develop a patina over time and will darken slightly as a reminder of each thought, sketch, drawing, and piece of writing immortalized on paper. This pen comes in three versions: standard and mini with Pilot G2 0.7 mm and G2 Mini 0.7mm refills, respectively, and short with a Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 medium refill. A version with an eye-catching titanium Damascus clip is also available.

Buy $99

Ystudio Resin Fountain Pen

An acrylic resin and brass pen.

Classic and contemporary styles come together in the Resin Fountain Pen from Ystudio. Made with a white acrylic resin barrel, the pen features a brass nib and a brass inner tuber. While the body is unpolished, the nib from Schmidt and the grip feature a golden color with a lustrous finish. The ideal minimalist pen to gift to someone who loves modern fountain pens, this product comes with an included black cartridge and a stylish gift box. The fountain pen is also compatible with a standard sized converter. Finally, Ystudio offers the pen with a medium or a fine tip.

Buy $65

Parafernalia Diamante Piombo

An ideal pen to gift to an Italian design lover.

Award-winning designer Giulio Iacchetti created the Diamante pencil with two complementing textures. A great choice to surprise a fan of contemporary Italian design, this pencil features an anodized aluminum barrel. Above the tip, the aluminum boasts a textured surface completed with a diamond knurling tool, which enhances both the grip and the felling of comfort while using this writing and sketching tool. Handmade in Italy, the Diamante Piombo pencil features a bespoke locking mechanism that either holds the lead in place or helps to adjusts its length. This pencil works with 5.6mm refills. Comes packaged in an eco-friendly cardboard box.

Buy $59

Ajoto The Pen – Brass, Natural & Brushed

A classic and minimal design.

Minimal and clean, The Pen from Ajoto is as elegant as it is simple. Simply put, you can’t go wrong with a classic design like this one, making The Pen one of the best pen gift ideas you can find. Made with a simple two-part mechanism, this pen is also crafted from solid lead-free brass. Precision-machined, the metal pen is spun and polished by hand. Over time, the brass barrel will oxidize and develop a patina that will showcase years of use. Those who prefer the look of glossier brass can use a metal polish to make the minimalist pen look like new. Made in the UK, The Pen works with 0.7mm liquid ink rollerball refills. This product also comes with a custom letter-pressed card and cork gift packaging.

Buy $200

Ten Stationery Hang-On Ballpoint Pen

A fun and practical design.

Designed with an integrated hook, this minimalist pen is more practical than most writing tools. Indeed, the Hang-On Ballpoint Pen from Ten Stationery has received not one, but several prestigious design awards. Apart from the Red Dot Design Award, this pen has also received the Gold Award of HKSGDA and the German Design Award. Made from aluminum, Hang-On features a durable nylon hook which the user can attach to a pocket, key chain, or backpack. Pushing the side button releases the hook and also pushes the tip forward. The Ten Stationery Hang-On Ballpoint Pen comes in Silver, Black, and Rose Gold and works with a wide range of refills.

Buy $25

Craighill Embassy Pen

A stylish pen originally made for embassies.

Originally made in limited edition series for US embassies, the Embassy Pen is now part of the Craighill collection. Which means that you can impress someone with a pen gift they’ll cherish a lifetime. Designed by CountyComm and precision-machined in California from brass, the pen features a cross-hatch knurling pattern across the barrel. The Embassy Pen also has a balanced, weighty feel and an elegant golden color. A stainless steel clip and a unique serial number complete this refined design. The minimalist pen works with the Fisher Space Pen® pressurized ink cartridge.

Buy $100

Stilform Ballpoint Pen

An ingenious, minimalist pen with a magnet mechanism.

Part of the Stilform collection, this ballpoint pen is minimalist, versatile, and innovative. It features a simple rounded shape and a smooth, tactile finish. Inside the barrel, a custom click mechanism uses magnets to retract and expose the tip  – a world first for a ballpoint pen. The shifting cap works with the strong Neodymium magnet to produce a satisfying click. This minimalist pen comes in two versions, Titanium Matte or Titanium DLC. Both of them come with or without a clip, with customers able to choose between the Warp Black or the Star Silver clips. Finally, this product comes in a premium, laminated gift box.

Buy $100

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