Best Pens for Architects, Designers, and Architectural Students

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Architects require a pen for almost everything they do, from sketching to writing. They can transform any basic sketch into a stunning piece of artwork with the best pens for architects. Different pens are designed for different uses ranging from outlining to rendering.

When picking the best architecture pens, precision matters a lot. These pens should work properly with other items that architects use, like pencils, markers, and watercolors. However, with many pens available today, finding one that works best with architects can be difficult.

Luckily, we have done the research for you. Whether you're writing, drawing, or sketching out plans for a new building, there's something for everyone. Keep reading to find the best architecture pens.

What Pens Do Architects Prefer?

An architect's toolkit is incomplete without a pen. An inking pen or a regular pen is the strongest instrument an architect may employ to portray their idea. Inking pens are simple pens that have been charged with ink.

Some of these pens are known for being exceedingly precise, not something you'd want on your desk unless you're working in a field that requires extremely detailed calligraphy or graphics.

The diameter of the tips usually ranges from 0.03 to 0.8 millimeters. Other pens are noted for their creative features, such as shading and fill-in capabilities.

Here are the best pens for architects, designers and even architectural students. All these pens are perfect for sketching, drawing, and architectural drafting.

1. Sakura 30062 Pigma Micron Blister Card Ink Pen Set

Sakura Pigma 30062 Micron Blister Card Ink Pen Set,...
  • THE GO-TO TOOL FOR ART WORK & PLAY: Micron is the fineliner...
  • PRECISE POINTS & LINES: Create precise marks that stand the test...
  • SMOOTH WRITING: Experience smooth, skip-free writing in crisp,...
  • ARCHIVAL QUALITY: Pigma ink colors are derived from single...
  • CERTIFIED NON TOXIC: Approved by ACMI toxicologists and bears...

If you're an architect seeking the most advanced drawing software, look no further. Pigma Micron Ink Pens from Sakura combine accuracy, comfort, and constant ink flow into one convenient compact. It boasts a smooth flowing ink and a comfortable grip. It's also quite affordable.

The Pigma Micron is cost-effective as you won't have to bother about replacing the refill or refilling it with ink because it's disposable. You can purchase it for a reasonable price at your local stationery store. You may buy it in sets if you require different colors and designs.

Image Source: Sakura

These pens are so great that many artists use them for high-detail sketching. Despite the smooth material, it also feels good and grippy to handle. And there are no skips in the ink flow. Due to their wide range of nibs and ease of use, most artists, architects, and designers often use these pens.


  • Disposable, and you don't have to worry about refills
  • Highly available
  • Widely available
  • Smooth writing and drawing
  • Precise nib
  • Opaque ink


  • Since it is disposable, it means you have to keep buying

2. Staedtler Pigment Liner Bonus Sketch Set of 6 Liners

STAEDTLER Pigment Liner Bonus Sketch Set of 6 Liners...
  • Pigment liner bonus sketch set of 6 line widths
  • 4+2 free pack in stand up easel case
  • Lightfast waterproof smear free ink
  • Long write out length
  • Polypropylene barrel for long life and long metal tip

The pigment ink makes this Staedtler Pigment Liner one of the best pens for architects. Even on colorful paper, the ink's rich, deep black tone stands out in terms of coverage. In addition, the tips produce a smooth, flowing ink that is excellent for coloring.

Furthermore, the nib options in this set allow you to build elaborate patterns and floor layouts by playing with lines. Also, the robust tips guarantee that the quality of the lines you draw won't deteriorate even when you push firmly.

Image Source: Staedtler

Finally, the design of these pens' casings stands out. You can flip the lid back to transform the shell into a pen holder if you need to work. This is a good feature as it lets you view the pens and take out only the ones you need. It also keeps the pens from rolling away.


  • It has fade-resistant inks
  • Great for technical drawing, coloring, sketching, and writing
  • Variety of tip sizes
  • Won't bleed on most paper
  • It comes with a casing that can be used as a pen holder


  • It may smear if not properly used.

3. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens, .3mm

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens, .3mm, Metal Clad Tip,...
  • Assembly Required: No, Ink Color: Assorted, Tip: 0.3mm Fine , Tip...
  • Features: Acid-free Ink
  • Sold as 1 pack

The Staedtler Triplus Fineliner has been around for a long time, and anybody who uses sketching and art pens daily will likely have one in their possession. This is because it is a pen that has always been dependable and comes at a price almost everyone can afford.

The ink color is vibrant, and the nib is smooth and precise. The ink never stutters, and the triangular shape is quite comfortable to carry in your hands. It comes with a soft tip that feels more like a brush pen.

Image Source: Staedtler

The Triplus Fineliner is said to be a Dry-Safe Pen, which means you may leave the pen uncapped for days and still use it as efficiently as when it was new. While it may sound unlikely with most sketching pens, this one does exactly what it says.


  • Easy to hold triangular design
  • It has a decent range of colors
  • A soft tip that feels like a brush pen
  • Inexpensive
  • Widely available
  • Dry safe pen


  • The soft tip may make it hard for beginners to use.

4. Lamy Safari Fountain Pen - Fine Charcoal

Lamy Safari Fountain Pen - Charcoal - Fine
  • Charcoal Black ABS coloured plastic body
  • Black coated steel nib; fine point
  • Includes one Lamy T10 Blue Cartridge
  • Accepts Z24 cartridge converter, sold separately.

If you're a beginner and want to try a fountain pen, then the Lamy Safari is the pen for you. It is an amazing choice for anyone who wants something simpler to comprehend and use than all those pricey but gorgeous fountain pens with so many different nib and ink choices.

The Lamy Safari's versatility is what makes it so appealing to architects. You can get a variety of nibs, including one that is specifically made just for left-handers. Extra-fine, fine, medium, and wide are the other options. As a result, there is a nib size to suit every purpose.

Image Source: Lamy

Furthermore, all the necessary accessories for this pen are reasonably priced, as is the pen itself. As an architect, you'll receive a pen that not only exudes quality but also offers a variety of options and is simple to maintain.


  • Smooth ink release
  • Stainless steel nib for durability
  • Affordable fountain pen
  • It comes with a variety of nibs
  • Compatible with a cartridge converter


  • The ABS material doesn't give enough grip

5. Platinum Art Supplies Micro-Line Ultra Fine Point Ink Pens

Micro-Line Ultra Fine Point Ink Pens - (SET OF 16) -...
  • SMOOTH, SOFT, and CRISP - Our Product was designed to provide you...
  • 100% WATERPROOF - ARCHIVE QUALITY INK - Will not smear or smudge....
  • Perfect for All Artists, Illustrators, Writers, Students,...
  • MANUFACTURER MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - We strive to make the Best...

If you would like to add a dash of color to your work, consider adding this set of pens to your collection. The colors seem brilliant on paper, and since it is acid-free, they will never fade. In addition, the fine nibs are quite flexible, allowing you to draw complicated designs.

Image Source: Platinum Art Supplies

It also includes 5 black fine-liners in various point sizes and a broad choice of architectural color pens. You can use these pens in mixed-media projects as they are ideal sketching tools for creating pictures on vellum drawing sheets. You can also use them as a ball pen or ordinary pen when you forget to carry one.

Despite their thinness, the tips are highly stable. It's easy to hold these pens in your hand. It allows you to get complete control over the drawing tool. Furthermore, the caps are simple to remove and replace on the bodies of the pens.


  • Comfortable grip
  • Great for coloring and sketching
  • Features firm tips for stability
  • Smooth flowing ink
  • Variety of point sizes and colors


  • The ink is not the best for thick paper
  • Yellow ink is very light

What Do You Consider When Picking the Best Pens for Architects

1. Pen Design

Although the design of the pen may be the least of your concerns in other careers, it matters a lot regarding architecture. It is not just about the beautiful design but also how it can cater to your sketching needs and the way of living.

If you're in search of a long-term investment, a fountain pen is good, but it's not ideal for travel. This is because replacing the ink reservoir is hard if you run out of ink while on a trip. In addition, the ink cartridge might not be available in the area you're in.

Felt-tipped pens tend to be better choices for traveling architects as you don't need to worry about refilling the ink. However, they tend to tear down faster because the pen nibs are not stainless steel.

2. Nib Types

Architect pens come in a variety of shapes. Felt-tipped pens, often known as micro-tipped pens by some, are the most common among students and professionals. The felt or plastic nibs of these pens are quite sturdy. Some sets come with various nib sizes, and some even include a brush drawing pen.

However, one major drawback of felt-tipped pens is that the nibs tend to wear down over time, affecting your sketching. So, if you're looking for durability, you might want to consider fountain pens since their nibs are made of stainless steel.

3. Quality of Ink

Since sketching and creating designs to give your coworkers and clients will be a big part of your work, the ink quality should be top-notch. Not only will it illustrate your thoughts clearly and with precision, but it will also assist you in bringing everyone on board. As a result, the pens you choose are important.

As an architect, you can't afford pens with ink that skips, smears, bleeds, fades, or picks up eraser marks. Make sure the inks in your pens are archival and flow smoothly. If you're new to fountain pens or drawing pens, you'll want to know the different ink colors and the cartridge mechanism.

4. Ink Colors

The best pens for architects come in different colors for different needs. In architecture, black is the most popular color. When working on your master plan or other forms of illustrations to display your ideas, you may require visible inks to contrast with the other mediums you use

Working with black ink that has good color opacity is significantly easier. It immediately eradicates any sketches you made with a mechanical pencil. It also saves you time by eliminating the need to retrace your steps.

If you would like your work to stand out, you might also need architect pens to invest in additional ink colors for various illustrations.

Architecture Pens Vs. Pencils

Architects need pencils as well as pens. Architecture professionals know that their profession needs a diverse set of equipment. These aren't your regular pens and pencils. Many architects, over conventional graphites, prefer a mechanical pencil. It allows them to sketch more accurately.

Aside from that, many architects have a pen collection, which may include a mix of fineliners and a fountain pen set. Each pen in the set should ideally have a different point size or nib to aid in creating intricate drawings.

Some even carry a ballpoint pen to take notes. You can use a ballpoint pen to make basic sketches, but not the regular brush pens and sketch pens.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Architecture Pens

1. Are gel pens better than ballpoint?

Gel pens write far smoother than ballpoint pens, but their water-based gel ink is colored ink, which is where they shine. Since the ink is pigmented, it comes in a far larger spectrum of colors than a ballpoint pen, which has a restricted color range due to its dye-based ink colorant.

2. Are fountain pens good for sketching?

There are a few reasons why people use fountain pens to sketch. First, due to the obvious way the ink flows from the pen, they're more pleasant to sketch with. Being able to alter line weight allows you to create more expressive lines.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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