Ghosting and Bleed in Writing Instruments - and the UPstudio Planner November 9, 2017 05:00

Even if the terms 'ghosting' or 'bleed' don't mean anything to you, it's extremely likely that you've experienced both of these. We're not talking about Halloween or a convenient out from someone you're dating, we're talking about paper! Whether you're a paper lover like us (hi!) or new around here, this post is relevant to anyone who ever puts pen (or pencil or marker or crayon) on paper.

Let's start with some explanations:

Ghosting: the lesser offensive experience; ghosting is when writing shows up faintly on the back of the piece of paper where the writing occurred- you can tell that something has been written on the other side, but it does not interfere with anything and often times is not immediately noticeable.

Bleed: this can ruin your day; bleed occurs when ink has penetrated the paper and deters visibility on the opposite side of a paper where writing occurred- notes written on both sides of the paper can become very difficult to read.

The amount of ghosting or bleed that occurs depends on both the paper and the writing instrument. Some may argue that one or the other is the more important factor in the outcome of ghosting or bleed, but from our perspective, pens can be changed easier than paper can. It was extremely important to us when creating the UPstudio Planner to have both a balance of a quality paper weight (one that would allow minimal ghosting or bleed) yet not a lot of bulk or physical weight (small and light enough to carry around everywhere!) We met with our printers and tested all different paper types and weights with different pens and markers. In the end, we chose a 70# text paper which was the best of all worlds- and a much higher quality paper than many other planners on the market.

When the UPstudio Planner gets to you, you are in control of what you use to write. To help you avoid any ghosting or bleed issues, we tested 16 different writing instruments to see how they would fare on the Planner.

Here is our lineup (see below for written list):


And here are are the results:


The takeaways from this test are that any pencil should work without issue (and as my schedule is constantly changing, this is my personal preference of writing instrument), as well as ballpoint pens. Felt tip pens may show some ghosting, but minimal at worst, and the type of fountain pen used will determine its overall quality (with fountain pens, my experience has shown that it's worth paying a bit more money for a much better product)! And finally, Sharpie's will bleed or have significant ghosting on almost all types of paper- there's a reason they are the best known permanent marker!

Have you used a different pen or marker and experienced ghosting, or bleed on your Planner? Or did we do an A+ job on choosing paper and you've had no issues? We'd love to hear your comments or see your results! 

Tested writing instruments:

  • UPstudio Pencil (we got the best ones, trust us)
  • FURST 2.0 (pencil)
  • Ballpoint Pen
  • LAMY Fountain Pen
  • Pilot Fountain Pen
  • Paper Mate Flair (felt tip pen) 
  • Pilot Razor Point (felt tip pen)
  • Le Pen (felt tip pen)
  • Micron 08 (felt tip pen)
  • STABILO point 88 - red (felt tip pen)
  • STABILO point 88 - grey (felt tip pen)
  • STABILO Pen 68 (felt tip pen)
  • STAEDTLER triplus fineliner (felt tip pen)
  • STAEDTLER Lumocolor (felt tip marker)
  • SHARPIE Fine
  • SHARPIE Ultra Fine