Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Autographs
  Best pen for signing on the blackness of space

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Best pen for signing on the blackness of space
RichieB16
Member

Posts: 323
From: Oregon
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 02-21-2015 10:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichieB16   Click Here to Email RichieB16     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have recently decided it would be a fun project to try and get all seven astronauts who lived on the Mir space station to sign a photo. My favorite photo from that program is the photo of the shuttle Atlantis docked to Mir taken from a Soyuz spacecraft during STS-71. I think it's one of the best photos of the whole shuttle program.

I'd like to use that photo for this project... but the background of the whole photo is black space.

What is the best pen choice for autographing such a photo? Would a silver colored sharpie be preferred, or is something else a better choice? I'm going to try and do as much as possible with this project through the mail so I will need to send the appropriate pen.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31667
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-21-2015 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Silver Sharpie is definitely an option, though I would recommend including a new pen with each signing, as the tip tends to go blunt very quickly in my experience.

As an alternative, you could use a white ink pen. Sharpie itself advises:

...we suggest trying Newell Rubbermaid's white Sharpie Paint or Poster-Paint marker. It is a valve action marker, which requires a pumping action.
The down side with paint pens is that they can blob, and if the astronaut signing doesn't let it dry, it can smear more easily than the ink Sharpie pens.

RichieB16
Member

Posts: 323
From: Oregon
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 02-21-2015 11:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RichieB16   Click Here to Email RichieB16     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd be afraid the paint pen would get smeared too easily. If it was all going to be in person, that would work great. Do you think a silver Sharpie would show up nicely?

I was thinking of something like this.

randy
Member

Posts: 1520
From: West Jordan, Utah USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 02-21-2015 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a signed photo with some of the autographs in the black of the Earth's shadow and they are in silver Sharpie. For what it's worth, I would recommend the silver Sharpie.

cycleroadie
Member

Posts: 352
From: Apalachin, NY USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 02-21-2015 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cycleroadie   Click Here to Email cycleroadie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Silver Sharpie also, but as Robert mentioned, a fresh one for each signature.

JasonB
Member

Posts: 897
From:
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 02-21-2015 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonB   Click Here to Email JasonB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I use gold Sharpie for signatures on black space. It looks unbelievable!

JBoe
Member

Posts: 554
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 02-21-2015 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For what it's worth, I would use a silver Sharpie. I have a few sports autographs and have a mini-helmet that's black with silver autographs. It looks great! The other thing to consider is the thickness of the pen/marker. With the smaller thickness you might not have to change the marker as often for that "crisp" autograph, just a though.

Donbl
New Member

Posts: 2
From: Frederick, MD
Registered: Jun 2013

posted 02-21-2015 08:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Donbl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You might want to test the Pen-touch silver fine point. The astronauts at Spacefest VI used it on my photographs. I prefer this to the Sharpie.

topmiler
Member

Posts: 123
From: eastleigh, hampshire, UK
Registered: Jul 2012

posted 02-22-2015 07:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for topmiler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yep, medium silver Sharpie.

mikepf
Member

Posts: 386
From: San Jose, California, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 02-23-2015 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Go with silver Sharpie. I've had very bad luck with the gold paint Sharpies on photos. It looks nice at first, but it tended to run and smear as they got older. Russell Johnson once warned me about gold Sharpies while signing a coconut for me. I should have listened to him.

JasonB
Member

Posts: 897
From:
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 02-23-2015 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonB   Click Here to Email JasonB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've never had a problem with a regular gold Sharpie as long as it's new. I got a couple big pictures signed as ASF in November and they still look perfect.

Also gold just looks so much better than silver in my opinion.

bruce
Member

Posts: 866
From: Fort Mill, SC, USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 02-23-2015 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've had great results with the Sakura Pen-touch silver and gold fine points.

MrSpace86
Member

Posts: 1476
From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 02-24-2015 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gold sharpie looks amazing too. I recommend that and the silver. I would also test them on a similar photo to see what you like best and see how they smear, time to dry, etc.

schnappsicle
Member

Posts: 242
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Jan 2012

posted 02-25-2015 06:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for schnappsicle   Click Here to Email schnappsicle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For me, the choice of pen color is dependent on the photo content. If there's gold in the photo, such as most of the lunar surface color photos, I prefer a gold pen. The gold pen really looks great with the LM or an astronaut's visor. If the photo is black and white, I generally ask them to use a silver pen, although I have used gold too on a few B&W photos just to distinguish them from all the other silver penned autographs on the market.

Regarding the durability of the gold pen, I have about 100 photos signed in gold. I got most of them between five and seven years ago and I've never had a problem with the ink running or flaking off over time on any of them. A large majority of mine were purchased and signed in person at various Spacefests. I'm not sure what pen the astronauts used, but I assume they were Sharpies. Something tells me the durability issue may be more related to the photo itself than the pen used. Others with more experience than I will have to fill you in on the details, but from what I've heard, laser prints will not hold the gold or silver very well. That may be the issue others are having. If you are going to have a print made, you might want to talk to the people at Novaspace and see what system they use for their prints.

If you're trying to decide what color to use, perhaps the thing to do is to get a few cheap prints made (yes, a laser print will work for this) and try out the various colors yourself to see how you like them. Be sure to tape it to a wall and see how it looks to you. After all, you're the ultimate judge. Only you know what you like and how it will look hanging on your wall.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2015 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement