If you have a company logo that takes 3 or more colors to imprint, finding natural-looking, eco-friendly pens can be a real challenge. While Ecoswag.com offers a selection of plastic pens made from recycled and biodegradable material, the snazzy earth-friendly plastics are not nearly as popular with our clients as the humble paper-barrel types.
The feedback from our clients is that they want their pens to look obviously eco-responsible, which is what I half-jokingly call "Granola Appeal" - they really like that natural look of the recycled paper barrels. Unfortunately, that type of pen is normally screen-printed, which limits you to one imprint color or two at the most.
I ran into this challenge about a week ago with a new client that plans Green Events. They have a really cute 3-color logo that just doesn't translate well into a 1-or-2 color version... and they needed eco-pens for an upcoming event. After searching high & low I came across the Soho Eco-Pen & Highlighter, shown here, which is available with a full-color digital imprint on the barrel for a very reasonable price. The paper barrel is accented with colorful PLA biodegradable plastic accents, and 81% of the material used to make these pens is either recycled or plant-based.
The other eco-pen option I found comes from the same supplier, but is a simpler design I think looks a bit like a drinking straw in a wrapper. This Bonsai Recycled Paper Pen is also offered with a full-color digital imprint on the barrel (in the natural color only). It's made with 50% recycled content and is priced at under $1.00.
There are a few caveats I think it's only fair to mention when it comes to ordering either of these pens, which have to do with the imprint size, proof process and imprint quality.
First off, the imprint areas on both of these pens are limited to 1/4" in height. Many logos simply aren't readable when shrunk down to that size. If that's the case with your logo, you're going to be better off going with an eco-plastic pen if you need multi-color printing or else using a 1-color version of your logo on one of our other paper-barrel pens.
Another consideration is the opacity of the full-color digital printing. When pens are screen printed the ink is opaque, but not so with digital color printing. The colors are more transparent with this process, which makes them appear muted due to the brown color of the barrel. This also means it's not possible to match Pantone colors exactly. We had to darken the colors of our client's logo considerably in order to get the contrast needed to look good on the brown barrel.
Lastly, because of the issues I've described above, the proofing process on these pens takes longer than most because instead of an email proof, an actual pen is printed and overnighted to our client for approval. This is a good thing, as you get to see EXACTLY what your pens will look like so there are no surprises... and there's no extra charge for this service. This does need to be taken into consideration when it comes to the order timeframe, however, as it adds a couple of extra days to the process.
With that being said, these two pens are a great choice for the right clients. Both are also available with a 1-color screenprint logo, which allows for a larger imprintable area, darker ink coverage and faster turnaround (48 hours on most orders).
We recently added both of these pens to our Ecoswag.com webstore & we invite you to check out our entire collection of eco-responsible swag ideas!