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Choosing the Stylus That’s Right for You

If you’re a graphic artist, you know how important it is to choose the right stylus: it’s essential to producing your best possible work! The right stylus increases your precision and gives you more control over your creative process than drawing or sketching with your hands alone. There are many styli to choose from, with a variety of applications and a wide range of prices. With so many choices of styli on the market, how do you decide which one is right for you?

There are a number of criteria to be considered. First, your stylus should be sturdily built. If you make your living as a graphic artist, this instrument is going to get daily, ongoing use; you want it to hold up over the long haul. Price is naturally an important factor in choosing a stylus, but an artist in today’s highly competitive world of digital arts cannot afford to sacrifice quality for a low price. A stylus with an aluminum shaft (the “Mini Alloy” and the “Alu Stylus,” for instance) is particularly solid. These brands also feature a standard nylon tip that virtually glides over your screen, giving you excellent control.

Other important criteria for choosing a stylus include length, drag, and sensitivity. Your stylus’ length should match the device you’re using: a large stylus on a small screen is unwieldy and blocks much of the screen as you work. Drag is the friction created when dragging the stylus across your screen. Ideally, your stylus should glide smoothly across the screen with as little friction as possible. Sensitivity refers to how much force must be applied; a highly sensitive stylus requires only a very light touch, which is ideal.

It’s also important to point out that while some Android and Windows tablets continue to manufacture resistive screens, an increasing number are made with capacitive screens--those that are designed to respond to your finger (like the iPhone). If you wish to use a stylus on such screens, the instrument must be constructed of metal (or other conductive material) that will allow your hand’s electrostatic field to reach the tablet.

Other factors to take into consideration are mainly aesthetic—and they are not to be discounted, as aesthetics comprise the sea artists swim in. Is the stylus elegantly crafted? Is its design conducive to your creativity? Individual artists will respond differently to different styli, just as a painter responds to the brush he or she uses. Along these lines, one of the most popular instruments among graphic arts pros is the Virtuoso Artist Stylus. It ideally blends elegant form with superb functionality. Exceptionally accurate (with a tip measuring only 6mm), it is also affordably priced, making it a popular pick for capturing digital signatures, sketching and drawing, and digital art applications. 

Sculpted from aluminum and featuring an 8mm rubber tip, the pencil-shaped Alu Stylus “Cool Blue” is another artists’ favorite. It passes the durability test with flying colors, and its elegant design and metallic blue color make it an aesthetic treat. The “Cool Blue” is compatible with all major capacitive touchscreens, including iPhone, iPad and all Android based tablet devices. This elegant instrument is also available in black, red, pink, and silver.

One of the bestselling styli for Android products is the “Neon Soft Touch” Stylus. This instrument features a unique-designed capacitive tip and is an excellent choice for Android drawing and sketching apps as well as general navigation. Manufactured with effortless gliding in mind, it makes sketching and drawing on the Android tablet a breeze. It also allows you to use your Android touchscreen at an angle that’s perfectly natural for drawing. It features a round head design that prevents your fingers from smearing the touch screen; it also comes with a clip that you can use to secure it to your notebook, backpack or shirt pocket. It is compatible with any capacitive screen.

Another popular pen for Android users is the Pen Duo 2 in 1. This instrument’s chief selling point is the fact that—as implied by its name—it’s a two-in-one device. While using the stylus end on your tablet, you can instantly flip it over to jot down notes with the other end, which is a standard ink pen. This makes it a convenient time-saving device as well as an excellent stylus pen for your tablet.

For those artists whose work requires a more brush-like stylus, but who still enjoy the convenience of a two-in one instrument, the Brush Duo 2 in 1 Stylus is ideal. It has the same features as the Pen Duo 2 in 1, but adds a fully retractable and adjustable brush tip. This means that the designer can change the length and coarseness of the bristles. The instrument is fully compatible with all capacitive screens, including the iPad, iPhone, and Android tablet.

One of the most sophisticated styli on the market right now is the Kaufmann Schwarz Stylus. This elegant, German-developed digital instrument is a premium stylus pen for use with all capacitive screens. The Kaufman Schwarz’ durably built silicone tip glides effortlessly over the screen, will never scratch the glass, and enables the user to type comfortably and with utmost accuracy. It also has the two-in-one design that many users find so convenient—no need to put it down and pick up a pen if you need to jot down some notes while you work onscreen. What distinguishes the Kaufmann Schwarz from other two in one devices is its heft; the ball point pen side has the weight and feel of an old-time executive pen. It also features the clip referred to above, a highly compact design, and comes in Weiss (white) and Karmin (dark red). It functions as an iPad stylus, a Galaxy stylus, and as an Android stylus.

If you’re a graphic design professional in today’s highly competitive digital environment, the instruments and software you use can be as important to your success as your talent itself. Carefully choosing both a state-of-the-art tablet and an excellent tablet stylus are essential to your success.