Talking Pens 22 newsletter cover

Talking Pens – Issue 22



Welcome to the latest edition of Talking Pens

Download the PDF version here.

Since our inception twenty-three years ago, The Pen Warehouse has enjoyed significant growth, averaging 16% year on year. This has been made possible by carrying very large inventories, pioneering the latest technology and developing innovative processes, as well as maintaining cutting-edge prices and support services for our distributors.

The business continues to be a major part of my life – I love the challenge, the industry, my staff and the relationships we’ve forged with our customers. My enthusiasm for growth and innovation has never diminished and we have ambitious targets in place for the medium and long term. We will be commencing the construction of a new purpose-built factory and warehouse later this year where we will be utilising the latest warehousing technologies, processing and handling systems. We are now the leading trade supplier of promotional pens in the UK by some margin and the home market will always remain our primary target. However, we are also enjoying significant growth in export sales and are developing ambitious plans to extend our reach in overseas markets by leveraging our unique products and processes. As this will require careful planning for the very long-term fortunes of the company, it is prudent to consider succession planning at this early stage. For that reason, my daughter, Helen Dyl, has now joined the Board as Operations Director and Legal Counsel.

Helen forged an enviable career as a qualified solicitor, having worked for the leading City law firms in her field at management level. She has managed teams representing the largest multinationals in sectors such as financial technology and pharmaceuticals, providing strategic and legal expertise in setting up and managing global mobility programmes.

Helen has grown up surrounded by the family business, working in numerous departments during college and university holidays, and shares the same passion for its success as I do. She will now utilise her strategic and process background, energy and vision to propel us through to the next phase and beyond.

I am delighted to welcome Helen aboard – we have much to look forward to as we share ideas, confront challenges and explore a world of possibilities together.

Neil Cleere, Managing Director, The Pen Warehouse



Lowering the Cost of Digitally Printed Pens

Digital printing is the future of branding promotional products. It’s capable of producing an almost limitless gamut of colours and offers a cost-effective way of reproducing photographic images. Because of this we’re always looking to extend our range of digitally printable products. Our latest addition is the Vienna Ballpen, specifically designed to offer full colour printing on a budget.

The Vienna is a plastic push-button writing instrument with a white barrel, the upper portion of which can be digitally printed in large volumes. Thanks to this high-capacity printing, we can pass cost savings onto distributors, making the Vienna Ballpen the perfect solution for those looking for a low-cost pen with a high-quality digital print.


A 25mm x 6.5mm branding area is available for a full colour design or corporate logo, while the wide range of grip colours are sure to match any theme or brand. The rubber grip is comfortable to use and features a distinctive honeycomb pattern. The chrome nosecone and push button complete an appealing and budget-friendly plastic pen.

The Vienna Ballpen joins a host of lines designed to utilise the latest full colour printing technology, including our exclusive in-house developed Contour Digital Ballpen and Contour Wrap Ballpen.

To find out more about the Vienna Ballpen or how we are leading the industry in digital print, call 01252 400 270 or email sales@pens.co.uk.



Focus on the Otus

Our new Otus Ballpen and Otus Diamond Ballpen are versatile promotional products offering large print areas and fantastic value for money. These twist-action plastic ballpens feature a generous 50mm x 20mm branding area for a spot colour design. The Otus Ballpen is available with a white, yellow or black barrel, complemented by white, blue, red or black clips, while the Otus Diamond Ballpen has a translucent barrel in a range of bright colours. Both pens are supplied with a black ink refill.


We’ll print and dispatch the Otus Ballpen and Otus Diamond Ballpen in just 5 working days. Order yours online at www.pens.co.uk or call 01252 400 270.



New Custom Catalogues Available

Custom Catalogues are our brand new business-driving initiative. These are online catalogues that show all products branded with your customer’s logo. They’re auto-generated and created in minutes. They’re the perfect way to impress current customers or pitch to new prospects with little effort on your part.

We’ve added new catalogues to the ever-expanding selection. These include Pen+ Promo Sets, featuring our digitally printed sets in blister packaging, and System Ballpen Range. You will also find two trimmed-down versions of our Pens Galore catalogue – Laser Engraved and Full Colour Pens.

Creating bespoke catalogues for your customers couldn’t be easier. Simply login, upload your customer’s logo – and that’s it. You don’t need to do anything else and there’s no waiting around. The customised catalogue will be created in a matter of minutes and emailed to you when done.

An online library gives you access to your catalogues 24/7 and allows you to create new ones on the fly.

Log in to your trade account on www.pens.co.uk and start creating your own Custom Catalogues today.



48-Hour Electra Ballpen

We’re now offering a 48-hour standard lead time on the hugely popular Electra Ballpen range with laser engraving. Distributors will also get free setup and free carriage.


The Electra Ballpen is a best-selling aluminium writing instrument with a beautiful anodised finish in a wide range of colours. It’s ideal for presenting a high perceived value and this is further enhanced with precision laser engraving. A huge 50mm x 7.2mm area is available for branding making the Electra the ideal metal pen for promotional use.

The Pen Warehouse are the UK’s leading trade-only supplier of promotional metal pens. We can offer fast lead times and ultra-competitive pricing thanks to investment in the latest high-capacity engraving technology.

The new 48-hour standard lead time is available on orders up to 2,000 pieces with laser engraving, along with no setup charges and free carriage to one UK mainland address.

Call 01252 400 270 or email sales@pens.co.uk to find out more.



Top Retailer Stocks Pierre Cardin Gift Collection

Leading retail chain Chapelle Jewellery now sells Pierre Cardin writing instruments in its flagship stores. The team at Chapelle felt that the premium range of pens was the perfect fit for its selection of gifts from some of the world’s biggest brands.

Chapelle has a heritage of over 50 years in the jewellery and luxury gifting business. The Pierre Cardin range will sit alongside prestigious brands such as DKNY, Armani and Calvin Klein. Bridgend Store Manager Nicola Robbins expressed her excitement at being able to stock such a beautiful range, presented in branded gift boxes and with bespoke point of sale.

The Pierre Cardin Gift Collection includes exceptional writing instruments, notebooks, business card holders and travel wallets. Each has been developed based on the principles of fashion-led design and uncompromising attention to detail.

Promotional product distributors have access to the Pierre Cardin Gift Collection at heavily discounted prices. The range is the ideal way for distributors to offer their customers a premium retail brand at a compelling price point. For example, the 22 carat gold plated Pierre Cardin Lustrous Ballpoint Pen has an RRP of £85 but is available to distributors for around £11 when ordering 50 pieces with laser engraving.

The Pierre Cardin Gift Collection has been developed to offer a wide range of branding options including laser engraving, digital printing and debossing, with a standard lead time of just 5 days.

To find out more, call 01252 796895 or email sales@pierrecardinuk.com.


New Pierre Cardin Gift Sets

Our new boxed sets show off the very best of the Pierre Cardin Gift Collection. These combine two or more notebooks, writing instruments or accessories, presented in a premium-quality gift box that’s sure to make a great impression.

Pierre Cardin Gifts Sets are arranged in three outstanding collections – Milano, Exclusive and Fashion. Milano Gift Sets feature contemporary design in bold black or passionate crimson. The range includes the Milano RFID Passport Holder paired with a LaFleur Ballpen, and the Milano Pocket Notebook accompanied by a Milano Business Card Holder and LaFleur Ballpen.

Exclusive Gift Sets are all about understated sophistication, embodied by the Exclusive Notebook paired with either the Bayeux Ballpen or the Exclusive Letter Opener. Or for a splash of colour and passion, chose the Fashion Gift Set comprising the soft-cover Fashion Notebook and matching LaFleur Ballpen. Each gift set is presented in a luxurious Pierre Cardin gift box, while the products within can be adorned with a variety of branding methods. You can even add our Pierre Cardin-branded premium gift wrap for a final finishing touch.



Free Personalised Compliment Slips

Distributors using our innovative new BrandedSamples.com site can now add a personalised compliment slip for no extra charge. It’s a great way to add an extra touch to a promotional product sample.

Not only is BrandedSamples.com the easiest way to order up to 5 digitally printed or laser engraved samples on a 48-hour lead time, there’s now the option of adding a personalised compliment slip.

The easy to use online interface allows you to add a compliment slip to your samples order without having to post out anything yourself. You can either add a personalised message to our unbranded design, or upload your own custom design using our simple template. The compliment slip will then be available online whenever you order branded samples again in the future. It’s free to include a personalised compliment slip with any sample order. You also get free credit when you first register at www.brandedsamples.com.



24-Hour Laser Engraved Pens

Our industry-first web-to-print platform No-Minimum.co.uk now offers more 24-hour express products than ever before. Each is available with no MOQ and no setup charges. Order up to 500 units of the following metal writing instruments with laser engraving and we’ll dispatch in just one working day.

Choose from the contemporary-styled Remus Ballpen or Remus Mechanical Pencil, the beautifully anodised Bella Grip Ballpen or the ultra-modern Endeavour Ballpen. Our investment in the latest laser engraving technology offers unrivalled precision with fast turnaround of orders.

There’s no extra charge for this incredible 24-hour service. Note that orders placed after 2pm will start from the next working day.

Visit no-minimum.co.uk and get started now. Or contact support@no-minimum.co.uk to find out how you can get you own free end-user website to sell branded merchandise with no MOQs and little intervention on your part.



Helen Dyl Appointed Operations Director

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Helen Dyl as Operations Director. This key new role will see Helen streamlining business processes, improving efficiency and implementing change as we continue our growth.

Helen has a wealth of experience and expertise following an enviable career in law spanning nearly 10 years. Her career has seen her work for the highest ranked UK & American law firms in her qualified field. Earning swift promotion to management level, Helen has fronted teams representing some of the world’s largest multinationals. Helen’s dynamic approach saw her provide strategic and cost-effective advice in managing the global mobility programmes of her clients.

The Pen Warehouse has seen year on year growth since its inception and Helen is excited to expedite this further, in the UK and overseas. As Operations Director, she will be second only to Managing Director Neil Cleere.

Helen is keen that The Pen Warehouse retains its family business ethos. As Neil Cleere’s daughter, Helen is already passionate about The Pen Warehouse and excited to continue its legacy.

“The Pen Warehouse is going through a key stage in its development,” Helen explained. “As it grows to be a larger business, we need to ensure that it runs efficiently with streamlined practices and a positive culture. I’m excited for this new era and to drive effective change.”



Pen+ Promo Sets

Our innovative Pen+ Promo Sets combine best-selling writing instruments with high-quality accessories and presents them in full colour printed blister packaging. They’re a great way to add value and marketing impact to a promotional gift.

In each edition of this newsletter we’ll focus on two products from our extensive Pen+ range.

Pen+ Set PS15

For an executive gift augmented with full colour printed packaging, you can’t go wrong this Pen+ Promo Set which pairs the smart Europa Rollerball and the premium Dallas Bottle Opener Keyring. Both products are laser engraved, while the backing card is digitally printed to both sides for eye-catching messaging.

The Europa is a capped metal rollerball with a beautiful slimline aesthetic and a 35mm x 7.2mm laser engraving area. It perfectly complements the polished chrome Dallas Bottle Opener Keyring which is engraved to a 29mm x 16mm area. Add to that a 164mm x 77mm print area on each side of the backing card and the Pen+ Set PS15 makes for an impressive and useful gift with plenty of opportunity for branding. It’s presented in blister packaging that is low cost but adds to the retail-style appearance.

Pen+ Set PS16

This handy Pen+ Promo Set is three promotional gifts in one, comprising a digitally printed pencil, eraser and pencil sharpener. It’s ideal for schools or offices while compact enough for direct mailing or adding to trade show goody bags.

Our best-selling Standard NE Pencil is printed with a digital wrap, meaning full colour branding around 360° and to the entire length of the barrel. This means an incredible 162mm x 24.5mm print area to play with. The popular wooden pencil is joined by a Rectangular Eraser and a Circular Pencil Sharpener, both designed for full colour printing to a large surface area.

There’s even more branding area available thanks to the packaging backing card which is full flood printed to both sides. It would be impossible to miss any marketing message utilising these abundant print areas, while the three stationery products are practical and likely to be kept, therefore prolonging brand exposure.

Want to add Pen+ to your range? Call 01252 400 270 or email sales@pens.co.uk for full details.



100% Trade-Only Supplier

The Pen Warehouse is a strictly trade-exclusive supplier and we take our status as trade-only very seriously. We never sell directly to the end user.

As the UK’s largest printer and supplier of promotional pens and stationery products, we only sell through a network of trusted distributor partners. That has been the case since the company’s inception and will continue to be integral to how we do business. While some promotional product suppliers purport to be trade-exclusive but don’t fully commit to that in practice, we are 100% committed to the supplier-distributor partnership and promise never to bypass our distributors.

We appreciate the importance of the supplier-distributor model for our industry. We see this partnership as critical not just for our success, but for the success of our distributor partners. We must work together to counter the threat of the large online sellers who are moving into our sector and selling directly to the end-user.

Our mission is to empower distributors to compete with importers and direct sellers, as well as compete with the promotional products suppliers who have no qualms about selling directly to the end user.

Read more about what ‘trade-only’ means to us at www.pens.co.uk/news/blog/trade-only-status.php



Introducing… Lena Baker

Lena is our fantastic Purchasing Manager. Her role sees her ordering consumables and machinery parts, handling bespoke quotations, and playing a pivotal role in new product development. Having been with us for 7 years, she’s a real asset and we couldn’t be without our favourite Russian export.

Lena’s key role means she’s always extremely busy, but when she’s not at her desk fretfully staring at her screen with a borderline homicidal stare, Lena enjoys getting out and about in nature. She loves kayaking and hiking and is always accompanied by Dan, her husband of 10 years, and their trusty fur baby, Bobby.

(Note to RSPCA: we should point out that Bobby is a dog – Lena is not taking a hamster hiking or a guinea pig white-water rafting.)

Lena describes herself as resourceful, creative and perhaps a bit stubborn. Nothing annoys her more than arrogance, laziness or ignorance.

Lena’s favourite food is “whatever my mum makes with love when I come to visit”. While this is a sweet sentiment, we felt it lacking in detail, so in the interests of good journalism we spent almost 2 minutes Googlising Russia’s most popular foods to find out what Lena Snr might knock up. Unfortunately 99% of the dishes involved doing unmentionable things to beetroot…



Alzheimer’s Cupcake Day

We got baking and snacking in aid of Alzheimer’s Society Cupcake Day on 14th June. This nationwide event raises money for a great charity that seeks to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and support those affected.

At The Pen Warehouse, we never need an excuse to help a good cause, but prosecco icing and chocolate fudge certainly helped sweeten the deal.



Pen Warehouse Scoops PAGE Award – for the 6th Year Running!

We’re proud to have been recognised with a leading industry award, having won Gold Supplier of the Year 2017 from the PAGE Partnership.

The catalogue group hosted a fun-packed awards dinner at Brandon Hall Hotel, Coventry on 14th June 2018 where we were pleased to receive the top supplier honour. It’s the sixth year in a row we have won the coveted Gold Supplier of the Year award.

Customer Services Manager Charlotte New accepted the award on behalf of The Pen Warehouse and her team. “We’re so proud to have been recognised with this award once again. The PAGE partnership are some of our key distributor partners and it’s rewarding to hear we’re continuing to do a great job. Thanks in particular to Debbie Illingworth and her team who manage PAGE customer accounts.”

The Pen Warehouse is the UK’s leading trade-only supplier of promotional writing instruments and we’re regularly recognised for our product innovation and customer service. Can we win Gold Supplier of the Year for a seventh year running?

Contour Wood Ballpen Award

Contour Wood Ballpen Wins Merchandise World Award

The innovative Contour Wood Ballpen from The Pen Warehouse has been recognised with a top industry accolade in the Merchandise World Promotional Product Awards 2019. The new eco-friendly writing instrument won the silver award in the Promotional Pen of the Year category.

The Contour Wood Ballpen is based on the industry’s most popular promotional pen, but swaps plastic for bamboo – a sustainable material with eco-friendly credentials. It features the popular Contour shape and there’s a large 60mm x 10mm print area for a spot colour design.

The Contour Wood Ballpen is printed on a 5-day standard lead time, with a 3-day express option also available.

Visit The Pen Warehouse at Merchandise World on 30th and 31st January to find out more about the Contour Wood Ballpen and see what else the trade-exclusive supplier has in store for 2019. You can also grab a copy of the new Pens Galore catalogue, featuring Europe’s widest range of promotional writing instruments.

Contact sales@pens.co.uk to find out more about the environmentally friendly Contour Wood Ballpen.

Contour Wood Ballpen