Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Platinum Preppy Highlighter

The Platinum Preppy Highlighter is essentially the same pen as the Platinum Preppy fountain pen, except that instead of a fountain pen nib, it has a felt chisel tip.  The Platinum Preppy highlighter is available in five fluorescent colours - blue, green, orange, pink, and yellow - and you can purchase both refill cartridges and replacement felt nibs, meaning that you should be able to use this highlighter for a long time, at least until the plastic of the pen body itself cracks (and if that happens, check out this article from Writer's Bloc on how to make a long-lasting refillable highlighter).  I'm reviewing the fluorescent green version of the Platinum Preppy Highlighter.

When you first buy this highlighter, it comes with the ink cartridge rattling around loose inside the pen, so you need to install it first before you can start highlighting.  I received a question about installing the cartridge on my original review of the Preppy fountain pen, so I thought I would discuss that in detail in this review, just for anyone who is new to this pen and is not sure what to do.  The process is exactly the same whether you have the Preppy fountain, highlighter, or sign pen.

Here's the cartridge before I installed it:

As you can see in the photo, one end of the cartridge is sealed with a small metal ball.  You want to take that end of the cartridge and push it up into the nib section of the pen.  It may seem a bit hard to push on, but keep going until the cartridge is in place.  The metal ball will be pushed into the cartridge itself and you will be able to hear it rattling around in there.  That is okay.  The nib section with the cartridge inserted into it should now look like this:

Wait a few minutes and you should soon be able to see the felt tip soaking up the ink (obviously you'll only be able to see that with the highlighter or the sign pen and not with the fountain pen).  This is the fun part:

Once that's done, you can pick up your pen and start writing or highlighting with it!

I tried out my Platinum Preppy highlighter first of all on some pages I had printed with my inkjet printer.  It smeared the ink slightly on the freshly printed page (likely the ink was not quite dry yet), but not at all on the older page, which was great, because the ability to use a highlighter on inkjet ink is something that used to be a very important to me (back when all of my notes for university were printed out at home on my printer).  However, the ink did bleed through a bit in some places.  I also tried the highlighter on a page of a textbook, and here it performed well with no bleedthrough at all.  However, because the paper of the textbook had a smooth, non-porous texture, the ink was very slow to dry and some of it was transferred to the opposite page when I closed the book.

Testing out the Platinum Preppy Highlighter, on a page printed on my inkjet printer (left), both an old page (top) and a new page (bottom), and on a page of a textbook.

Finally, I tried out the Platinum Preppy highlighter on some handwriting with different pens.  Although I had let the ink dry for at least ten minutes, there was still some smearing of the ink, especially that of the gel pens. (For some reason, the smearing is not nearly as noticeable in the photo as it is in real life).  Again, older handwriting did not smear.  Obviously you should give your ink time to dry before highlighting, but the Preppy still smeared the ink considerably more than did the Staedtler Textsurfer Classic highlighter, even though the writing samples in both cases had the same amount of time to dry.  Still, it's not really that noticeable, and the writing is still easily legible.

The ink colour of the Platinum Preppy highlighter is very nice.  It's a light and bright shade of green that is not too intense.  If you want a highlighter that really pops and stands out on the page, the colour might not be ideal, but if you prefer a highlighting ink that is more muted and easier on the eyes, then the Preppy's ink certainly satisfies that.

Overall, the Platinum Preppy is a decent highlighter.  The Staedtler Textsurfer Classic is still my favourite highlighter, but as long as you understand that with the Preppy you need to wait a bit longer for your ink to dry and that it may bleed through on some papers, it is definitely acceptable.  I really like the light colour of the ink, and, based on colour alone, the Preppy would probably be my current favourite highlighter for that reason.  The Preppy also gets bonus points for being refillable (both the ink and the tip - only the ink of the Textsurfer Classic can be refilled).  It's definitely worth a try if you're looking for a good highlighter.


  1. Oooh I very much like the look of this highlighter. The cartridge is fun. I think the highlight would be watching the ink seep into the tip hahaha

    1. Thanks for the comment, Azizah. Watching the tip absorb the ink was definitely my favourite part as well! I'm easily amused...


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