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Marker for writing on nearly any surface: All about the uses of universal pens

STAEDTLER Universal pens

There are situations where you need pens for very special purposes: whether it’s writing on laundry labels, putting the right plant names on flowerpots in the garden or making sure the right artist’s name ends up on the CD you burned at home. This calls for pens with particular properties and ink that adheres well to special surfaces, whether it’s paper, wood or glass. If you use permanent universal pens, whatever you write will be permanently smudge-proof and waterproof on almost all surfaces. These versatile writing implements open up a whole array of new possibilities. In the following, we would like to describe the various uses of universal pens in more detail.

The ink in universal pens is the secret to their success

Universal pens are a special kind of marker that can be used to write and draw on nearly all surfaces. The ink used by these versatile products is the secret to their success:

  • Dries within seconds
  • Does not smudge
  • Adheres easily even to smooth backgrounds

This makes universal pens genuine all-rounders for a wide variety of uses. These handy surface experts are available in all sorts of designs:

Permanent markers

STAEDTLER Permanent markers

Permanent markers are suitable for nearly all applications where there is a risk that the ink will smudge on a smooth background or could come into contact with moisture. Permanent markers are not only smudge-proof but also water-resistant, making them suitable for outdoor uses as well. You can use their high-quality permanent ink on nearly any surface. Additionally, the colours in these waterproof markers are light-resistant and retain their brilliant colour for a long time.

  • Permanent
  • Waterproof
  • Weatherproof (black colour)
  • Quick-drying
  • Smudge-proof (also suitable for lefties)
  • Very long-lasting
  • Refillable
  • Highly stable tip
  • Suitable for nearly all surfaces

Non-permanent markers

STAEDTLER Non-permanent markers

Non-permanent markers adhere just as well to smooth surfaces as permanent markers. However, non-permanent markers use water-soluble ink. This makes these universal pens particularly excellent for all uses where the ink on a surface needs to be smudge-proof but shouldn’t be permanent, for instance overhead markers for overhead projector transparencies. These correctable pens can be removed from smooth surfaces at any time without leaving any residue.

  • Correctable
  • Water-soluble
  • Wet/dry wipeable
  • Ink does not bleed through paper
  • Quick-drying
  • Smudge-proof (also suitable for lefties)
  • Very long-lasting
  • Refillable
  • Highly stable tip
  • Suitable for nearly all surfaces

Main applications of these versatile all-surface markers

Applications of all-surface markers

Whether permanent or non-permanent, universal pens can be used to write and draw on nearly all surfaces where fineliners, fibre-tipped pens and conventional felt pens would fail immediately. Users of these practical all-round talents can benefit from a whole range of possible applications. The following backgrounds are generally not a problem for universal pens:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Overhead projector transparencies
  • Plastic
  • Metal
  • Whiteboards
  • Styrofoam
  • Glass and porcelain
  • Ceramics
  • Wood
  • Stone
  • Leather
  • CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays
  • Coated surfaces
  • Fabrics

Universal pens are available with various line thicknesses, depending on whether you prefer fine writing or thicker script that is easily legible from a distance. The markers are available with round tips or chisel tips. Products with chisel tips offer the advantage that the stroke width varies depending on how you hold the pen in your hand while writing. Since universal pens are also smudge-proof, they are an optimal choice for lefties.

Concrete applications of STAEDTLER markers for a variety of tasks

Non-permanent universal pens are the perfect companions for school, university and the office

School, university and office:

Non-permanent universal pens are the perfect companions for school, university and the office. In the blink of an eye, they can write on overhead transparencies for presentations or laminated documents. This makes them an optimal choice for use with overhead projectors. They are a practical option, not just because of their quick-drying ink, but also because they are correctable with or without liquid and can be wiped off without residue whenever you want. This applies to non-permanent overhead markers and whiteboard markers, for instance.

Application of permanent markers in the garden

Garden and outdoors:

Permanent universal pens with waterproof ink are an ideal choice for use outdoors, and offer brilliant colours as well. Weatherproof black permanent markers are light-resistant, guaranteeing that their writing remains legible for years despite wind and weather or strong sunlight. For instance, they are particularly excellent for writing on flowerpots or plant tags. This will let you easily keep an eye on everything you have planted.

Application of permanent markers on CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays

CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays:

Special offer universal pens are ideal for use as CD pens, or for DVDs and Blu-rays. Since they have an extra-soft tip, they can be used to label the sensitive surfaces of storage media without any risk of damage. The ink of these special markers is not able to bleed into the data storage layer.

Application of permanent markers on clothes tags

Clothes and fabric:

To prevent the possibility of mixing up jackets and shoes in kindergartens, schools and workplaces, it can be advisable to write on clothes tags. Permanent universal pens can also be used as fabric pens thanks to their waterproof ink. They can generally withstand multiple wash cycles.

Uses & applications of universal pens

Industry and technology:

Universal pens are also an optimal choice for writing on X-ray images. Since these markers don’t fade or smudge on special film, X-ray images can be organised easily at any time. For model-making, these special markers are also indispensable for marking metals, plastics or silicon. They also adhere optimally to surfaces with special coatings. That’s why opticians who need to mark nano-coated glasses opt for our “permanent special” pens in particular.

STAEDTLER universal pens

Leisure and hobby:

For leisure activities and hobbies, markers can also be used in a variety of ways. Versatile markers achieve fantastic results on nearly any kind of background.

Restaurants and shops:

The chalk markers are ideal for applying special temporary offers or menus to smooth surfaces such as blackboards, windows or mirrors, if they need to be wiped off repeatedly. The chalk markers impress with their high colour brilliance.


Which STAEDTLER marker is suitable for which use?

For markers to fully satisfy all these requirements and deliver impressive results on nearly any surface, they need to offer exceptionally high standards in quality, durability and reliability. This is the case for STAEDTLER pens from the Lumocolor range. The following overview shows which STAEDTLER markers achieve the best results for each particular use:

Lumocolor correctable


Lumocolor correctable

This marker allows you to write on paper without the ink bleeding through.

Lumocolor permanent glasochrom 108 20


Lumocolor glasochrom

This permanent marker can be used to make opaque markings on wood, leather, stone and other materials. Suitable for dark and transparent surfaces.

Lumocolor permanent special 319


Lumocolor permanent special

This special marker is suitable for a variety of applications on coated surfaces. It is also ideal for use on plastic or nano-coatings.

Lumocolor whiteboard marker 351


Lumocolor whiteboard marker

This marker is suitable for working on whiteboards and other types of boards. It can be wiped off without liquid and without leaving residue.

Lumocolor permanent CD / DVD 310

CDs / DVDs

Lumocolor permanent CD/DVD

This waterproof marker can be used to label CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays. Its extra-soft tip is gentle on surfaces.

Lumocolor permanent garden 319 GM


Lumocolor permanent garden

This pen is reliable in wind and rough weather. Suitable for outdoor use, such as marking terracotta or metal.

Lumocolor permanent glasochrom 108 20


Lumocolor permanent glasochrom

This universal pen is smudge-proof and waterproof on nearly all surfaces.

Lumocolor permanent laundry 319 LM


Lumocolor permanent laundry

To prevent any mix-ups, this washing-machine-proof laundry marker can easily write on clothes, labels or other fabrics.

Lumocolor non-permanent pen 315


Lumocolor non-permanent

With this marker, writing on transparencies dries in seconds. Thanks to this marker’s water-soluble ink, writing on transparencies can be wiped off using liquid.


Chalk marker

This water-soluble, opaque chalk marker is ideal for smooth surfaces such as dark boards, windows and mirrors.

Cardboard & wood

Paint marker

This acrylic marker is ideal for opaque marking, decoration and design of almost all light and dark surfaces such as paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, glass, ceramics, stone, etc.


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