© 2014 photobookgirl

Guest Books Post Roundup Plus Best Photo Safe Pens for Photo Book Guest Books (Updated)



Hi all!

I just wanted to do a quick update on the best type of pen to use in a photo guest book. I’ve written about guest books and pens a few times now:

My wedding guest book (want to see my book?)

My “dream wedding guest book” (check out my best tips including paper choice, guest book attendants etc.)

The Best Pen to Use For Signing a Photo Book Guest Book

Baby Guest Book (the first book I made after baby’s birth!)

Even though I’ve written about guest books and pens for a while now, when wedding season comes around again, I often field questions from brides and grooms-to-be about photo guest books. Whenever I come across some useful information, I like to give updates.

In my last guest book pen review I tried several pens and ended up choosing the Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Marker as the “winner”. That pen has worked well for the guest books I’ve done after the one I did for my wedding.

It also worked well on my baby guest book (printed with AdoramaPix), but when I went back to look at it (a year later), I did notice that in a few spots it smudged. It only happened in a few areas and even now I’ve rubbed it with my finger again and I can’t get it to budge, but I did want to update you with that info. In my opinion it had to do with the type of paper in the book – real photo paper which is a little glossier than the standard paper used in most photo books since I’ve had no smudging in my other books (MyPublisher and Mixbook).

Since that time, I did some searching online and I found this marker:

Zig Photo Signature Pen

zig penZig five pack

The manufacturer specs says it’s waterproof, photo-safe, permanent, acid-free and lightfast.

A single pen runs from $3.00 to about $6.00 depending if you have it shipped. Amazon sells it for about $5.00. If you can find it in your local art or crafts store, it might be cheaper if you have if you can get a coupon. Zig also has pen sets in several colors too which will include black. Amazon has these currently for about $12.00 so if you think you might want more than one color, then the 5 pack will be more economical. I have the 5 pack myself. I also find that they work really well if I’m writing in greeting cards and Christmas cards, especially those printed on specialized paper such as pearlescent or glossy paper.

I’m still using the Sharpies I mentioned above on guest books and on photo canvases too, but since the Zig is specifically noted as acid-free and photo-safe (and the Sharpie isn’t), I’d have to suggest going with it over the Sharpie, or with a similar pen that is marked acid-free and photo-safe. I tried it in my son’s guest book (AdoramaPix) and it worked very well. Dried almost instantly and I rubbed it with my finger to make sure it didn’t smear. I would also say it wrote even darker than then the Sharpie (both pens I used had black ink). I also tested it on MyPublisher’s Deluxe paper (Satin and Matte) and on a Mixbook photo book and the Zig pen performed very well.

So there you have it!

If you’re like to look at more of my wedding book and related posts, be sure to check Photo Book Girl’s Wedding Page!

(By the way, I have no affiliation to Sharpie or Zig. I was not compensated or asked to write this review.) UPDATE 12/2017: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links do not increase the price you pay for the product. Regardless, my honest opinion is given, good or bad.




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  1. Vanessa
    Posted February 16, 2016 at 2:33 pm | #

    Hi!! I’ve noticed you mentioned not using pages that are too glossy…well I accidentally got the super glossy from my publisher…do you know which pen would work best on that!? Thanks so much!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted February 25, 2016 at 9:30 am | #

      The Zig pen shown here is probably your best bet either way. They are made to write on photo paper or similar surfaces.

  2. Beth
    Posted July 15, 2016 at 2:20 pm | #

    FYI. I just made a Shutterfly Guestbook with LAYFLAT pages (which as you know are a bit “waxy” and sturdy). After skimming through your website, I decided to buy the ZIG Photo Signature markers, and I was so glad I did. Dried super quick. So far, no smears. Pretty colors. Smooth writing. Highly recommend for the Layflat pages.

    I am glad I found your page. It’s good to
    know that someone loves photobooks as much as I do. (We probably need a self-help group.)

    • photobookgirl
      Posted July 20, 2016 at 11:56 am | #

      Awesome! So glad you found my site helpful. We will help each other! Lol!

  3. Marcie
    Posted December 17, 2017 at 6:21 pm | #

    Do you know what the difference is between the Zig Photo Signature Pen and the Zig Photo Signature Markers? I would love to get the markers if they will do the trick because I like the colors, and they are much cheaper, but not if they have a greater risk of smudging!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted December 18, 2017 at 10:15 pm | #

      I don’t think there’s a difference. Both are photo safe. I have the black one that they called “pen” and the color set they call “markers”. They both look and write the same, so if you like the color – I think you’ll be fine.

      • Marcie
        Posted December 19, 2017 at 4:48 pm | #

        Thank you so much!

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