LIY or “Live In You” is an under-the-radar pen company, but they make a few interesting products. Maybe you’ve stumbled upon them on Ebay or in discussions about Chinese fountain pens, but you probably didn’t make a purchase without knowing a bit more about the brand. This article should help!
LIY Pens Background
Live In You, or “LIY” as the brand is usually known, is a Chinese pen brand. It isn’t yet as well known as PenBBS, Hero, or Wing Sung, but they do move a number of pens. LIY fountain pens are generally in the higher-end of the Chinese fountain pen market, making the company a closer comparison to PenBBS than Wing Sung or Jinhao. Some of their pens, like the nicer acrylic body ones can sell for upwards of $100.
LIY does not seem to have a website of its own.
What’s Notable About LIY
What set’s LIY pens apart? That’s always hard to say as there is so little separating any pen brand from their competitors, but LIY is generally known for:
- nice mid-range (in the overall scheme of things) fountain pens
- the use of Schmidt #5 stainless steel nibs from Germany
- the use of Schimdt K1 converters as well
- lots of ornate acrylic body options
One of the big issues with LIY is that their pens are not always clearly named. On Amazon, Ebay, and other outlets LIY pens are often just called something vague like, “14×1.2cm Screw Cap F-shape Iridium Nib LIY Fountain Pen” with no clear name. This greatly reduces the appeal of these pens and makes buyers question their quality.
On the whole LIY is not clearly derivative of any other pen companies and they don’t seem to do anything that directly clones or takes overt inspiration from anyone else. If there was one popular company that their pens could be compared to it would be Franklin-Christoph.
LIY’s Top Pens
LIY makes two popular fountain pens, the Future and the Mitu. They tend to go from about $30 to $100, with the main variable being the material used in the body and the seller/marketplace.
LIY Future Fountain pen
The LIY Future (pictured at the top) is LIY’s best known pen. This is a more expensive pen that uses a fancy acrylic body. The swirls of the acrylic material are highly sought after and are a hit with collectors who might otherwise be paying hundreds of dollars for the acrylic pens from companies like Omas. PenBBS has paved the way for the use of acrylics in Chinese-made fountain pens and the market has been growing for years.
The Future has a screw-on cap, Schmidt steel nib (available in Extra Fine and Medium) and a classic torpedo shape, albeit with a heavy taper at each end. The pen has no clip and is a cartridge/converter.
This is a smaller pen at about 4.5 inches long capped and under 5 inches when posted (about 4.8 inches). With a retail price of $50 or, it’s not a cheap pen but there is still a lot of value here.
Mitu Fountain Pen
The Mitu fountain pen is another mid-range fountain pen from Live In You. It’s a cigar-shaped pen that looks a bit like the popular Sheaffer Balance thanks to the heavy taper at the end. This is another cartridge/converter with a nice-sized Schmidt nib (#5) and converter. It’s sold in EF, F, and M sizes. Unlike the Future, the Mitu has a gold-colored metal clip.
This is another example of an acrylic pen, though the patterns tend to be more modest than those of the Future. The Mitu is a medium-sized pen at 13.9 cm long capped and 15.5 cm posted. It weighs about 15 grams total.
Online browsing makes it clear the LIY does sell other pens, but they are often not clearly described.
- LIY Mountain fountain pen – A wider, heavier pen with flat ends. Most of the features are the same as the rest: Schmidt nib, etc.
- LIY Morandi fountain pen – A more ornate pen with a finial and engraving on the cap band. Also a Schmidt nib
Where To Buy LIY Pens
LIY isn’t someone you run across very often, but their pens are easy enough to find if you look at major online retailer. They are found on:
This article will be updated periodically. Please email us with any tips or suggestions.