Fountain pens can serve various artistic purposes such as expressive penmanship and calligraphy, pen and ink artwork, and professional art and design. Many users also favor the air of timeless elegance, personalization and sentimentality associated with fountain pens, which computers and ballpoint pens seem to lack, and often state that once they start using fountain pens, ballpoints become awkward to use due to the extra motor effort needed and lack of expressiveness.
Fountain pens may relieve physiological stress from writing; alternatives such as the ballpoint pen can induce more pain and damage to those with arthritis. Some also believe they could improve academic performance. In some countries, fountain pens are usual in lower school grades, believed to teach children better control over writing as many common mistakes of people not used to handwriting (like too much pressure or incorrect hold) feel unnatural or are almost impossible when using traditional pen tips.
Some fountain pens are prized as works of art. Ornate pens may be made of precious metals and jewels with cloisonné designs. Some are inlaid with lacquer designs in a process known as maki-e. Avid communities of pen enthusiasts collect and use antique and modern pens