choosing the right ink - our guide

Q&A: Guide to choosing the right ink

A guide to choosing the right ink

So you have maybe decided to buy some new ink, but where do you start? With so much choice, it is hard to know where to turn. Are all inks essentially the same? What do you get for paying more? And what about all those technical terms?

Choosing the right ink can be a daunting process and so this article aims to make the process a lot easier by breaking it down into the various elements that will affect your choice, and to give you a guide on how to go about choosing the right ink.

a guide to choosing the right ink

The Basics

We will start by looking at the basics of making a decision. These are four factors that should easily rule in or out some inks and help give a basic pointer to guide you.

Colour

At the time of writing we have 338 colours available to choose from, and this is spread across 18 choices of inks, not allowing for variations in the bottle size. 300+ colours is overwhelming, especially when you consider that the Diamine ink range has something like 27 blue inks alone.

However, colour is an important factor in choosing your ink, maybe the most important alongside price. For some people this may mean just wanting a basic blue or black ink. For others it means having a specific colour – Enzo Ferrari famously used to sign his name in his signature colour. And no, it wasn’t red – he was a purple ink man.

For others, it will extend down to matching an ink to something specific – to your notebook maybe. Others might place importance on matching the colour shade precisely as no two shades are the same. It really comes down to how specific a shade of colour you are looking for. This may mean you have to search around various different inks to find your perfect colour.

Price

The other obvious influence on your choice of ink is likely to be cost. With some bottles costing under £7 and some costing over £30, there’s a big difference in price. The question is what do you get if you pay more? Is it a straightforward case of the higher the price, the better the ink? Er…no.

With quality brands like Diamine and Herbin costing well under £10, it clearly doesn’t follow that more expensive = better. We only sell good quality inks and so the advice on price would be to choose an ink that suits your budget. We will go on to look at other reasons why you might consider spending more on a bottle of ink later.

We previously looked at the relative costs of different inks, and with inks being sold in various sized bottles you might want to consider this as well. There is little doubt that Diamine ink is the best value, all things considered.

Size

Size is less of an issue, but it’s worth a mention. Bottled ink tends to be around 50ml per bottle. Some inks have bigger bottles – Diamine is a whopping 80ml, KWZ is a hearty 60ml – whilst others might be a more modest 30ml.

A big bottle is going to be better value and will last a good while – an 80ml bottle of ink will fill the TWSBI Eco fountain pen about 40 times over! A big bottle of say 50ml+ is perfect when you know you’ll want to use the ink frequently, or it’s your favourite ink.

Herbin do small 10ml taster bottles which are a great way to test out colours without feeling like you’re wasting ink and even this will last you a while. The point being, size might not be so important in deciding since even a smaller bottle will last a long time.

We did look at the relative costs of different inks vs cartridges before – click here to see more

Purpose

The last of the so-called basic decision makers will be the purpose you intend to use the ink for. Some inks are more suited for specific jobs. You might want a calligraphy ink (which has properties more suited to calligraphy writing), or you might require an ink for archival purposes. You might need a waterproof ink, like Blackstone Barrister ink.

Another element to consider is drying time – if you need an ink that dries quickly then you might consider an ink like Herbin. The alternative is a wetter ink like KWZ, and you might find this proves very impractical if you need to wait ages for an ink to dry.

Your paper choice will also impact upon this – some papers are better for inks to dry quickly if time is an issue. Look at papers from:

choosing the right ink - how much does bottle size matter?
Bottles range from 10ml to 80ml
waterproof ink
Blackstone waterproof Barrister ink

Beyond The Basics

Now this is where the choice of ink becomes really interesting. It is also where you move from choosing an ink for more more functional reasons, and find yourself taking greater pleasure from the act of writing and using ink itself.

At the heart if this lies three key elements you can get from an ink – the Three S’s. Some inks will display none, some or all of these elements and discovering them is part of the pleasure. Their presence, or lack of, doesn’t makes an ink better or worse, it simply helps give an ink its true character.

At this point it worth mentioning the paper. Inks don’t exist in isolation and since it is likely you will be using them on paper, then your choice of paper is very important. The same iink will perform differently on different papers. See below for more notes on this.

Sheen

So what is sheen? This is when the ink dries with with a shiny finish to it. Most ink when dry will be flat and have no ‘surface’ to it. Sheen is when the ink has an edge that catches in the light. Discovering this when using an ink is part of the pleasure, but as a guide you will find a good sheen to inks like:

If you want to get the best out of the sheen an ink has then we recommend using Tomoe River paper, which just lets the ink show off its best qualities.

Shading

Shading is where an ink dries with some variation in depth. So rather than leaving a single solid colour, the ink will be more saturated in colour in one area than another. Is that a good thing? Well that depends on what you like and want from your ink, but it is another area that you can discover more about an ink and how it performs in subtle ways to create something richer and more rewarding.

Inks that are good for shading include:

Shimmer

Some might argue that this comes under sheen, but it is something quite specific. Shimmer inks have a metallic sparkle to them. Literally. They have small particles in the ink which you can see in the bottle., and which will settle and need agitating before using. The result is an ink that sparkles on the page. The result can be quite varied but when it works it can be magical.

There have been a whole host of new shimmer inks released in recent years, so there is a good choice, but you might want to look at these for some good results:

Sheen on Kyoto Nurebairo ink
Sheen on Kyoto Nurebairo ink
Shading on Herbin Vert Olive ink
Shading on Herbin Vert Olive ink
ink shimmer
Shimmer on Diamine Arctic Blue ink

What Else Can Inks Offer?

Is there anything else to an ink outside the basics and how it appears on paper? Well, arguably no. Choosing an ink based on those values will likely last you a lifetime after all. But there are other factors to consider, and these may help guide you in your choice of ink.

Limited Editions

Some inks release special or limited editions, and these can be in high demand. For some ink manufacturers this has become an annual event, and most notable amongst the limited edition inks are the Herbin Anniversary inks (this might now have become the Herbin 1798 range as of 2017) and the annual Edelstein Ink of the Year from Pelikan.

Lamy have also started to produce limited edition T52 inks to coincide with the annual launch of the limited edition Safari and Al-Star fountain pens. These tend to be very limited in supply.

Cult Inks

Some inks acquire an almost cult-like status. Sometimes there is an obvious reason for it, other times it seems to defy reason. But no matter, if an ink has been given this lofty status then it is popular above all other colours in that range.

Example inks here would be KWZ Honey, Herbin 1670 Emerald de Chivor and Robert Oster Fire and Ice.

edelstein ink of the year
Edelstein Aquamarine limited edition ink
robert oster fire and ice
Robert Oster Fire & Ice ink

Extras & Exotic Imports

Some inks are worth buying because they come beautifully packaged (I’m looking at you, Kyoto ink) or have extras in the box (Colorverse ink is a perfect example here).

In other cases it is simply that the inks have that exotic something – imports from afar that you are unlikely to stumble across in your local WH Smith or inks with a story to tell. Iroshizuku and Kyoto inks come from Japan, Robert Oster and Blackstone inks are from Australia. KWZ inks are made by a husband-&-wife team in Poland. Feeling closer to the story can make you appreciate the ink in a different way.

The Kyoto inks are also just beautiful objects in their own right, from the box to the bottle. Does this affect the ink? The obvious answer is no, but then again you can gain extra enjoyment from something more than just purely functional, and an ink like this is very desirable!

Complexity

Last but not least is the fact that inks are complex substance. It is no coincidence that KWZ ink is made by two chemists, or that we have worked with chemist-come-bloggers on ink reviews. The process of making an ink requires a lot of input, and not just in terms of colour choice, packaging and marketing.

Look at Iron Gall inks for a clear demonstration of how complex an ink can be – these very traditional inks require sensitive handling in your pen as they can damage it in some cases. As the name suggests, it is made with iron elements and this helps it bond with the paper to form a more permanent mark. More interestingly it is chemistry in the making when you write with it as it changes colour and darkens.

Some inks really are just a complex mixture and discovering inks can leave you somewhere between a writer and a chemist at times.

Colorverse inks packaging
Colorverse inks have extras in the box
KWZ Iron Gall inks
KWZ Iron Gall inks

In Conclusion

To summarise, the most powerful influence on your decision of choosing the right ink will be price. A quality ink like Diamine or Herbin comes in at under £7 and will let you choose from well over 130 colours. But once you start to find more pleasure in using inks so you will likely seek out other more expensive inks for the unique properties they can demonstrate. Whether that is the unusual colour, how it performs when used or just a desire to seek out ever new creations will depend on where you ink odessey takes you! In short, start somewhere that feels right, and let you enjoyment lead you.

Blackstone Uluru Red
Blackstone Uluru Red
Diamine Apple Glory
Diamine Apple Glory
Lamy Dark Lilac
Lamy Dark Lilac
Edelstein Mandarin
Edelstein Mandarin
Grey Inks Comparisons

10 shades of grey ink

Grey Inks Comparisons

Introduction

Grey is a colour that we haven’t really explored before. This post (and the next one to come) really is a sequel to Diamine Earl Grey ink which seems to be a trend setter. A lot of our friends asked for a side-by-side comparison, I looked around for more grey ink and found 10 in our sampling station 🙂 These 10 inks are all grey, but as you will see, they are not the same. We haven’t done this layout before, so please drop us a line in comments with your feedback. Do you have/use grey ink at all, if so which is your favourite? Inks were tested on Rhodia dot paper with a glass pen. You can zoom in on photos for the details too. Enjoy!

Diamine – Grey

This is probably the first grey ink that comes to mind… Subtle, shades well, very universal. Can’t go wrong with this one. Diamine inks come in 80ml bottles and are fantastic value for money.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Grey

Diamine – Graphite

Dark grey with green components which are very apparent in this ink. It’s almost black, colour is mossy and perfectly legible. Available in 80ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Graphite

J Herbin 1670 – Stormy Grey

It’s difficult not to take sides here, but this ink is the one that started a revolution of Shimmer – I love it 🙂 Base colour grey shades beautifully and it’s complimented with gold particles. Inked permanently in my Lamy 2000 <3 Available in 50ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : J Herbin 1670 - Stormy Grey

J Herbin – Gris Nuage

One of the paler colours from the bunch. Warm grey with purple undertones and decent shading. Fantastic grey ink for painting/colouring with water brush. Available in 30ml bottles, 10ml bottles and cartridge form.

Grey Inks Comparisons : J Herbin - Gris Nuage

Diamine – Earl Grey

We wrote a short story about this ink here. Fantastic rich colour with strong purple tint and delicate shading. Available soon.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Earl Grey

KWZ – Grey Lux

Satin smooth ink to write with. This is one of the darkest grey inks. Very complex, satudated and made out of many dyes, almost black when dry. Absolute joy to use. Available in 60ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : KWZ - Grey Lux

Diamine – Sparkling Shadows

First generation of Diamine’s Shimmering inks. Grey with gold specs. Available in 50ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Sparkling Shadows

Diamine – Moon Dust

Jo’s number one ink 🙂 Pencil-like colour with silver shimmer. Fantastic name too. Second generation of Diamine Shimmer inks. Available in 50ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Diamine - Moon Dust

Iroshizuku – Kiri Same

Light grey ink with expressive shading. This ink flows well as you can imagine all Iroshizuku inks do. Available in 50ml bottles.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Iroshizuku - Kiri Same

Kaweco – Smokey Grey

Colder grey ink with green undertones and quick dry times. Shading is visible and the smoke in the name represents the colour well. It comes in both 30ml bottle and cartridge version.

Grey Inks Comparisons : Kaweco - Smokey Grey
Diamine Earl Grey Review - Rhodia White

Diamine Earl Grey – Ink Review

Diamine Earl Grey Review - Rhodia White

Are you on Reddit?

The good people of r/fountainpens – a fountain pen community on Reddit – reached out to our friends at Diamine if they would be up for a challenge. Could they make an ink purely voted for by the community?

This was a chance for us dreamers to have a go at designing our own ink. Imagine the warm fuzzy feeling when you ink up your favourite pen with something you made happen… Fountain pen mega star Stephen Brown has had his own ink made and finally it was our time to shine.

First up – Name and colour. Voting and comments got pretty heated – as you can imagine ink discussions do 🙂
The ‘Earl Grey’ name was submitted by our pen club friend Daniel, so we were rooting for him; also it is a pretty cool name. Over 3000 votes were submitted, 1000+ people selected colour Grey. Only about hundred votes separated the winner Grey from Gold and Teal (maybe next time).

Diamine then got to work and provided few swatches which we voted for too.

Two months later a brand new baby ink came into the world. Welcome Diamine Earl Grey 😀

Ink review

Diamine Earl Grey Review - comparison
Diamine Earl Grey Review - comparison

Grey is a fantastic ink to use – you won’t find a regular ballpoint/rollerball in such colour. Diamine Earl Grey is not too loud, so it can be used for almost everything. Very universal, slightly understated, but certainly not boring. Those purple accents are really eye catchy, especially on white paper 🙂 They do take a while to come out – we had to re-take the photographs because the colour has changed over night. The flow is very good, it is certainly not dry. Earl Grey shades extremely well. This ink is not waterproof or water resistant. We could only see a little bit of sheen on ink drops which were done on Tomoe River paper.

The more I use it the more I like it (especially when inked in purple pen = match made in heaven).

Please click on images below to see all the details.

This ink will be available soon in Diamine’s 80ml bottles. The packaging has a secret message printed inside the box regarding the Reddit community.

Big big thanks to Diamine for helping making our dream come true. We feel very privileged to be able to review it before release. Very well done to r/fountainpens Reddit community – you people made this possible! 🙂

I hope that Diamine Earl Grey will become a household name and will establish itself in Diamine’s already very successful line-up.

Diamine - Earl Grey

Shading - One of the best properties of this ink
Flow - Great!
Saturation - Very Good!
Sheen - Only a tiny bit on Tomoe River
Water Resistance - Nope
diamine moondust shimmer ink

Review: Diamine Moondust

diamine shimmer moon dust ink

I don’t usually do ink reviews, I leave them to Mishka. But since she has been away and she tends to favour colours, I thought I would slip in a quick monochrome review while she isn’t looking. My current (and only) ink is Diamine Moondust. It is one of their Shimmer range which contains metallic particles giving it a subtle glimmer. The colour itself is a sort of dark grey, or grey black, it sort of changes depending on, well I’m not sure what. Sometimes it writes as black, sometimes grey and sometimes silver, you can never be quite sure what you will get. Some might find that inconsistency annoying but I love it. Much as I like the bright colours we have here, as with clothes and much else, I find myself choosing black or grey so the chameleon-ish nature of this ink makes it more interesting than a standard black.

diamine moondust shimmer ink
It's the same ink, but is it grey or black?

I can’t give you stats on saturation or shading, you’ll have to wait for a proper review for that but hopefully the photos capture the nature of the colour variation and if you don’t like writing in bright colours, Diamine Moondust might be the ink for you.

Diamine Majestic Blue ink drop

Diamine Ink Review – Majestic Blue

Diamine Majestic Blue ink sheen

Ink review

I had no idea how positive the response to our last week’s review of Steel Blue ink would be, so here is another ink from Diamine range.

Diamine Majestic Blue is one of those rare inks that does sheen like a champion 🙂 Why did no one tell me about this ink earlier? The colour is a true blue, it flows very nicely even with the finest nibs. Sheen does take over and often covers the entire letter. Tomoe River is the best paper to display sheen, but this ink does show on other papers too.

Diamine Majestic Blue ink sheen closeup macro

The ink is not waterproof; it does not wash away completely, so I would happily use it to address envelopes.

Diamine Majestic Blue ink drop closeup

Diamine Majestic blue is as exciting as blue ink can be. It would make a perfect every day ink. Strange coming from teal/green/orange person 🙂 but I really do like this one.

Diamine Majestic Blue ink is available here.

Diamine - Majestic Blue

Sheen - Spectacular!
Saturation - Great!
Flow - Very Good!
Shading - Shows with Broader nibs
Water Resistance - Decent
Diamine Ink Steel Blue

Diamine Ink Review – Steel Blue

Diamine Steel Blue close-up

Ink review

We love messing around with ink splats, but they don’t necessarily give you a true picture of what the ink looks like when you write with it.

The idea behind our reviews is to show the ink in different ways; with the paintbrush, with different nibs, different papers. One ink has many faces 🙂 For now we’ve picked our current Top 4 favourite fountain pen friendly papers : Rhodia White & Ivory, Leuchtturm and Tomoe River.

To kick off the ink reviews I picked Diamine Steel Blue because that is what is currently in my new TWSBI 580 AL pen – it seemed a perfect match 🙂 I keep going back to this ink – it looks great in demonstrators and feels almost electric on page. Saturation and flow are very generous, it cleans well too.

Diamine Steel Blue ink is available here.

Please let us know if there are any special categories we could add to the review and which inks would you like to see.

Diamine - Steel Blue

Saturation - Great!
Flow - Very Good!
Shading - Present
Water Resistance - Swim away
Sheen - None
the price of ink

Q&A: Is Bottled Ink Cheaper Than Cartridges?

The Price Of Ink

the price of ink

It is a question often asked – is bottled ink cheaper than cartridges? Is it more economical to buy ink in bottles or go for the simplicity of cartridges? And if it is cheaper, how much cheaper is bottled ink? Well I decided there was only one way of resolving this problem – find out how much ink costs pound for milliliter. And with the results in we have a clear winner and sort of an answer to the question.

Is bottled ink cheaper than cartridge ink?

Bottled ink - Price per ml

Diamine 8p per ml
Lamy T52 19p per ml
Diamine Shimmer 20p per ml
KWZ 22p per ml
Lamy T51 22p per ml
Blackstone 23p per ml
Herbin D 23p per ml
KWZ Iron Gall 28p per ml
Herbin Scented 30p per ml
Herbin 1670 Anniversary 30p per ml
Robert Oster 30p per ml
Edelstein 34p per ml
Herbin Mini 38p per ml
Kaweco 40p per ml
Herbin 1798 Les Encres 42p per ml
Blackstone Barrier 47p per ml
Kyoto 50p per ml
Colorverse 56p per ml
Pilot Iroshizuku 64p per ml

Cartridges - Price per ml

Lamy T10 Cartridges 20p per ml
Monteverde Cartridges 24p per ml
Kaweco Cartridges 32p per ml
Herbin Cartridges 55p per ml

Well, the simple answer is yes – bottled ink is cheaper than cartridges. However it is surprising how little there was in it, in some cases not at all. Take Lamy ink – at 20p per ml in T10 cartridge form it isn’t that much more expensive than bottled T52 ink which comes in at 15p per ml. And Kaweco ink cartridges actually came in cheaper than their bottled ink. But if you want real value then of course a bottle of Diamine ink will see you through for a long time with an 80ml bottle costing just 8p per ml.

To be clear, these results were based on our retail prices as of 1 May 2017, across all bottled and cartridge inks in our range. For cartridge ink there was a small problem because no one seems to quote the volume of a cartridge, but general consensus seems to suggest that a small cartridge (e.g. Kaweco or Herbin) is 0.9ml and a larger cartridge like the Lamy T10 is 1.5ml so I based all calculations on those volumes.

colour choice

What Is Our Favourite Colour?

colour choice
The team in our colour choice. See, we do like the colour we chose!

And what does it say about us?!

Here at Bureau we spend a lot of time choosing colours for our products, everything from notebooks, bags, pens and of course inks. Everyone here has their favourite, usually reflected in their clothes, but also in their ink choice. But what does your colour choice say about you?

We decided to investigate with a thoroughly non-scientific piece of research and found that even the most sceptical (that would be me) found something to cling on to. Some of it was spookily accurate so check out our findings and see what you make of it all.

Black

Lovers of black typically have a secretive, hidden nature and an air of mystery. It can be sophisticated and elegant with artistic and intuitive leanings but can hide vulnerabilities, creating a barrier between you and the outside world.

Jo’s Choice

I feel black has a bit of a bad rap here but I do like pink too so maybe I have tempered my dark side a little. My current ink choice is Diamine Moon Dust, a sort of black/grey with silver particles.

colour chart black
Colour chart red

Red

Those who love red are pioneering, ambitious and strong-willed. They tend to be optimistic, confident and competitive with great determination and drive. They are also risk-takers and crave attention.

Dominic’s Choice

I chose red before reading the description of it and so I am having to retro-fit that description around myself. Pioneering? Well… maybe. Ambitious? OK. Strong willed? Is that the same as stubborn? Whatever, red it is. Occasionally in what I wear, sometimes in my pen (Robert Oster Fire Engine Red is there right now and it’s a stunner), and always in my choice of football team (Arsenal, since you ask).

Green

If you love green you will be down to earth, practical, calm, loyal and frank. Good in a crisis and quick to learn, your reputation is important to you and you like to belong to social groups.

Mishka’s Choice

I have hundreds of pens and more inks than Bureau so my current ink is hard to define. One of my all time favourites is Herbin Vert Olive though and I am just about to put Diamine Golden Oasis in a pen.

Faisal’s Choice

I find green very calming and my current choice is Herbin’s Lierre Sauvage which reminds me of the peace and tranquillity of forests.

colour chart green
colour chart blue

Blue

If blue is your go-to colour then you are likely to be conservative, reliable and trustworthy. You think before you act and you are genuine and sincere, taking your responsibilities very seriously.

Des’s Choice

In all honesty I don’t write much, I’m a computer guy, I type it up and print it off. If I do write though, I use blue, always have. Current ink choice is Lamy Blue.

Purple

Purple indicates a sensitive, compassionate and understanding nature, sensitive to hurtful comments, dignified, creative and perhaps a bit unconventional. You are a perfectionist and a good humanitarian.

Armi’s Choice

I have Diamine Purple Pazzazz in my TWSBI Eco and I write with it daily here at Bureau and at uni. My notes are definitely unconventional and hard to follow but purple makes them magnificent.

 

Colour chart purple
colour chart yellow

Yellow

You are happy, fun to be with, creative, analytical and independent. Though methodical in your thinking you can still be impulsive and are prone to snap decisions. Yellow lovers tend to prefer small groups of close friends rather than big social groups.

Emma’s Choice

I’m using a brown ink at the moment but accenting it with a yellow felt pen to give my diary a bit of colour. Current ink choice: Herbin Caroube de Chypre.

 

Pink

Unsurprisingly, pink is strongly connected with the feminine side of our nature, in both women and men. A love of pink is associated with a warm, kind and generous nature. The maternal instinct is strong and care of others is paramount.

Monica’s Choice

I love pink and as a passionate animal lover I have to agree with this. My current ink is Diamine Hope Pink.

 

 

colour chart pink
colour chart orange

Orange

If you have chosen orange then you are probably warm and optimistic as well as friendly and good natured. Likely to be a bit flamboyant, you are often the life and soul of the party and need people around you.

Sadly we had no takers for orange but if this is your choice then we can wholeheartedly recommend Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin  or Herbin Orange Indien.

Grey

If grey is your choice then you are likely to be unemotional, neutral and impartial. Other traits include practicality and calmness and you are likely to want to keep the peace. Your cool nature can come across as indifference though and you are no attention seeker.

Pawel’s Choice

I have a lot of pens with different inks including grey but at the moment I am using an orange – Diamine Ancient Copper though I am definitely not flamboyant!

 

 

 

colour chart grey
colour chart brown

Brown

If it’s brown then you are likely to be steady, reliable and approachable. You are hardworking with a dry sense of humour and people like to confide in you. You make a great friend and family is very important to you.

Again, no one claimed brown as a favourite so we simply don’t know if it is spot on or not. If you are a brown lover though we still have the very amazing Herbin Caroube de Chypre – brown with flecks of gold. So pretty.

White

This indicates someone who is neat and immaculate in appearance and presentation. Well balanced, positive and careful, the white fan has good self-control, high standards and is very discreet.

And no takers for white though it is quite hard to write in so probably just as well. If you want to then we do offer the Herbin white ink but you must never ever put it in a fountain pen! Dipping pens only please.

colour chart white
what ink is in my pen?

What Ink Is In Your Pen?

what ink is in my pen?

Here's what's in ours!

I’m always fascinated by the inks we all choose to use, and just a bit envious if I am honest! It seems that we also change our inks on an amazingly regular basis – when I started out with the idea to do this post last week I could swear that there were other inks in use but they had all changed by the time I got everyone to write out a short line with their ink of choice, and photographed it.

Who chose what?

diamine imperial blue
Dominic is using Diamine Imperial Blue ink
diamine ancient copper ink
Pawel is using Diamine Ancient Copper ink
j. herbin lierre sauvage
Faisal is using J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage ink
caroube de chypre ink
Emma is using J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre 1670 ink
diamine shimmer moon dust
Jo is using Diamine Shimmer Moondust ink
lamy pacific blue
Mishka is using Lamy Pacific Blue ink (amongst many)
j. herbin perle noir
Armi is using J. Herbin Perle Noir ink

So what ink are you using? Please do let us know with a comment below.

Herbin Metallic Inks - Copper on dipping pen

J Herbin Metallic Inks

Herbin Metallic Inks

Something shiny arrived in the post and the whole office could not help but gather around like a flock of mesmerised birds. It's the J Herbin Metallic inks... Brace yourselves!

Herbin Metallic ink - Copper animated

I was thinking about how to talk about these inks but figured that the best way to show them off was with a photo heavy review 🙂

I’m sure that many of you have fallen in love with J Herbin 1670 and Diamine Shimmering inks. While their gold and silver particles look amazing, they do not show too well on black paper. Our saviour, the J Herbin Metallic inks, fill this gap – they are pigment based calligraphy inks and work on both light and dark paper. However, I cannot stress enough that it is only suitable for dip and glass pens. Sorry, no fountain pens are allowed here!

You can get the inks individually as 30ml bottles or an assorted set of five smaller 10ml bottles. They are very easy to use – you do not need to dilute them or add Arabic gum. That said – they do need shaking… A lot of shaking 🙂

Let’s have a look at what you get in the set.

First, there’s the white. There are no white inks for fountain pens, so it’s great that J Herbin added this here even tho it’s not really metallic. White calligraphy ink will look ace on silver/gold/black or kraft paper. My only moan is, that is is not as opaque as the rest of metallic inks.

Iron ink is a little strange – it looks like a rusty water pipe 🙂 There is a nice mossy green sheen which sits on the top and shows well on bright white paper. A surprising win in my books.

Silver and gold inks are great – they are exactly what you want them to be. Perfect for addressing envelopes.  #incowrimo They will take your calligraphy to another level.

Last, but not least, copper is my favourite of the bunch 🙂 I prefer to call it rose gold 🙂 As I dipped glass pen and pulled it back out – everyone gazed with awe and let a little ‘oooh’ out. Wow factor guaranteed.

These new arrivals have brought a lot of attention around the office and have awoken the creative element in us all (no pun intended). You don’t need to be a first class calligrapher to have fun with these, just dip and go! J Herbin Metallic inks are unique and original. I’m finally glad I get to use my glass pen for something else other than sampling ink 🙂

Products featured in this post:

We also reviewed J Herbin Fluorescent inks. Check out the awesome photos here.

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