I came across a fun old post from nikkipans on the makeup side of Instagram, with a tag credited to user jesspanner who either quit Instagram or changed their name. It wasn’t hard to adjust it to work for the fountain pen world.
I’ve included swatches for inks we still have; unfortunately, that’s only about 60% of them. I’ve done my best to photoshop the individual ink swatches to look true-to-life, but that’s easier said than done, especially with any color that has red in it.
1. An ink you used to dislike, but has grown on you.
Jim: Nothing. I pretty much stick to what I like.
Rachel: I can’t think of anything. The closest is Colorverse Iris Nebula. My initial impression of it wasn’t fabulous. But, as I’ve used the sample I received, I’m enjoying it.
2. An ink you expected to like, but didn’t.
Jim: Birmingham Pen Co Alternator Crimson. It didn’t have the chromatography I was hoping for.
Rachel: Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki. I thought it would be more orange than it is. Especially in wet pens, it leans heavily toward red.
3. An ink that pleasantly surprised you.
Jim: Vinta Inks Pamana. [Note: that’s not a typo.] It’s dark enough to use for notetaking, and the sheen is present without becoming overpowering in F and M nibs.
Rachel: Ink Institute x Gourmet Pen Shop Ice Fog. It’s a beautiful color, and it’s so much fun in wet nibs with all of the multishading.
4. An ink that disappointed you.
Jim: Waterman Serenity Blue. I expected a highly saturated, intense blue. But, in most nibs, it’s washed out.
Rachel: J. Herbin Cornaline d’Egypte. I wanted it to be brighter, more like Orange Indien. Instead, it was significantly darker and more muted.
5. You most used ink.
Jim: Maruzen Hatobanezu and Eternal Blue. They’re strong, businessy colors that are easily readable.
Rachel: Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri Same. I actually ran the numbers because I was curious.
6. Your least used ink.
Jim: J. Herbin Poussière de Lune. I forget that we own it and how much I like it when I actually do use it.
Rachel: I don’t use “Jim’s Inks.” We have a few bottles, like Maruzen Hatobanezu and Bungubox The Ink of Witch, that Jim purchased and are hard to get. Because of that, I leave them for him to use. I certainly have enough colors to use.
7. An ink you love that others don’t seem to.
Jim: I don’t hear much about Bungubox The Ink of Witch.
Rachel: I can’t think of any. In general, I seem to prefer less saturated inks than the typical favorites, but I can’t say that people don’t like them.
8. An ink everyone seems to love, but you don’t.
Jim: Noodler’s black inks. They aren’t black enough.
Rachel: Maybe Noodler’s Southwest Sunset. So many people seem to love it, but I’ve found it doesn’t shade as much as people say. I stopped using Noodler’s a while ago due to the lack of consistency in the formulas, but I’d put Habanero above Southwest Sunset in terms of shading, and no one talks about Habanero.
Do you agree with any of our answers? How would you answer the ink edition questions? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.