Monday, October 6th, 2014

Fountain Pen Friends: Do you use ink swatches?


J Herbin Ink Swatches

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to test a LOT of different colors/brands of fountain pen inks. (over 100!) Because I am a visual person, the best way for me to compare and contrast was to perform ink swatches and though my method was simple, you can make this process as detailed as you’d like. In the images I’ve attached here, I used cotton swabs to do 1, 2 and 3 swipes of each J. Herbin ink in a white drawing pad.

I also kept two separate journals that I only used for ink testing. One with white paper and one with ivory.

What process do you use to remember what all of your inks look like?

J Herbin Ink Swatches

J Herbin Ink Swatches

3 thoughts on “Fountain Pen Friends: Do you use ink swatches?

  1. I swatch all of my inks, scan them in and store them in my Filemaker Fountain Pen database for reference. I also do a writing sample of each nib/ink combination when I bring a pen into rotation as inks look different depending on the width/flow of the nib. I use Rhodia 80gsm paper stock for consistency for my swtches and writing samples. :) I also give each of my inks a unique code so I can search for all my writing samples jpegs on my computer. Geeky I know :)

  2. Yes as a benchmark. My paper may not be the same, the pen may not be the same and my writing style may not be the same but I can gauge if the color is where I want to be.

  3. Nothing so organized, I’m afraid. Whenever I get a new pen or try a new ink, I write a quite note in a dedicated notebook — usually nothing more than the name of each one. It’s chaotic, but colorful. :-)

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