Inks of Note - Blue
Is there ever the perfect blue? All I know is from the discussion boards and the emails I receive, if there is, there is no consensus yet.
The Blue Inks of Choice that I tend to use on the most regular basis have a brightness and deep good tone. Waterman Florida Blue is one of the safest inks to use. If I am concerned about a light colour celluloid pen, that is the ink I use.
Aurora makes ink in two colours: blue, black. My comments on their black echo those of many users.
The blue is a solid strong colour, and I enjoy using it, but there is a purple or violet undertone to the blue - not uncommon to some of the blues produced by other companies.
Over the years I have used this ink in a number of different pens and it is consistently good in terms of its flow. The ink has a good drying time and it dries flat, with no stickiness that can be found with some inks so you can use this and not have a worry that a finger touching the ink some time later will result in a smear.
Here again, I like the bottle. It is tall and relatively narrow that this provides a good design to put a large nib into the ink and get a good fill with no air.
I had never used Visconti Ink until after my visit with Visconti in 2008. I was impressed with the company, and also impressed with their ink. The blue was a very pleasant surprise.
The blue is rich and bold. In fact, I found it very similar in a number of ways to my old favourite, Parker Penmen Sapphire Blue.
The ink has good flow, and since I started using it I have filled a range of my pens with the ink and it performances in the full range. Most of my nibs are broad or stuff, so I need an ink that will leave a good solid line without too much colour distortion. A little shading is fine, but a consistent line of ink is one of the challenges of writing with broad nibs. There were no issues with this ink.
The added bonus was the ink bottle is well designed. When I first saw the bottle I was worried about stability. But in using the bottle now for more than a year I have had no issues.
There is a tall relatively narrow space for the entire nib to sit and draw up ink. Dante del Vecchio designed the bottle and good job!
de Atramentis - Indigo Blue
This particular ink became one of my Inks of Note quickly. From the first day I started to write with this ink I found it to have good flow, dried quickly on the paper, and worked well in a variety of pens.
A good solid blue with enough presence on the paper that it is a good colour and ink choice for business purposes. Indeed, looking at at notes taken in a meeting, solid pages of writing are easy on the eye, and easy to read.
The bottle, is more vertical and horizontal in shape so that makes filling a M800 or OMAS 360 easy, it also fits in my briefcase with no problem.
Diamine Asa Blue
This new blue, issued in 2010, is a beautiful bright blue. This the colour is distinctive. The ink is performing well in a full range of pens - Montegrappa, OMAS, Pelikan, Waterman and Aurora - so after a week of writing with this ink I am very pleased.
Iroshizuku - tsuki-you (Moonlight)
Iroshizuku inks come in 17 different colours and Moonlight, is an exceptional blue ink that has instantly become one of my "Inks of Note".
The blue has a deep, saturated tone. It is one of those colours that has a presence on the page. It just nicely stands out, in a good way. Flow is very good. I have been using it mainly in pens with broad and stub nibs and the ink performs well.
There has been no feathering, regardless of the paper I have been using - although they are all good quality bonds or upper end office paper.
As the expanded scan shows, there is some nice shading taking place on the strokes, but nothing that distracts from the overall appearance.
The bottles are also something for which you can expect to receive some comments. The ink comes in a 50 ml heavy glass bottle. It is tall and narrow which makes getting a large nib submerged in the ink easy. The bottle is heavy and there is a good feeling of stability. If you are filling piston pens, for example, then that means one hand can hold the pen while another twists the top to draw up the ink and you do not have to worry about a fragile or light bottle tipping over.
Update: Now, in the last month or so of 2010 I found this ink to perform well in all my pens. It does not have the punch that Diamine Majestic Blue holds, but a good strong tone a page written in this colour just looks good. What more would you ask for!
iroshizuku asa-gao (Morning Glory Blue)
If you are looking for the three b's: bold, bright, blue in an ink, then this is one of the top choices you can consider.
The colour is bright and crisp. I find the colour to have a real presence on the page, but a full page of writing is not that bright that you look down and find yourself saying: Why did I use that colour!
I still like Moonlight, because of its interesting teal colour, but as I have been using this colour, well it is rapidly moving up the list of favorite inks.
The performance is good. I have been using in Detla, OMAS, Montegrappa and Waterman pens and have not have any probolems. I almost always write with a Broad or similar nib and there is enough depth to the colour that a broad line of ink never looks washed out.
Good flow and a reasonable dry time. Within five seconds the ink was dry on the paper. When I dabbed my finger and water and then touched my writing I was please to see the ink did not just lift off the paper, although as to be expected, there was some smearing.
Of course the bottle, well it is a classic piece of art. I find it a bit heavy for my briefcase but it looks great on the desk, and the small indent in the bottom of the bottle is just great when filling up a pen.
Is there a downside to this ink? Well just the price. I have bought my ink in the United States and in Europe. It is expensive in both locations.
Iroshizuku kon-peki (Deep Ceurlean Blue)
I ordered one bottle of this colour so that I could see what the colour was like. I have found that the colour images on many of the on-line sites are not accurate. Since the ink is not availalbe here in Vancouver, I must order this ink in by courier.
What a colour. I regularly receive comments about this ink in terms the eye catching colour. It really stands out, but looks good no matter if I am looking back at a full page of text, or a short note. The ink has good performance. Good rich colour. Good flow, I have been using it in a variety of pens including Stipula, Waterman, Delta, Laban and Pelikan. No feathering and the ink dries in under five seconds.
Now I have to order a few more bottles!
In 2009 I had the opportunity to visit the Montegrappa factory in Bassano del Grappa, Italy and I was also introduced to Montegrappa Blue ink.
First of all I really like the bottle. It is a octagon vertical bottle with a classy label. The vertical height of the bottle makes filling a pen with a big nib easier than some bottle designs.
Once your pen is filled, the blue has enough depth of colour to make it to my list of ink.
There are purple undertones to the ink and in fact it is just about identical to Aurora Blue. I think some of the companies would refer to this as Sapphire Blue.
I like the bottle, a vertical design, it is easy to get a large pen in and out of the bottle and get the nib completely submerged. The bottle holds 42 ml of ink, that is a little less than the more standard 50 ml bottle (Waterman, Parket, Sheaffer).
Noodler's Azure Blue
Noodler's Azure Blue is one of the blue inks that just stands out on the page. Your written message has quite the visual appearance. No boring blue here. Deep, rich colour.
There is a brightness to the blue whether on the page, or on your fingers! I say this as this ink really stains your fingers so be careful when filling your pen.
It has good flow and it does dry in around 5 seconds from most of the nibs that I have used. While the ink works well in all my pens - Montegrappa, OMAS, Waterman, Aurora, Pelikan and others - I use the ink with caution. I am concerned about how this ink stains. If it so difficult to get off my hands, then I have to worry about what it will be like on a pen. I use it in pens with a black nib section, and definition only in metal and resin body pens. I would not use it in my celluloid pens as I would be concerned about ink coming off the nib into the cap section, or it getting into the threads of the nib section.
Waterman Florida Blue
Of the blue inks that are available, this is one the staples of your ink cupboard.
If you are unsure what blue ink to buy, get this one. If you have a pen that you are worried about in terms of ink staining, pen stores consistently recommend Waterman Florida Blue as a safe ink.
I have looked back at hearing notes I have made five or so years ago and the ink looks good on the page.
I use this blue on a regular basis. My only complaint is that over the years I have found variances in the intensity of the colour, depending on the shipment.
So in my Montegrappa Extra 1930 Parchment, a white pen I am concerned with staining, this is the ink that is loaded in that pen.
Is it an exciting blue? But it has very good flow and makes any pen you use have a good writing experience.
So this is the ink that I tend use the most in my celluloid pens. I can use it with no fear of staining, especially there the nib section has light celluloid tones.