I have a shelf full of vintage inks which I sometimes use but are really there for the bottles. Otherwise I am quite unadventurous about ink. Until recently it’s been blue, blue/black and black. Then someone gave me Baystate Blue and I confess to being impressed by that astonishing electric blue. More recently another kind person gave me tester bottles of various inks and I have been trying some of those.

Really, though, I’m not about bright ink colours. Yes, I like them but they are a distraction. For me, it isn’t about presenting a pretty page, it’s about getting information down. Also it’s about write-testing restored pens. Both of these uses require ink that stands out well on the paper and that ink has to be safe for any pen I put it in. I don’t want to experiment to discover which inks are safe. I already know that Watermans and Quink are.

I read somewhere that newspaper editors discard letters written in green ink. This is because the seriously obsessed, the conspiracy theorists and other types of loony tunes favour green ink. Pity, because I quite like it. I wonder what that says about me?


9 thoughts on “Ink

  1. It says you are in good company. Henry Simpole, one of the most important personalities of my generation in the world of fountain pens always used a large flagon of green Parker Quink for his correspondence. I hope that flagon is still going strong!

  2. What’s the adage? “Ink like no-one is watching?” Green ink seems to to a wonderful test of whether or not you would want to be taken seriously by a particular newspaper editor! Plus, if the editor is a man of nothern European descent, there is a nearly 8% chance he is color-blind to green. So play the odds.

    Personally, I have grown weary of hearing of offices where only blue-black inks are acceptable, or where a short note in Apache Sunset would bring security with an order to have you clear out your desk and depart within the hour.

    Americans works longer workweeks, with fewer holidays, and shorter vacations than any people in the world. We are also -and I submit this fits the same mould- the most monochromatic. One reason I love the Christmas holidays is for the colors they introduce into our dull as a dudgeon lives; like Scrooge, I pledge in this regard to keep Christmas in my heart all year round. My students see a spectrum of colors on their returned and graded university papers, and they voice no complaints.

    So I for one say God bless colored inks, and yes, let us have more coal on this fire.

    1. My colour choice isn’t imposed on me by anyone else, though it is partly imposed by circumstance. I use F or EF nibs. Colour doesn’t show up strongly with such a thin line though intensity does. It wouldn’t matter whether my ink was blue or brown if it was intense enough to show up well. If it’s pale it’s no good to me.

  3. In the clearing banks in the old days, I believe green ink could only be used by inspectors (internal auditor types who visited branches to check the staff were following procedures and not misbehaving). They would annotate the ledgers etc. and I have heard that it was a sackable offence for anyone else to use green ink. Presumably, while perpetrating your fraud, you could mark that the records had already been checked so that they wouldn’t be checked again.

    I occasionally use Diamine Umber ink which is a very nice green – not as bright as some so maybe
    I’m not completely stark raving mad.

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