Beware Online Ink Swatches07/14/2010
The subject of online ink swatches and color representation has come up several times this past week. Some of us have learned the hard way that anything we see on a monitor is as likely to be inaccurate as not. Frustrating but so is buying an ink that disappoints.
Even the so-called color adjustment aids are no guarantee. A respected inky friend reminded me just yesterday how true this is. Since the specific ink in question was developed with her help, she ought to know whether a sample recently posted at another site matches the real ink. It doesn’t.
Though not foolproof, images from the same source may reveal relative similarities. In other words even if the color rendition is imperfect it may reflect whether one color is more or less blue, yellow, or whatever, than another. That bit of information can be useful especially if you aren’t in the market for a blue-green but want your green unadulterated. If you look at samples from different websites, that trick might not work. So even its uses are limited.
Whether swatches, swabs, patches or writing samples, nothing beats seeing the real thing. Exchange postcards, letters or doodles with other ink lovers when possible. If not, try samples like those from Pear Tree Pens. With a syringe or pipette, you can fill a pen with enough ink to conduct a good test and know whether you’ve found one you will enjoy for a full bottle’s worth.
If you wind up with what for you is a dud, swap with inky friends or folks at Fountain Pen Network. No sense being stuck with a stinker that someone else thinks is just the perfect shade.
But I will warn you. What resembles mud today, may in the future look like the perfect shade of brown. On occasion inks I loathed in the past have become new favorites months or even years later but that is sheer luck.
So don’t let those online ink swatches fool you. If you are picky about color, consider them at best an approximation. If you aren’t picky and don’t mind taking a gamble, then expect red to be red and blue to be blue and you could be a happy camper indeed.
More at The Dizzy Pen.