51 Examples Of Matching Ink To Pen To Paper


Matching ink to pen to paper can be a long process and one that never ends. If this doesn’t convince you, nothing will. The sample below was started at least five years ago so rest assured I did not have 51 pens inked at the same time. Mind you that would be a lot of fun but even for me that’s over-the-top. My absolute upper limit was thirty during a heavy testing phase and it is not likely to get repeated. Well, at least not any time soon.

The stationery is Original Crown Mill Cream Laid from a close-out several years ago at Kate’s Paperie. The cream color has influenced the inks and given most of them an appealing warmth. The scans are unretouched so do not take the colors as accurate. What you can see is ink performance relative to the pen and texture of the paper. J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche with a Sailor 1911 fine is especially attractive but many others are lovely, too.

J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche on Original Crown Mill Station

J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche on Original Crown Mill Stationery

None of this is condemnation of any pen and ink duo. Those that did not perform well on this particular paper, do perform well elsewhere. But keeping a running record, reminds me which ones not to use in future. With a good flow of ink, Crown Mill does take forever to dry so be prepared to wait and wait and wait.

G. Lalo is another laid paper that is good with fountain pen ink as you can see in my review from 2009. Both brands of paper do best with a fine nib but there are exceptions like the two Mike Masuyama custom nibs with Noodler’s Ink in Beaver and Golden Brown.

My Original Crown Mill came in a box of 100 sheets and envelopes but these days comes in a pad of 50 sheets. The paper may have changed in the ensuing years and remarks on FPN and other websites indicate that it is currently more friendly to fountain pen ink.

Crown Mill can be found at Goulet while G. Lalo is available from a variety of sources including Kate’s Paperie and European Paper. Even my local art store carries it, not that I will need more stationery any time soon.

Warning: Click the images at your own peril. They are humongous!

Original Crown Mill Laid Paper Test Page 1

Original Crown Mill Laid Paper Test Page 1

Original Crown Mill Laid Paper Test Page 2

Original Crown Mill Laid Paper Test Page 2


  1. What a fantastic resource! Very impressive!


    • Thank you, Randall. The ink colors look a bit faded on my monitor but the scans are good for comparing nibs. I hope at least that is useful.



  2. Awesome stuff. That Noodler’s Ottoman Azure is one of my favorite inks. You did a wonderful job with this list. Thanks.


    • Thank you!


  3. Very cool! I liked seeing all the pens and how all the inks looked. Does that paper have a bit of texture to it?


    • Yes, it does have some texture but in keeping with what one would expect of laid paper. It even has a watermark!


      • Well I always enjoy your handwriting and ink samples. 🙂


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  6. Pen to Paper is Very impressive when using a large canvas like A3 paper that is good with fountain pen ink 🙂


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