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Do We Really Need Anything But Black Ink?

05/25/2014

That might be a loaded question, but sometimes I wonder whether we really need anything other than black ink. Don’t get me wrong. I am hooked on color particularly those that have a cheerful lift to them or a particularly aesthetic vibe. All of that is subjective and often it is the combined effect of ink color, paper and pen that brings out the best result.

Even so, more often than not, Noodler’s Black, especially in the Pilot Prera Italic, is the first pen I grab. With black, I am more focused on writing than ink and how it looks on paper. My letter forms must stand on their own without the eye candy. The nib and paper quality become more important though Noodler’s Black writes well on most any paper and with absolutely every pen. Maybe that’s part of its charm.

But that’s a specific ink – not a color. What say you? Could you live without jewel-toned ink?

 

23 comments

  1. Life without Noodler’s 54th Mass in unthinkable!

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    • Wouldn’t you know I have 54th Mass in the blue Prera Italic, the pen I use the most often after the ivory Prera with Noodler’s Black. Which pen do you use with 54th Mass?

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      • I have it in several of my pens including a Waterman Phileas Blue Danube, a Lamy Al-Star Graphite, a Jinhao 159, and a Duke 2009.

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        • That’s high praise, indeed.

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  2. LOL!! You had me for a minute there! No jewel toned ink?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Good one! 😉

    Signed, ‘Hooked on Inky-Eye-Candy’

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    • Hi Carol! Glad to bring some laughter to your day. 🙂

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      • Hi Margana! Your posts always bring good things to our days! And you make an excellent point about Noodler’s Black. It’s the little Chanel number among FP inks.

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        • And so much more affordable than Chanel. 😀

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  3. We would probably be well off with just black ink. Colors are a novelty to me, but I can still enjoy them from time to time.

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  4. For getting ideas down on paper and communicating them without distraction, black indeed does suffice, just as the classic little black dress will suffice for any woman to look presentable in almost any work or social occasion. (In fact, I used nothing but black ink — Sheaffer’s Skrip — for several years, and only switched to Waterman Violet when it became important at work to distinguish between original documents and photocopies. I do not at this time, however, own a little black dress.) But pen on paper can be used for more than communicating ideas: for conveying feelings, for seeking to please the correspondent’s eye, for enhancing the emotional impact of words. Writing is duty, but it can also be pleasure. For this, color makes a difference.

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  5. Since my introduction to fountain pens was in in third year high school English, certain habits die hard. The teacher required everyone in the class to write their essays with a fountain pen and blue ink. He kept a bottle on his desk along with a syringe, so there were no excuses about running out. He claimed that his requirements were to offset his visual issues in reading and grading said compositions. In classes where ballpoint was the norm, I always preferred green (if I could get away with it). Black is strictly for those situations where it is mandatory. Just my 2c.

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  6. Once upon a time I only used black ink (Sheaffers Skrip to be exact) then I discovered Diamane and my world exploded on a riot of colour. Even when officialdom decrees the use only of black – I use Grey (it’s black but a little anaemic ) Indigo is attractive – reminds me of my years at primary school, learning to write with a dip pen and Stephens blue/black ing, saddle brown looks delightful on cream/ivory paper…..
    Long may the choice remain!

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  7. Could I get by with just black? Of course! But I do use the colors to practical effect. I try not to use the same color two days in a row in the same notebook, so that I have an easy visual indication of the sequence. Also, sometimes I use different colors on the same page to give contextual clues eg writing my questions in one color and answers in another.

    Could I live without non-black ink? I could *live* without pens at all; just not as happily as I do with them. Do I consider colored inks one of the essential tools of my craft? Yes.

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  8. This is such a timely post for me! I’ve ONLY ever used black inks. I’m fairly new to the fp world, and so far have only used Aurora Black and J. Herbin Perle Noir. Both are super. I just ordered some more inks and branched out to blue black. I’m not sure I will go much further away from black than that. The thing with black is that it even has enough variation to keep me busy trying new stuff for awhile. I think Noodlers is now on the “to buy” list. . .

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    • Black ink comes in a variety of shades. 😉

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  9. Black is so boring… 🙂 I live in a world way beyond black and white. I own black inks but don’t look forward to them coming into my rotation like some of my more riotous colours. Today’s work inks are iroshizuku ina-ho and Noodler’s Saguaro Wine.

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  10. I need more than black ink. I use it, but no more than and probably less than other colors. The black I like the best is the Montblanc Albert Einstein. It has a most interesting gray/black color. I like the way it shades and the way it makes my writing look. I have used it in three or four pens and liked it each time.

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  11. I don’t have any black ink – probably Deep Dark Blue and Diamine Graphite are about as close as I get.

    I have a couple of Sakura Pygma Microns for when I need to fill in forms

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  12. I rarely use black ink, but if it were the only color I had, I would have saved a small fortune in ink bottles and samples. But writing only in one color–be it black or any other hue, would be like eating the same food for every meal. Long live variety!

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  13. Since I discovered colored inks my black ink has sat unused. It’s probably been six years since I touched the bottle.

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    • My black ink was lonely for at least that long. I don’t recall now why it got used though it was probably for a review or ink comparison post. J. Herbin Perle Noire if memory serves, and then Noodler’s Black for a Moleskine trial. It’s so well-behaved that I can’t do without it especially considering my tendency to doodle on the backs of envelopes and on paper that is not FP-friendly. 🙂

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  14. There was a time when I only used black ink. About a year ago I discovered colored ink and now have a few green, purple and red varieties to add a little spice to my writing. I still use black ink heavily. It is my go to choice for note taking.

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