An Ink To Match The Pantone Color Of The Year


Pantone recently announced the color for 2015 which is called Marsala. Monitors being finicky and fickle creatures, consider these colors approximations.

It is a wine shade with a hint of earthy brownness to it. Of course as an inkophile, finding a matching ink is a worthy endeavor. The closest one in my collection is the long discontinued Parker Penman Ruby.

Which ink in your collection comes close to Marsala?


  1. The closest is, i think, Noodler’s black swan in english roses. but not quite. i must remedy that soon. 🙂


  2. Been waiting, eagerly, for this post!! =)

    Wondering how close Noodler’s Red-Black, or Binder Burgundy or the old formulation of Black Swan/Australian Roses might be to Marsala. (Another couple of close ones might be Diamine Syrah, the inspiration for which came from Binder Burgundy, but I don’t have that on-hand at the moment. Or, perhaps, Sailor Grenade but that one might lean too red.)

    In any event, I have difficulty with judging this type of thing on the computer screen, but I really like the look of Marsala, and it will definitely be inspiring some change ups to my ink/pen rotations.


  3. Hi, I have been trying to figure out the pigments in watercolor. One pigment might be alizarin crimson and then some kind of yellow and green. Looking forward to follow your ink quests.


    • In the Daniel Smith line and based on their catalog swatches, these watercolors are in the right range:

      Alizarin Crimson
      Pyrrol Crimson
      Perylene Maroon
      Burgundy Red Ochre
      Italian Venetian Red
      English Red Earth for the palest shade of Marsala

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi and thanks. I love DS watercolors


        • Welcome. Those are just the largest swatches I have for comparison. No doubt other manufacturers will have other, perhaps even better, matches. 🙂


          • Hope so. Do inks need to match ASTM standards for color?


            • Not that I know of. Paint is more regulated. Have you spent time on handprint.com? It’s the best source of information on watercolors and pigments.


              • handprint is my bible. I love knowing what pigments do on their own. Chemist and doctor’s daughter.


  4. Before deciding on Ruby, three of us compared the main swatch to BSER, Syrah, Red-Black, Montblanc Bordeaux, and FPN Galileo Manuscript. None of them was a match, but all are in the color range. My collection certainly doesn’t have every ink that resembles Marsala, but BSER and Red-Black represent the extremes of the swatches from subtle and soft to saturated and deep. Either one will do.


  5. […] An Ink To Match The Pantone Color Of The Year Pantone recently announced the color for 2015 which is called Marsala. Monitors being finicky and fickle creatures, consider these colors approximations. It is… […]


  6. Wow, it takes a discontinued ink to match this Pantone colour. Did you think of mixing inks to get this shade? A lot of work, I know.


    • There might be an ink I don’t have that would match Marsala better than Penman Ruby. It’s simply the closest one in my collection.

      Mixing watercolors is great fun. Mixing ink colors is less appealing because inks can clog pens and play other nasty tricks. I like mine straight from the bottle. More predictable and less hassle. However, if someone comes up with a formula, I would be willing to publish it with caveats of course.


  7. […] you know what is 2015’s Pantone Colour of the Year? Head over to Inkophile’s to check it out. Also check out the fountain pen ink which she has picked to match it […]


  8. J. Herbin Terre de Feu seems close


    • My sample has wandered off, but Terre de Feu does seem close if a bit less red than some of the Marsala swatches. It is readily available and that’s a big plus. Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂


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