Posts Tagged ‘Namiki Blue Ink’


Flex Nibs And Ink Characteristics


When it comes to ink, color grabs us first. Whether the jewel-toned dual colors that have emerged in recent years or the traditional single colored inks that have been around forever, it is the property we prize the most. But what else does fountain pen ink have to offer?

Prior to the introduction of inks that sheen and shimmer, more subtle characteristics like shading and outlining (sometimes called haloing) received the attention and praise of aficionados. They are natural properties of some inks that can lend the written word a very unique look.

Shading happens when ink pools usually at the bottom of a letter. The higher concentration of ink produces a deeper shade than the upper portion. Outlining is a thin, dark line around a letter and is less common than shading. Flex nibs produce it best though wide nibs can do it, too.

Writing examples that illustrate shading and outlining.

Noodler’s Standard Flex and Apache Sunset

Platinum Century FF and Iroshizuku fuyu-syogun

Namiki Falcon SF and Diamine Mediterranean Blue

Noodler’s Standard Flex and Australian Roses

Noodler’s Konrad and Blue Nose Bear

Namiki Falcon SF and Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan

Noodler’s Dostoyevsky

Esterbrook 9128 with Namiki Blue

Platinum Music Nib and Diamine Sepia


Diamine Sepia will outline well, but paper may matter more with it than the other inks.

There are too many inks on the market these days to test them all so my list is rather short. You may find inks you already own will outline when used with a soft or flexible nib. There are a few relatively inexpensive fountain pens that would be up to the task of testing ink, but in that category, I only have experience with Noodler’s Standard Flex Pen. It might be better called a soft nib, but it will, with a little practice, produce enough line variation to tease an outline from an ink that is so inclined.

A thread at FPN offers more suggestions. I have used a few of the inks mentioned but have experienced different results or at least less dramatic results. Diamine Wild Strawberry is a case in point. It is excellent in my Platinum Century Nice medium nib with good performance all around. Though it produces crisp edges, the outlines are so close in color to the ink, that they are only discernable under magnification. Thus it outlines but not in a meaningful way. Some of the other inks mentioned in the FPN thread look promising and several are truly dazzling especially those from Robert Oster and Blackstone.

Does outlining appeal to you? Let me know if you discover an ink that does it well. Not that my ink collection needs to be expanded, but for outlining, I could make an exception or two.



An Esterbrook 9128 Has A Date With Namiki Blue Ink


Namiki Blue ink is the standard ink for more than a few fountain pen users. It even works well at flex writing. But there’s a catch and it will be a deal-breaker for some pens.

Namiki Blue, Esterbrook Deluxe Pen, Miguelrius Notebook

The deep blue color leans slightly blue-black which makes it suitable for almost any business environment. Mild shading and outlining make this ink intriguing to use. It exhibits average show-through on Miguelrius from a fine nib but significant show-through with a wet nib. That performance is comparable to other pens and inks so I wouldn’t mark it down for either. Many inks dry a second or two faster so Namiki Blue might not be a first choice for lefties but I am not a good judge of that.

Esterbrook Deluxe and Parker '51' Aerometric

There is one caveat. My Esterbrook Deluxe SM, the model that closely resembles my navygray Parker ’51’ Aero, now has several Namiki Blue ink stains. Not a pretty sight. So be careful when using it in a pale colored pen.

Namiki Blue on Miguelrius

Last night the 9128 flex nib got properly acquainted with Miguelrius paper. Very nice, indeed. The nib has an extremely sharp tip but the combination of ink and paper tamed its tendency to dig in too much. The ink flow is just right and did its best to prevent any railroad tracks. Not that the nib doesn’t deserve the lion’s share of the credit, but a helpful ink is, well, helpful.

Too bad the staining issue will keep Namiki Blue and the Estie from future dates. It was fun while it lasted.

Namiki Blue Ink

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