Friday, February 5, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 111, Open Forum

Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.

This week I'm talking about architect nibs, slippery grips and the strangest requests we've ever gotten in order comments at Goulet Pens. Enjoy!

Pens/Writing - (11:11)

1) Katie B.- Facebook - (11:29)
I also suffer from oily hand syndrome and am becoming a little frustrated with slippery grips. I'm curious as to which fountain pens would be more pleasureable to write with for those with oily hands? I hope to own a Visconti Homo Sapiens Dark Ages one day and know it would be bloody beaut' to write with.... but until then... Any suggestions? All price range options would be great!

2) Pato W.- Facebook - (17:53)
(asked 27 questions!) Is there such thing as a fountain pen with a glow in the dark body?

  • honestly, I have never seen one!

3) Pato W.- Facebook - (19:26)
Could you please explain what an architect nib is?

  • It’s like a stub nib, but turned 90 degrees
  • broad cross-stroke, narrow down-stroke
  • no manufacturer offers them that I’m aware
  • has become more popular from a few nibmeisters recently
  • difficult and time-consuming to do

4) Magali H. -Facebook - (22:24)
How come gouletpens does not sell Caran D'Ache fountain pens? Are there any plans to do so?
  • haven’t been asked about them a lot
  • they’re very expensive, and very high quality
  • no immediate plans unless people start banging down our doors

Ink - (23:54)

5) Beth S. -Facebook - (23:54)
Are you aware of any white or light colored inks that would write on dark paper and envelopes?
  • these are where pigmented inks really need to come in
  • fountain pen/dye based inks don’t really do well on dark paper
  • the only I’ve seen is the new white De Atramentis Document Ink, but even that’s fairly milky
  • Noodler’s whiteness of the whale, an attempt at it, anyway
  • a white gel pen would work way better here

Business - (26:08)

6) Kenneth C. - Facebook - (26:17)
How much do you think it hurts your business that there are sellers in various countries that are undercutting the prices that you're able to offer? For example, I've seen Japanese sellers on eBay and Amazon that are selling the VP and 3776 Century for under $100 (with shipping). Is this something that concerns you as you look to the future? Do you think that they're significantly cutting into your sales by bypassing import/export rules? Thanks!
  • it’s definitely something that I know affects me, not sure how much though
  • it’s not just overseas, it’s domestic, too
  • there will always be someone cheaper, always
  • sometimes you have to watch out, they might be fakes, grey market (not warranted), mis-represented, used
  • it is pretty frustrating, because they’re not educating or servicing these pens at all
  • I put out good free content like this Q&A, they undercut me and take your business away, I end up losing

7) Ashley K.- Facebook - (54:28)
The more the GPC grows, which aspect of your mission of proving online business can be personal is the most challenging to maintain? Staffing, social media, video/photography, something else? Ink Drop in and of itself must be a monster now! I know I'm not the only one impressed by the caliber of work the Goulet team puts out there in every area! 

  • all of it is hard!
  • The handwritten notes is really tough
  • do the math, it’s really expensive to do them, but there are so many untraceable benefits
  • staffing is super intentional, training takes a long time
  • keeping our “soul” as we grow, that is tough as we are less involved in some areas
  • social media is really tough, especially with different styles

8) Pato W.- Facebook - (1:03:34)
What’s the oddest request you guys have had in the special requests section? 

  • drawing requests for sure
  • started with Reddit, drawing dinosaurs on invoices
  • request to write a note without using the letter “e” 
  • specific patterns or color ratios of swirls on Noodler’s pens
  • specific flow on a pen

Troubleshooting- (01:10:36)

9) Daniel D. -Facebook - (01:10:38)
While rinsing out the cap of my Pilot Custom 823, some water got trapped behind the inner rubber seal. Because this pen is a demonstrator, you can see the water that is trapped inside the cap whenever you look at the pen. Do you know of an easy way to temporarily remove the rubber seal so that you can clean out and dry up any water (or ink) that gets trapped behind it?
  • yup! I'll show you how

QOTW: What pen has the absolute best grip for you and why? - (01:13:05)

Thanks so much for joining me this week! Stay warm all of you who are getting hit with the big snow storm! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Diamine Night Sky: Ink Review

Hey there ink lovers!

Madigan here, reviewing the fabulous Diamine Night Sky ink, one of the many sparkling inks from the Shimmertastic collection. Margaret used this ink in her Monday Matchup a couple weeks ago and I was able to snag a sample to try out. I wasn't expecting to fall in love with this ink- I usually go for brighter shades like oranges or burgundies (see my Ink Sample Package Set if you don't believe me!). However, while this ink is black, it has extra special silver sparkles. This made the ink so much more exciting to me! Read on to find out more.

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):
  • Long- This ink had a really long dry time. After 30 seconds it was still very noticeably smearing making it less than ideal for fast writing sessions. If you're taking notes, you may want to go with an ink that is a bit more dry.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):
  • Low- This ink turned into a huge mess when water was applied. The lines disappeared, but the pigment stayed behind making weird swirls. Could be good for art and ink washes, but not ideal if you're looking for your writing to stick around. 

  • Medium-This ink has a dark hue, but there was still a difference between the first and second swab. I think you would have seen more, but the sheen overpowers the pigment.

Ease of Cleaning:
  • Medium- Despite the shimmer particles, this ink was relatively easy to clean out of the pen. The dark hue makes a few more flushes necessary, but all in all, not too bad.

  • Low- While this ink is sparkles beautifully, it is not a shader.

  • Medium- Despite the long dry time, this ink doesn't gush from the pen. It does have a steady flow and is pleasant to write with.

Packaging and Aesthetics:
  • 50ml glass bottle with 2ml ink samples also available. 
  • A taller, skinny bottle with a medium size opening. Could be difficult to get the very last drops from the bottom. Nice label! 
  •  Comes in a matching box. Nice opening experience.

This ink is awesome. Subtle, almost graphite shimmer when laid on thick, a nice smoky black when the shimmer isn't coming through as strong. It's literally the only ink on the market that combines silver flakes with black ink. The result is an ink that is serious, but also seriously fun. I can see this being a great work ink (probably not if you work in a law office, but in a more creative place, it should go over well). It has enough personality to make it stand out without being over the top. Say yes to this one- you won't be disappointed.

Diamine Night Sky is available at Gouletpens.com in a 50ml bottle for $20 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.50.

Do you have a favorite black ink? Why do you like it? 

Write on,

Thursday Things: Lucky Red

Red is courageous, intense, highly visible, and frankly, sometimes a little intimidating. It is the color commonly used for urgency, such as on stop signs, traffic lights, and fire engines. For that reason, it can be difficult to incorporate into our day-to-day writing. However, it truly is a show stopping color that deserves a little love! In China, Red is meant to represent good luck and prosperity. Pair it with some gold accents for a touch of sophistication and you'll be writing with an elegant duo.

Shop this week's entire collection here. Featured products from left to right:

Apica CD-7 Notebook - Red, $1.80
Atelier Gargoyle Sealing Wax - Gold, $6
Diamine Red Lustre (50ml bottle), $20
Maruman Mnemosyne N180 A5 Imagination Notepad, $13
Karas Kustoms Fountain Pen - Ink, Red with Brass Grip, $95
Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen - Red/Gold, $148
Visconti Opera Master Fountain Pen - Crimson Tide, Ruthenium Trim, $995
Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen - Bourgogne, $176
Jinhao x450 Fountain Pen - Red/Gold, $9.90
Platinum Balance Fountain Pen - Wine Red, $43.20
J. Herbin Rouge Hematite (50ml bottle), $26
Apica CD-10 Notebook - Red, $2.80
Aurora Ipsilon Fountain Pen - Red, $99
Maruman Mnemosyne N192 B7 Notepad, $2.40

Aurora Ipsilon Fountain Pen - Red
Karas Kustoms Fountain Pen - Ink, Red with Brass Grip
Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen - Red/Gold
J. Herbin Rouge Hematite (50ml bottle)
Jinhao x450 Fountain Pen - Red/Gold
Visconti Opera Master Fountain Pen - Crimson Tide, Ruthenium Trim
Maruman Mnemosyne Notepads

Do you feel an aversion to red pens and ink?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company

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