Friday, April 29, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 121, 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.

In this episode, I talk about why you would ever need more than two fountain pens, if legal pads ruin your nibs, and what I do to prevent getting scammed!

New/Upcoming Products - (3:21)

Pens/Writing - (9:11)

1) @Tudor109- Twitter - (9:17)
What is the justification for owning more than 2 fountain pens? Love them, want more, but can't justify the $
  • You’re asking the wrong guy (or maybe, exactly the right guy!) 
  • It’s the same reason you justify owning more than 2 of anything beyond just its basic function 
  • bottom line, you just love it and that’s all the justification you need 
  • for me personally, it’s entertainment, personal enjoyment, maybe a little bit of brag factor (esp on social media), collectibility, and a bit of incentive/reward for goal achievement 
  • some people may actually “need” multiples, for different colors of ink loaded up at once (teachers, writers, cartoonists, etc) 
  • others may just collect them, like stamps, coins, dolls, whatever 
  • there’s a historical component, especially with vintage pens 
  • there’s certainly a social component, especially when you get into collecting, repair, etc

2) Hugh C.- Email - (16:45)
I have been eyeing the Kaweco AL-Sport because it seems like a durable pen that would easily survive my pocket or bag. However, I was wondering how well you think it would survive in a drop test sort of scenario. My TWSBI Eco had survived drops, but it has a lot of ugly scratches to show it. I am a student who can be very clumsy and drop things, so I would want to get a pen that would be a one-time purchase because of durability. My friend has the VERY durable Karas Kustoms Fountain K, except I think the AL-Sport looks a lot cooler, and would rather buy that.
  • I haven’t thrown this across the parking lot yet (though I’m tempted to!) like the Karas Custom 
  • I think it’d hold up really well, it’s solid metal 
  • The Eco is plastic, so of course it will scratch 
  • The coated ones (like the black or blue) will scratch, the brass or Raw one will hold up best 

Ink - (21:26)

3) John S.- Facebook - (21:30)
In your opinion, what's the best bottle of ink to put on my desk at work to say bam! I use fountain pens

Paper - (25:06)

4) Julian M.- Facebook - (25:07)
Will I ruin the smoothness of my nib by writing on paper of lesser quality (e.g. legal pads)?
  • technically, yes! 
  • Will it happen soon enough for you to notice? Probably not 
  • paper is abrasive, and will wear down the hard tipping of a nib over time 
  • the rougher the paper, the faster it’ll wear down the tip 
  • You might be talking about 10 years instead of 15 (with heavy use), or something like that 
  • all in all, it’s not significant enough of a factor to be the sole reason to change your paper, it’s more important that you enjoy the feel and the look of the ink on the page 

Business - (29:30)

5) poundcakeshuffle- YouTube - (29:33)
I see scams posted on YT, for example someone purchases a $400 tablet and returns it. The seller receives back a $175 tablet that is broken as the return. My question is what is your company's return/exchange/credit policy and how does your company protect itself from scams?
  • We have our return policy updated on our site, just in case you’re watching this later and we’ve changed anything, so check there first 
  • 90-day returns, for whatever reason 
  • full reimbursement on new condition products, just get it back to us 
  • we cover shipping if it’s our mistake, a defect, or damaged in transit 
  • if you ink up your pen we’ll still take it, minus 10% for cleaning/restocking fee (we have to discount it at that point, too, since it’s not new anymore) 
  • no returns on used ink or paper, or closeout/bottom shelf items (some exceptions) 
  • bottom line, we’re pretty easy to work with 
  • Trust is our currency…this community is really great, and for the few times we might be taken advantage of, we more than make up for it with the speed and ease of trust 
  • we do get frauded up front, that some with the turf 
  • we have an enterprise-level fraud detection system in place which helps, but inevitably there are some bad people out there 
  • it’s not enough to really stress about, otherwise I’d be paranoid and treat everyone like a thief and I just can’t live like that! 

6) Kevin G.-Facebook - (35:27)
How "aware" are you of other retailers around the world? (Not in like an espionage way) What I mean is, do you do research on them and see what they carry and their strategies? would you avoid a product if you know there lots of retailers carrying it already; would you go for a product because you know not many other retailers have them?
  • I’m generally aware, but I don’t spend any significant amount of my time watching what anyone else does 
  • most of my feedback comes from the community! people asking us to carry things, telling us where else they see it 
  • I can’t place my finger on most retailers’ strategies, I’d have to make a lot of assumptions there and it wouldn’t do me a lot of good because I’d rather focus on my strengths and what makes sense for my company 
  • when it comes to carrying a product though, I will definitely consider it if others aren’t carrying it 
  • that’s a double-edge sword though: sometimes no one carries something because it’s new or undiscovered, sometimes it’s because there’s no demand for it an no one cares! 

Troubleshooting - (45:22)

7) Beth S.- Facebook - (45:23)
When filling a converter via the ink syringe method, I find that it takes a long time and can be difficult to get the ink started. Any tips on how to get writing more quickly and easily?
  • That’s because the feed isn’t primed, it’s the same way with a new cartridge 
  • try dipping the nib in the bottle to get it going 
  • force ink down the feed with the converter 

QOTW: What is your live video streaming channel of choice? With Katch.me winding down, Periscope plateauing a bit, Facebook Live now available, and YouTube streaming available, there are several avenues for streaming video. Which have you used and prefer? - (50:25)

Thanks so much for joining me this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Platinum Blue Black: Ink Review

Hey guys! Jenni here. This week, I am taking a closer look at my most recent Monday Matchup ink, Platinum Blue-Black. If you read the blog for Monday Matchup, you know just how much I love the April rain. I wanted to pick a match that would be well suited for a dreary downpour, while still being light and fun, so I paired a Monteverde Limonada in Milano Black with Platinum Blue-Black. The ink was everything I wanted and more. Its subtle blue hues mixed with its light shading gives this ink a little something extra when compared to other blue black inks. Read on to learn more about this modern iron gall, water resistant ink!

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):
  • Slow -  If you are a fan of fast drying inks, this one might not be the one for you. This ink has a dry time of over 30 seconds. When testing the ink, I found that I had to be pretty careful not to smudge or smear the ink as I was waiting for it to dry. Left handed side writers beware! You may have some trouble using this ink because of the long dry time. 
    Drip Test (Water Resistance):
    • High - Water will wash away some of the color from the page when it is applied but it is still considered a water resistant ink. Your writing will still be readable, but might be a little lighter than when you first applied it to the page. 
    • Low - If you are going for a brighter blue hue of this ink, make sure you put a lot of it down on the page. This inks saturation is quite low. When using thinner nibs, you will most likely see a lighter, paler version of the ink. When using broader nibs, it will produce a richer, deeper color that resembles more of a royal blue than a black.  

    Ease of Cleaning:
    • Hard- This ink is a modern iron gall ink. Iron gall inks can be harder to clean because of the wear and tear they can take on nibs and other parts of the pen. If the ink is cleaned out often, you should be fine, but take care not to leave it in your pen for extended periods of time. 
    • Medium - I found that this ink does come with some shading but you see it most when using thinner nibs. In broader nibs, the shading is a lot less noticeable because you are putting down more ink throughout more of the writing. With thinner nibs, you can see the ink pooling up in parts of the letters, creating a color variation throughout the lines. 
    • Medium - I was able to use this ink in two different pens and I found the flow to be different with each one. In the Limonada, I found that this ink had some hard starts and skipping but once I used some pressure in the pen, it flowed seamlessly. In the Lamy Al-Star (M), the flow was much more consistent but it seemed a bit dry. When using a broader nib on the Lamy, the flow was wonderful and didn't seem quite as dry writing as it did with the Medium nib.

    Packaging and Aesthetics:
    • Rounded 60ml glass bottle with squared off bottom. 
    • Bottle has a medium sized opening that is easy to fill from. 
    • Bottle comes with an inkwell inside for easy filling. Flip the bottle upside down to fill the inkwell, then fill your pen from inside the inkwell to get every last drop out of the bottle. 
    • Also available in cartridges and 2ml ink samples. 
    Inks similar in color:

    There aren't too many inks that are the exact hue of this subtle blue black but you can get the same deep blue results with all of these similar choices!

    This subtle shade of blue works in so many environments! It is safe for work, safe for play, and safe for the everyday. Just remember that you may need to clean it out more often than some of your other inks because it is an iron gall. If you've been wondering what a modern iron gall ink is like, but been too scared of what it will do to your pen, this one might be a great first one to try.

    I really enjoyed writing with this ink and experiencing all the little quirks about it. It gives a little bit of shading, is water resistant, and can range in color from a light pale blue to a deep royal blue. What's not to like?

    You can find a 60ml bottle of Platinum Blue Black available for $20, a pack of cartridges for $7, and a 2ml ink sample available for $1.55 at Gouletpens.com.

    Do you prefer your inks to be subtle and quiet or vibrant and bold? Comment below with your favorite inks for both.

    Write on,

    Thursday Things: Lilac and Gold

    Purple and gold fountain pens, paper, and ink products neatly arranged in a flat lay with lilac flowers.

    The day that many have been waiting for since the 2016 Special Edition Lamy Safari color was announced (maybe even before that for some purple fans out there) has finally arrived! The Lamy Safari Dark Lilac has taken the Goulet Pen Company by storm. Our website and office were a flurry with the release on Tuesday and we have channeled that excited frenzy into this week's Thursday Things. This week's collection is a wonderful menagerie of Lilac and Gold pens and inks that mimic the excitement we've all shared over this gorgeous special edition pen and ink. 

    Featured products clockwise:
    Check out our shopping guide here to shop the complete list of these products.

    Want to catch up on past Thursday Things collections? Check out our Thursday Things library

    Pearlized Purple Edison Nouveau Premiere fountain pen neatly arranged in a flat lay with lilac flowers.
    Edison Nouveau Premiere Fountain Pen – Pearlized Purple
    Gold Karas Kustoms Ink fountain pen neatly arranged in a flat lay with lilac flowers.
    Karas Kustoms Ink Fountain Pen – Gold
    Lamy Safari Dark Lilac fountain pen neatly arranged in a flat lay with lilac flowers.
    Lamy Safari Fountain Pen - Dark Lilac
    Purple Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo fountain pen neatly arranged in a flat lay with lilac flowers.
    Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo Fountain Pen - Purple
    Purple and gold fountain pens, paper, and ink products neatly arranged in a flat lay with lilac flowers.

    What's your go to purple or gold ink and pen pairing? 

    Write on,
    The Goulet Pen Company Team

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