With over 350 inks at my disposal, I plan to do a lot of ink reviews! Here is a sample review of Lamy Turquoise with an explanation of each of the components of my format:

1) Ink Name– name of the ink being reviewed, size of the bottle it comes in
2) Pen and nib size being used for the review, this will change for each review
3) Paper being used, this will stay constant
4) Smear Test– this is meant to help me determine the dry time of the ink. Of course this varies greatly on the pen, paper, and amount of pressure that I use when writing. This isn’t my favorite test, because it can vary so much, so I’ll use it interpretively to determine my own conclusion about the dry time
5) Drip Test– this test is to determine the water resistance of the ink on paper. It simulates dripping a couple of drops of water, tea, coffee, or whatever on your writing
6) Swab Test– this is to show the degree of saturation and shading of the ink. I do 3 swabs, the first one starting at the 1 and going across the page. The second starts at the 2 and goes across the page, over the previous swab. The 3rd swab is the same as the second, starting at the number 3. You can use these swabs to get an idea of how saturated the ink is, by seeing the difference in the three swabs
7) Dry Time– I estimate the dry time with this pen/paper combo, and come up with a loose interpretation based on my experience as a whole with that ink
8) Saturation– this is the degree of intensity of the color, the more saturated the more vibrant and opaque the color will appear on the paepr. The more saturated the ink, usually the longer it takes to dry and the more effort it takes to clean
9) Water resistance– the drip test about sums this one up, but I wanted to write it out anyway
10) Ease of Cleaning– it’s important to know how easy the ink is to clean out of the pen, so I thought I’d share my experience here
11) Shading– I rate the intensity of the variation in color based on my writing
12) Flow– usually called dry or wet, this refers to the delivery of the ink from the pen’s reservoir to the paper. Dry flow causes lighter color and a thinner line, wet flow causes darker ink and a broader line on the page

I’ve tried time and time again to start up ink reviews and I’ve always built them up into such a daunting project that I am not able to continue them. I’m really hoping that this new limited format will be concise and useful, while also being less of a burden on me to produce. Let me know what you think!