Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pilot Metropolitan Animal Prints

Pilot has just released some new designs of their Metropolitan pen, in animal prints! Okay, bear with me, I know your imagination can run wild with that, so just watch the video and you'll see what I'm talking about. I really aimed to show the similarities and differences between these new colors and the existing ones.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

7 Perfect Inks, Pens, and Paper for Novel Writers

This blog post was written by Katy Campbell, one of our Goulet Team Members and customer service woman extraordinaire! 

Want to write your masterpiece without being a slave to the computer screen? You’re not alone. Customers tell us all the time how using a fountain pen brings the joy back to writing. If you’re looking to do any sort of long-form writing, or you’re even participating in the annual National Novel Writers Month, here are our top picks for products to make your words, and ink, flow flawlessly.

Manuscript Paper – Leuchtturm1917 Master

For novel writing, the Leuchtturm1917 Master is the way to go. It offers all the pages you need to detail your sonnets, prose, and other works of literary genius. The Leuchtturm1917 features a whopping 233 pages of lined, blank, dot, or graph ivory paper that doesn’t bleed. Each page is numbered and there’s even an index in the front so that you can section off chapters or different projects. Plus, there’s a pocket for you to keep notes and bits of inspiration. Another nice feature is that the last few pages are perforated, so you can brainstorm away without worrying about muddling your manuscript. The Leuchtturm1917 is the perfect escape from the keyboard. Take a step back and enjoy writing in the same way as your favorite classics.

Fountain Pen – Low Price Point – Pilot Metropolitan

Let’s talk about a classic pen that is worthy of your craft. The Pilot Metropolitan is one of our favorite pens to recommend and it is the perfect way to dip your nib into the world of fountain pens. It has a classy yet utilitarian feel to it. It is what we like to call a workhorse. At $15.00, the Metropolitan is the easiest way to invest in a new hobby. The Metropolitan comes with a cartridge converter that will allow you to use all of the lovely bottled inks available. If the ideas are pouring and the ink is flowing it will be hard to put this one down.

Fountain Pen – Medium Price Point - Lamy Al-Star

If you are looking for a great beginner pen that will stick with you through the end, the Lamy Al-Star is all that you need. It is one of the most popular models for first-time fountain pen users. It has a lightweight modern feel that won’t bog you down during long writing sessions. And if you are writing a novel in a month you know there will be long writing sessions.

Fountain Pen – Higher Price Point – Monteverde Invincia

The Monteverde Invincia is just that — invincible. It is classic, hefty, and ready to write whenever you are. The Invincia is a statement and investment into your craft. When you stroke the final sentence, be sure to take a picture of this beautiful pen on the title page. It’s sure to inspire a conversation wherever you share it.

Fountain Pen Ink – Basic Black – Noodler’s Black

Simple, black, and waterproof. Noodler’s Black is one of the most popular black inks available. It is easy to write with and won’t budge once you lay it down onto the page. The bottle arrives literally filled to the brim with potential (so be careful when you open it). We dare you to write long enough that you use this entire bottle in a month.

Fountain Pen Ink – Color - Diamine Ancient Copper

Who says you have to write with black ink? One of the benefits of using a fountain pen is experimenting with color. Diamine Ancient Copper will harken back in time and your manuscript will have a warm antique feel. The deep brown color will often vary in shade between each letter from “Once upon a time” to “The End”.

Fountain Pen Ink – Scented - De Atramentis Plum

For the ultimate writing pleasure, why not try a scented ink? De Atramentis Plum will add an extra element to your writing experience that you can only get with a fountain pen. The scent is purely for your own enjoyment. As you pass your book off to the editor and your readers, they will only see the unique deep blue color and the smell will fade away. It will really tap into your senses and every time you smell plums you will remember how good it felt to pour out your thoughts onto the page.

Of course these are just some of our favorites. There are millions of different combinations of pens, ink, and paper for you to experiment with. The most important thing is that you feel inspired!

So, how about you? What do you keep at your desk when you want to sit down and write for a while? Let's talk about it in the comments.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

TWSBI VAC-700 Price Drop

It's not often that a manufacturer will drop the price of a pen, usually you see increases! But TWSBI has just announced the price drop of their VAC-700 pen, and it's a pretty nice one. Previously, they were available for $80 (standard nibs) and $85 (stub nibs), but the price has been cut by $15, so they are now $65 (standard nibs) and $70 (stub nibs).

Everything else on the pen is exactly the same, only the price has changed. Why? Well, that's a good question. We were told that it was to get the price more in line with the Vac Mini, which is to be released in early 2014. Since the TWSBI 580 and TWSBI Mini are close in price,  so they wanted to get the Vacs closer in price, too.

Now I'm a retailer so take what I say with that in mind, but I have been a fan of the Vac-700 all along, and now that it's $15 cheaper it's just an incredible buy. I've done a slew of videos on this pen, check them all out here:

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, October 28, 2013

Platinum Carbon Desk Pen

There's a neat little pen that I recently discovered, called the Platinum Carbon Desk Pen. Put simply, it's a $12 extra-fine nib Japanese fountain pen, that can use pigmented ink like the Platinum Carbon Black that is included with it (in a single cartridge). There's really one reason why you'd want this pen, and that's to write really, really fine. You can see how it compares to other nibs in the Nib Nook.

It's an attractive pen, but by itself it's more function over form. The cap that is included with the pen leaves a little to be desired, but c'mon, it's cheap. If you want to jazz it up, then you can get the base for it, and that's going to run you an extra $20. It's not a super-heavy base, but it definitely gets the job done. It has some kind of cap insert in the base, so it does seal the nib of the pen. I only tested it for a couple of days and the pen started up just fine, I'm not sure how long it would last sitting in that base before the nib would dry out. But it seems to do the job, and I kind of like the look of it!

Platinum Carbon Desk Pen, extra-fine steel nib.
Platinum Carbon Desk Pen Base, sold separately from the pen. 

So here are some of my thoughts:

  • Inexpensive- $12 for the pen, an extra $20 for the base (not needed to use the pen, though). Even $32 for both, that's pretty good.
  • Very fine nib- it's a Japanese extra-fine, and it lives up!
  • Attractive- it looks like it costs more than it does
  • Writes well- flows consistently, and is pretty smooth (with some feedback, like most Platinum nibs)
  • Cap isn't postable- because of the long body
  • Converter isn't included, that's an extra $7.50
  • Only available in one color, one nib size
  • Cap is pretty ugly!

Even with these cons, it's such a great writing pen for the price. Of course I'm a retailer and I sell these pens, so take what I say with that into account. But honestly, I'm impressed, and I don't even like pens with fine nibs like these for my own daily writing. I've actually taken one of these guys for use on my own desk.

Platinum Carbon Desk Pen Set, the pen with the base. 

I don't think this is a pen that typically gets a lot of fanfare. I don't even remember ever seeing it or reading about it before I discovered it in my Platinum catalog. Rachel first mentioned to me, "hey, did you know Platinum has this pen with an extra-fine nib?". That's all it took, and now I have it in my hands and in our store! We carry the pen, the base, and a package set with both together with a bit of a price break.

If you have any experience with this pen or any questions about it, I'd love to hear it in the comments below!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Friday, October 25, 2013

Goulet Q&A Episode 10, Open Forum

Three weeks ago I asked you to take a short survey so that I could know which blog/video efforts I've tried have been most impactful for you. I received 186 responses, which is incredible! Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to give me such meaningful and thoughtful feedback. I wanted to share just a few of the results with you from the survey that I thought you'd find most interesting. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Goulet Q&A Episode 9: Paper and Notebooks

Here is another episode of Goulet Q&A, our 9th one so far! This one is a little bit longer at 51 minutes, because I had a lot of really good questions about paper and notebooks that I wanted to answer. I kick off the video recapping on last week's episode. Here are this week's questions:

Changes to the Monteverde Nighthawk

**Update** We no longer carry the Monteverde Nighthawk

The Monteverde Invincia Deluxe Nighthawk is a pen that is near and dear to my heart, as it's one I helped design with Monteverde. However, there are some slight design tweaks that needed to be made, and I wanted to share with you what those are. These are purely aesthetic changes, and don't at all affect the function of the pen:

The weave of the carbon fiber- originally, there was a slightly fatter carbon fiber weave diamond pattern, but it has been changed to a tighter weave square pattern. You may not have even been able to tell the difference without seeing them side-by-side. This change was made in order to help improve quality control in the manufacturing process.

Logo on the cap finial- on the original, there was minimal branding on the pen, to keep the sleekness of the pen to its highest level. This is something Monteverde allowed for me in the first two batches of pens, but in order to keep with consistency with the rest of their pen line, they wanted to logo the cap finial. It wasn't a big deal to me, as the logo is a black silkscreen and is very subtle. That will just make the original pens that much more special!

Branding on the center band- on the original, all the pen said on the center band was "Monteverde USA", but it will now also say the full model of the pen "Invincia Deluxe Nighthawk". It's in black silkscreen like all of the other logos, so it looks slick and doesn't detract from the stealthiness of the pen.

Green box- the original batch of 120 pens came with a special black and red box, and I announced in the original video that it was limited. From here on out, the Nighthawks will be shipped in the green and white box that all other Monteverde pens do.

The Nighthawk has been a bit of an elusive beast, this order that came in yesterday has only been the third order we've ever received, in 5 months. And this is on an exclusive pen...so we know it has been frustrating for you if you've wanted one. We did just get in another order, and while we may sell out of these soon, we're supposed to be getting more in a few weeks. The Nighthawk is $108 at Gouletpens.com, and is available in fine, medium, broad, and 1.1mm stub. For more detailed information on the pen, see here

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Black Pilot Vanishing Point Nibs

Pilot has released black-plated nibs for the Vanishing Point, Fermo, and Decimo (though, unfortunately, the Decimo is not distributed in US). These nibs are identical to the yellow gold and rhodium-plated nibs, made of 18k gold and plated with an undisclosed black metal material. Available in EF, F, M, and B sizes, these nibs will perform the same as the other VP nibs but give you a sleek, dark look to your VP. I show off the nib in several different VP's in this video.

The black color does look somewhat similar to the rhodium at first glance, but trust me, in person the difference is more striking. Here are the three VP nib color options:

Vanishing Point colors that I think look best with black nibs:
Pens that fit these nibs:

The black Vanishing Point nibs cost the same as the gold and rhodium nibs, $75.70 MSRP ($61 at Gouletpens.com, my store). What's great about these nibs is they are easily swappable between the pens mentioned above, so you can keep a variety of nib size and colors handy and change up your pens with ease.

What do you think of the new black nibs?

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, October 14, 2013

Refills That Fit A Passport Midori Traveler's Notebook

Tyler and I messed around with a little bit different video format this time, and we'd really love to hear what you think about it. We still got across everything we wanted, but with the way we edited it we took what normally would have taken about 7-8 minutes and got it into 4 minutes. Please let us know what you think in the comments below!

I've been asked more than a couple of times how a Banditapple Peewee fits in a Midori Traveler's Notebook in Passport size. This question was the inspiration for this blog post, though I've been asked many times what other notebooks (if any) will also fit. Once I started grabbing all kinds of notebooks off the shelf, I realized that the Banitapple Peewee is similar in size to several other popular notebooks that would also fit, such as:
There may be other notebooks out there that fit well, and if so I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. These are just the notebooks that I have on hand to compare. 

I did snap some quick pics showing the Midori Passport refill and Banditapple Peewee together, so you can see the fit:

Midori refill (blue) is 89mm x 124mm, and the Banitapple Peewee is 90mm x 140mm, just a bit taller.

Midori refill (blue) in front of a Banitapple Peewee, to show the difference in size

Banditapple Peewee inside the Traveler's Notebook, sticks out slightly above and below.

It's really not too bad, but it's definitely noticeable.

Here's the same pic without my pen in the way.

So yes, you technically can use the Banitapple Peewee notebooks in the Midori Traveler's Notebook in Passport size. It'll save you a little bit of money, as the Peewee is $3.50 and the Midori Passport refills are $4.20, you just have to decide for yourself if the $0.70 is worth the tradeoff. The Peewee comes in blank, graph, lined, and a weekly planner. The Midori comes with all those, plus a monthly planner and an "MD paper" version, which is just paper made by a different company than the others.

In my opinion, the two notebooks aren't drastically different from each other in terms of performance with fountain pen inks, but some of you may have better experience with one or another based on your ink and nib preferences. But at least now you know how it fits, and that it is a viable option to use these in the Traveler's Notebook.

Other notebooks may have certain features that you like better or worse than the Midori refills, so you'll have to use your own judgment about which will work best for you. Me personally, I actually like the Midori refills. I'm a huge fan of Rhodia and Clairefontaine, though for a notebook like this it's actually not the worst thing to have a paper with a little more tooth, a little faster dry time. What I do is keep a cut sheet of blotting paper as a bookmark, and it absorbs any extra ink as I close the notebook if I'm writing on the go. Works like a champ.

If you have any questions or feedback for me about these notebooks, just let me know in the comments below!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Friday, October 11, 2013

Goulet Q&A Episode 8, Inside the Goulet Minds

This week's Goulet Q&A episode is Inside the Goulet Minds, where we took questions about how we started our company, and why we do things the way we do them. We didn't get a lot of questions, but that's quite alright because the ones we did get were really, really good! And we're a bit long-winded anyway so we had no problem filling the time and then some.

If you've ever been curious about how we came about, or if you miss the dynamic that Rachel and I had during our live Write Time broadcasts (now canceled), then you will love this video. Here are this week's questions:

1) Rori Rants- email (3:38):
Did Goulet Pens evolve organically from your hobby of turning pens? Or did you and Rachel sit down and create a vision for what you wanted a business to become from the beginning? Did you do work on what you really wanted to do with your lives? Or is Goulet Pens one of those things where opportunity met need and it just "happened".

2) Jessica B.- email (17:14):

Since you are a literal Mom and Pop business, where did you guys meet? You guys have shared a lot of back-story but I don't recall that being addressed. 

3) jordanjay29- Ink Nouveau (25:33):
How do you balance being a parent with being a business owner, and what role, if any, do your kids play in your day-to-day lives at work?

4) Susan_T_meowmda- Ink Nouveau (30:55):
On hindsight, what one thing would you do differently if you were starting your business now?

5) David B.- Facebook (34:52):
Can you share your thoughts on why you do not have (or want) a brick-and-mortar retail store (internet only). 

6) Paul Yeoman- YouTube (43:29):
In the early days of Goulet Pens, did you have a mentor or a business coach? If so, what did he she help you with? If not, how did you learn how to build such a successful business on your own?

  • Books, Gary V., Andy Sernovitz, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Dave Ramsey, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Dale Carnegie, Jim Collins, Clay Christiansen, Simon Sinek, Gary Erickson
Thanks to all of you who asked us questions. The battery died on the camera before we were able to really wrap up, so I will let you know here that next week's Q&A theme will be "Notebooks and Paper". Whatever questions you have about paper for your fountain pens, I will do my best to answer them. Be sure to check out older Q&A videos here, too. 

Paper is a deep, deep rabbit hole, but I will do my best! Just post your questions for next week in the comments below, or you can send an email to GouletQA@gouletpens.com, which is a new email that we've set up specifically for receiving Goulet Q&A questions.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Thursday, October 10, 2013

TWSBI New Product Updates

If you follow TWSBI on their Facebook page, you've probably noticed that they've been very busy getting a slew of new products ready for the holiday season. If not, that's okay - we'll give you an update here!

Keep in mind, all dates are subject to change (delays happen!), and some of the pictures are prototypes and may change too. But this is what we have! All images are from TWSBI's Facebook page.


Black with Rose Gold trim: 

This new beauty is scheduled to be released within a month. It has a solid black barrel and grip, a clear body, but with rose gold trim. The nib has a rose gold plating, too. This will be a bit more expensive, at $70 retail price.

Black & Rose Gold TWSBI 580's currently being manufactured.

A prototype rendering of a white TWSBI 580 with the Rose Gold trim

Yes, 580 colors are coming! These will be released closer to the end of the year and all throughout early next year in phases. Colors depicted on TWSBI's Facebook page include red, orange, yellow, green, and blue, all with clear barrels.

TWSBI 580's in five new colors - orange, blue, yellow, green, and red


We're getting another shipment of clear 580's this Monday, and more will be coming in as we get into the fall. This is a great pen, starting at $50 retail price.

TWSBI 580 clear with a 1.1mm stub italic nib

TWSBI Classic:

This is a new model! Slightly slimmer than the 580, it will come in three solid colors (black, dark blue, and burgundy) with a piston-filling mechanism. It is scheduled to be released in the next 4-6 weeks (mid/late November) and will be $50 retail price.

Testing out the TWSBI Classic in dark blue
A prototype TWSBI Classic in black
Another prototype TWSBI Classic


Another new model, the Eco (short for 'economical'), is scheduled to be released in early 2014. The price and colors are not yet known, but we're guessing in the $25-30 range. It will have a piston-mechanism too.

Testing the TWSBI Eco
Demonstrating how the TWSBI Eco can be posted

TWSBI Vac Mini:

A shorter version of its big brother, the Vac 700, is scheduled for early 2014. Price is expected to be around $65-70.

Rendering of the Vac 700 (left) versus the Vac Mini (right)
Testing out the Vac Mini

That's all the updates for now. What product are YOU most excited about?

Write On,
Rachel Goulet

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ink Drop Reveal: October 2013

We kept up with tradition! This was our fourth year doing the Autumn Leaves fall colors Ink Drop. There is definitely no shortage of beautiful inks to choose from in the red-orange-yellow-brown range, including some nice shaders. We hope you find a few that you love!

Here are the colors we chose:

You'll note that we messed up the Ink Drop insert card, by identifying one of the inks as "Diamine Orange" instead of "Diamine Blaze Orange". We're very sorry about that! Hopefully it didn't cause too much confusion. The most important thing is that we sent the correct ink with a correctly labeled vial, so you definitely should have received the correct color! For fun, you can compare it to Diamine Orange which we used in August.

What colors do you like best?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Goulet Q&A Episode 7, Open Forum

This Q&A was an open forum, so I was just taking any questions that came my way. I had a backlog of some questions I hadn't answered in previous weeks, so this was a great chance for me to answer those. I also wanted to share some thoughts with you about the Pilot Justus 95, and new Beer edition Field Notes.

I also finally revealed the backstory to the Ooze Tubes you've seen me play with but completely avoid discussing in previous Goulet Q&A's! Check it out at (1:52). Be sure to also take the survey that I set up for you to give me feedback about the most effective media outlets I can use to reach you. I'm honestly here for you when I make my videos and blog posts, so I want to make sure that I'm spending my time effectively by producing the type of content that you enjoy most.

Click here to answer 9 short questions that'll confidentially tell me how I can best help you.

1) freddy- Ink Nouveau (5:18):
I am definitely going to be odd person out here but I must post. While I thoroughly enjoyed your Write Time at 9 broadcasts I must admit to being dismayed at these Q&A ones. The Write Time broadcasts were different and with enough surprises to make me attempt to set aside an hour or so during the week to watch them. Your Q&As are much more beneficial to me as reads, not broadcasts (or podcasts or whatever the correct terminology is). I can get through them much much faster as reads than having to stick around for 34+ minutes to glean the information I want and need. The aforementioned Write Time and your current Q&A are two very different animals and, to me, need different presentations. Frankly, I miss Write Time and, especially, Rachel's incredible giggle. (To this day, I am convinced that wonderful little laugh is how she roped you into marriage. ;-) LOL ) All kidding aside, Write Time was open ended with an anything goes attitude. Q&A, on the other hand, offers some serious information and I just want to get to it as fast and easily as possible. The long podcasts (or whatever the official name for those tapes is) simply do not allow for that.

2) Jeremy- Ink Nouveau (9:45):
Brian, I appreciate your work. Can you please release these as audio podcasts so that I can listen to your Q&As in the car as opposed to needing to watch a video. Thanks for considering it.

3) Jael T.- Email (10:45):I have a hankering to purchase a couple of Platinum Preppy's to use as highlighters and rollerball pens. However, I am not fond of the pen logo on the ones that are available for purchase and, from what I've read, it is NOT easy to scrape the logo off of the stamped pens. I really like that fact that Noodler's is able to get them without the logo. Therefore, my question for you is are you able to special order the un-stamped version of this pen, or can you recommend a similar pen in size and weight that has a clear body and can be converted into an eyedropper?
4) Thomas R.- Ink Nouveau (13:45):
For those out there who like to blend their shades of ink together to create their own custom shades - any suggestions? Have you tried blending your own variations?
5) Bourgoisie- Ink Nouveau (16:00):
What nib size do you find yourself using the most? I know these vary depending on the manufacture but do you prefer a thick line or a thinner one?

6) Blue Moon- Ink Nouveau (18:08): 
Hey Brian, didn't you used to carry Kaweco pens? Do you think that you may sell them again? Also, do you think that sometime in the future, you'll increase your selection of Sheaffers? 

7) Nicky- Ink Nouveau (20:36):
I have a crazy plan to have at least one ink in each colour of the rainbow. All other colours have been easy enough but for some reason, I can never seem to find a green or orange ink that I like. The greens are always too dull and the oranges too light for me to see on the page. What colours do you recommend?
8) PapaKuma- Ink Nouveau (21:52):
What pen do you lust over / what is your "holy grail" pen?

9) Andrew M- email (24:32):
What is your current pen rotation schedule like? Being the proverbial kid in the candy shop, how often do you rotate daily writers? How many pens do you have inked at one time? Is there a pen that you always have inked?

10) maltharius- YouTube (27:21):
With all of the inks that you have reviewed and put their paces and all of the pens that you get to play with (and taught us with) - what are you doing with them? Are you writing letters? Journals? Penning the next great American novel? With all of the testing that you must do for your company it almost seems like you would spend hours each day in a room scratching away the mysteries of the universe like some character from a Tom Brown book.

11) Amamiya K- Facebook (30:48):
I've got a question regarding pilot VP here~ every time when the nib is pushed out of the front, it has to push onto the "tongue" thingy (that's located at the front inside to keep the pen from drying out i guess), wouldn't that damage the nib? I remember you said in a video that we should even avoid bumping the nib with the inside of the body of the pen when refilling....then wouldn't the pressure of pushing onto the "tongue" or...cap (sorry i don't know what it's called) every time when using it be even more damaging?

12) 林理谙 - Facebook (33:32):
Is Noodler's Zhivago black, or is it green? I don't need another black, but a really dark green intrigues me. The swab, though, just looks black. Should I go with sequoia instead? 

Thanks so much for tuning in to another episode of Goulet Q&A. I appreciate all of you who asked me questions, I would just be a lunatic talking to my camera without you! Next week I'll be doing another theme, this time called "Inside the Goulet Minds". Rachel (my wife) and I have both been through a lot building our company from our dining room to our warehouse, and we've done a lot of different things that some might consider unconventional. We want to share with you some of the logic behind what we've done, and open ourselves up to whatever questions you have about what makes us tick. It should be interesting! Rachel will be joining me for the next episode, which will take place on October 11th. See you then! 

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Brian Goulet's 5 Favorite Fountain Pen Inks

I get asked a lot what my favorite fountain pen ink colors are, and the honest truth is that I love a huge variety of color. I am a serial ink sampler and love changing colors all the time because to me, that's a huge part of the enjoyment of using fountain pens! But over the last 3 years or so, I have definitely noticed there are some inks more than others that I am more likely to fill in my pens. I have a "Brian's Favorites" ink sample package set on my site and have talked about my favorites in various blog posts and videos, but I haven't sat down and talked about which are at the top for me and why.

I am a retailer and while you can certainly buy these inks from me, that is not at all the intention behind this blog post. I didn't check any of my inventory levels before doing this blog post so I have no idea if I'm low or out of any of these colors, but that's inconsequential to me because I'm posting this purely to share with you my own individual preferences. That said, I really would love to hear what your top 5 inks are, so be sure to post in the comments below! Here are mine, in no particular order:

Noodler's Black

This ink is just my standby. I am actually not a huge fan of black ink in general, mainly because I just find them boring. But they are necessary in life, and when I need a black this is the one I go to. There are a lot of other great black inks and I will not try to debate with anyone that this one is the best for everyone. But I like it for several reasons: it performs well, it's permanent, it's easy to clean, and as a blogger/reviewer it's a commonly recognized that's a great basis of comparison when talking about other inks since so many people are familiar with it. It's for these reasons I have standardized on Noodler's Black for my Nib Nook writing samples, and why it's my go-to black ink when I need one.

Diamine Majestic Blue

I both love and hate this ink. It smears, it has a really long dry time, and if you're writing with it in a muggy Virginia summer on an ink resistant paper, just forget that it will ever fully dry. But even with all the fuss, I still absolutely love this ink. The color is spellbinding to me. It's a deep, rich navy blue with a distinct and vibrant red sheen, unlike just about any other ink. I use it mostly in either very fine nibs to get the deepest blue shade possible, or in italic nibs to have that sheen really pop.

Noodler's Apache Sunset

If you've watched just about any video where I'm using a flexible nib, you'll know this is my go-to. I adore the multi-color properties of this ink. To say that it shades is an understatement, it shades so intensely that it actually shifts from yellow to orange to red as you write with more or less ink, especially on an ink resistant paper. I love it in italic/stub nibs as well. Even though yellows and oranges aren't normally my thing, this ink is one I always grab when I want to see something cool happen.

Noodler's Liberty's Elysium

I'm willing to bet that a lot of you who've followed me for a while might guess I would pick Noodler's Blue or Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki, and they were certainly close contenders. I'm a real sucker for this mid-range cerulean shade of blue, as evidenced by the color in the Goulet ink splatter logo, and even the shirt I'm wearing in this video! But what won out Liberty's Elysium for me is my obvious personal interest and affiliation with the ink's creation. This is a color that helped bring to life with Nathan Tardif of Noodler's Ink. I was born and raised just miles from Patrick Henry's Scotchtown, and I graduated from Patrick Henry High School. I proposed the idea to Nathan about doing a Patrick Henry-themed ink, and expressed to him that I wanted a blue like Noodler's Blue, but with permanent qualities. After several formulations we settled on the current shade, and Nathan admittedly used his vast knowledge and love of US history to incorporate Nathan Hale and Mary Dyer into the bottle label to tie in his roots from the Boston, Mass. area. Not only is this ink something I find a pleasure to use, but I also appreciate the history behind its name and label.

Diamine Red Dragon

There are a number of strong red inks available from several different brands, and you could easily argue any of them to be the best based on your own personal preference. I have a great respect for colors like Diamine Matador, Diamine Oxblood, Noodler's Tiananmen, and Sheaffer Red, but for one reason or another ever since I inked up my pen with Diamine Red Dragon I fell in love. I tend to use it in finer nibs, to get a deep, punchy red on my page. I have little explanation for why I love this color, I just do.

If you're a loyal fan, I doubt you're too shocked by my choices. However, I don't know what yours are! I would really love to hear, so please post your top 5's in the comments below...

Write On,
Brian Goulet

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