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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Pantone Color of the Year 2016: Thursday Things


It’s the eve of the new year, and we’re all looking ahead to what exciting things 2016 will bring. Pantone, a leading authority in color technology and trends, recently announced the gorgeous Color of the Year for 2016. Introducing: Rose Quartz & Serenity! An unlikely and soft pairing, these two resemble a pink winter dusk transitioning into a blue night sky. These colors balance each other out, bringing feelings of intentionality and equilibrium. The official Pantone site says, “Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.” This combination might not match everyone's taste, but it certainly is thought provoking. Find our favorite products inspired by these colors below.

Rose Quartz recommendations:

Serenity recommendations:
Kaweco AL-Sport Fountain Pen - Stonewashed Blue
J. Herbin Rouille D'Ancre and Diamine China Blue
Parker IM Premium, Monteverde Artista Crystal, Pilot Metal Falcon
Atelier Gargoyle Sealing Wax - Light Blue
J. Herbin Rouille D'Ancre
Parker IM Premium, Monteverde Artista Crystal, Pilot Metal Falcon
De Atramentis Apple Blossom

Do you like the Color(s) of the Year? Do you have these shades in your writing collection already?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top 10 Hot Products of 2015

Hey fountain pen friends, Rachel here! It's that time of year when our team starts reminiscing over everything that has happened, and I thought I'd share with you some of the top products for 2015 that were influential or super hot in the fountain pen community.

Pens:

The 2015 limited edition Pilot Vanishing Point in Twilight was probably the fastest-selling limited edition color yet! We couldn't get enough. The ombré finish was something new for Pilot - and very trendy - and we hope to see more like it in the future.

Speaking of the Pilot VP, we finally saw 1.0mm stub nibs arrive this year. Pilot knew they would do well, but definitely didn't anticipate how popular they'd be in the US.... we're backordered until the spring!

The Retro Pop collection for the Pilot Metropolitan was a welcome addition to the line. The animal prints were nice, but these colors really pop! The Metro has been such an awesome pen, especially as a first fountain pen, and these colors appeal to people of all generations.

The TWSBI Eco arrived after much anticipation as the most affordable TWSBI pen yet. They stuck to their design principles with a clear barrel and piston mechanism, but with a price at under $30 and limited supply, it's no wonder it's popular!

Our seasonal Edison Nouveau Premieres have continued to be extremely popular after two years, and the best one this year was the Midnight Thunder in the fall. So popular that we ran out of material and had to cut the buying season short! We're excited about picking 2016 materials.

Gotta include some Lamy love here. This year's special edition Al-Star was a really nice color - CopperOrange. We paired it with a Filofax notebook (also new this year) for a great value gift set, exclusive to Goulet Pens. Still available, though not for much longer!


Inks:

This was the year for glitter! The frenzy started late last year and early into 2015 with J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey, and the glitterizing of Bleu Ocean. But the runaway hit was Emerald of Chivor which launched this past summer. Besides the beautiful teal color, the shimmer was just unreal, especially on Tomoé River paper (more on that below).

Diamine followed suit with their launch of 10 brand new inks as part of their new Shimmertastic collection. Some with silver sparkles, some with gold sparkles, these inks have also been incredibly popular.


Paper:

Tomoé River has taken the US by storm this year. While previously very difficult to acquire, a new distributor has enabled this amazing paper to be available through US retailers. This super thin 52gsm paper holds up incredibly well for fountain pens, showing a lot of sheen and shimmer without bleeding through.

The Midori Traveler's Notebook came out with their special edition regular size in Blue, along with PanAm-themed accessories. We sure do love blue around here, and you did too, based on how popular it was!

So that's all of the hot products for 2015, based on our knowledge. Do you agree with this list? If not, what do you think was the "it" product in the fountain pen community this past year?

Write On,
Rachel Goulet

Winter is here... should you still order ink?


It's officially winter here in Virginia! This time of year, our team often gets asked about shipping glass bottles of ink with such cold temperatures outside. Should you not order ink this time of year? What happens if the ink bottle freezes? How cold is too cold? Unfortunately, it is possible that your order could sit on a postal truck without heat for some time, or be delivered at your doorstep while you're still at work. Therefore, your ink could freeze while in transit. The great news is once it is thawed, it will be totally fine to use in your pens. In the event that anything does happen to make your ink unusable, we'll do everything we can take make it right.

While Winter might not be the best time to stock up on your ink, you certainly don't need to stop ordering ink during this season! If you've ordered from us before, you'll know that our Fulfillment Team goes to great lengths to pack each order with a slightly ridiculous amount of care. Orders are wrapped with both bubble wrap and blue plastic wrap in order to keep products from moving around inside the box and ultimately to prevent them from breaking. Additionally, during the winter, packages headed for colder climates are shipped with a "Do Not Freeze" sticker to communicate to anyone handling your package that we want to keep your ink in the best shape possible!


If you live in a particularly cold climate, there are a few ways to avoid broken bottles should you be worried about ordering this time of year.

1. Order samples
Ink samples are a great way to try new brands and colors of inks with low risk. If you don't like it, no worries! All of our samples come in plastic vials with 2 ml of ink, with no risk of breaking. The vials are also recyclable too, for all the inquiring eco-friendly minds out there. ;)


2. Consider ordering plastic bottles
Another great option during the winter is choosing brands that use plastic bottles. We offer a select range of the most popular Diamine colors in 30ml plastic bottles, making them affordable and easy to transport. These are a good alternative to the standard 80ml Diamine glass bottles which can often break in transit during the cold months. Because of the 80ml glass bottle shape, and how the bottles tend to move around inside their box, they're a bit more prone to breaking as the ink freezes and expands. The 30ml plastic bottles solve that problem!

Other brands with plastic bottles include Visconti and 3oz bottles of Noodler's Ink (albeit temporarily, they will be changing back to glass in the upcoming months). The Polar ink collection from Noodler's is designed to be freeze resistant so consider trying one of these colors as well.



So cozy up this Winter and get writing! Let us know if you have any other questions about ordering or shipping during the cold months - we're happy to help.

Write on, 
The Goulet Pen Company Team

Monday, December 28, 2015

Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai with Sheaffer Sagaris Metallic Blue: Monday Matchup #75

Hi there, fountain pen friends! Zippy here. I got the winter blues for this week's Monday Matchup. I picked Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-kai and paired it with a Sheaffer Sagaris Metallic Blue fountain pen with a fine nib. I chose this color combination because it felt cool and wintry. I'd tried the ink before but I'd never used a Sheaffer. I'm happy to report that this combination exceeded my expectations, especially the pen!

I wanted to create a scene of openness, and mountains immediately sprang to mind. From a distance, mountains can make you feel small or fenced in, but while standing atop them, you get a feeling of liberation. I also equate openness with simplicity. I wanted to bring that feeling to life with my pen and ink, so I got to work.

I started out with a pencil, sketching the treeline and mountains. I took the Sheaffer and went over the outlines. I liked the thin line the fine nib produced! It was now time to do the shading. I knew I wanted to contrast the darkness of the treeline with the lighter mountains, leaving the snow caps bright white. I took an empty brush pen and dipped the tip into the lid of the bottle of ink. I got as much ink as possible and spread it through the trees, creating a deep blue ink wash. Then, I filled the brush pen with water and moved on to the mountains, dipping the tip in the cap, and creating a much lighter shade of blue. I was able to gauge a happy medium shade for the sky after finishing the ink wash for those two parts of the work.

I liked working with this pen and ink a lot! I have to say, I was not exactly a fan of Sheaffer before trying out this pen. I was impressed with how smooth the nib was. It was also really well balanced, especially unposted. The nib design was also unique and really interesting.

Even though I'd used this ink to write before, I'd never used it in a piece of artwork. I was surprised with how wet it was! It took awhile to dry, but I loved the color so that was OK.

I think this would make a great pen and ink combination for letter writing, especially if you had time for reflection or could set aside the page to dry. Since the ink is so wet, this would be something to use for contemplative writing sessions, not quick notes. If you paired the pen with a different ink, it would work well in professional setting.



The Sheaffer Sagaris Metallic Blue is available at Gouletpens.com for $49.50. You can find Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-kai in a 50ml bottle for $28 or a 2ml ink sample for $2.50.

Did you know you have a chance to win the products featured in Monday Matchup each week? The contest happens over on our Instagram page each Monday at noon. Follow us on Instagram, match a fountain pen and ink, share a picture of your match, and be entered to win by tagging us (@gouletpens) and using the hashtag #mondaymatchupgiveaway. Don't forget to click on the hashtag to see what everyone else is matching that week! 

Has the writing experience with a particular pen ever pleasantly surprised you?

Write on,
Zippy

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Head's Up -- 2016 Price Changes

It's that time of year again, when manufacturers re-assess their costs and pass on any necessary price increases forward. We do have some increases to report, as well as some decreases -- all effective on January 1, 2016. We wanted to give you a head's up in case you were thinking about purchasing any of these items.

If you don't see an item listed here, then it isn't changing price, or at least not in January. As for the following, you may see some variances in what other retailers charge for these products. We can only speak to our prices.


Price Increases:

Parker:
Pilot:
Waterman:

Price Decreases:

Clairefontaine:
G. Lalo:
J. Herbin:
  • Letter brass seals are going from $14 to $12 (we'll adjust our wax seal package set accordingly, too)
Quo Vadis:
Rhodia:

We've definitely seen worse years as far as price increase go... this one doesn't seem too bad.

On a side note, it's really cool of companies like Exaclair (who distributes Clairefontaine, Rhodia, J. Herbin, G. Lalo, and Quo Vadis) to pass on price decreases to their retailers and customers, so major props to them.

Hope this information helped!

Write On,
Rachel Goulet

Monday, December 21, 2015

Diamine Red Lustre with Monteverde Artista Crystal Fountain Pen Clear: Monday Matchup 74


Happy Monday Matchup fountain pen friends! It's Jenni, the Goulet Pen Company's Videographer. This week I chose a matchup of a Monteverde Artista Crystal Clear pen with Diamine Red Lustre. Since Christmas is this Friday, I wanted to celebrate with a festive drawing and a unique pen and ink combination. With so much shimmer and gold, this pair seemed like the perfect pair for a holiday themed matchup.

Red Lustre is an ink from the new Diamine Shimmertastic collection. All of these inks contain gorgeous shimmering particles in gold or silver. This particular ink is a vivid red with beautiful and bright gold sparkles. With the unique attributes of this ink, I chose a demonstrator pen so I could watch the gold flecks swirl around and settle. I was not disappointed! It was a fantastic combination.

To get started, I sketched out the whole thing in pencil. Then I took a brush pen and filled it with water and a drop of ink. I filled in the areas I wanted the lightest amount of ink in first. Gradually, I added more and more ink into the the brush pen, to darken the shade of red. I realized that when working with the ink in this manner, there was virtually no shimmer, which was fine for this part of the piece.

After everything was dry, I took the pen and used it to define the edges of everything I'd created. I was surprised to find that the medium nib on this pen was very generous- too generous for what I was going for. So, I flipped the pen over and used the nib upside down in order to get a thinner line on the majority of my outlines. Then I wrote the beginnings of the quote. It was now time to go for the gold!

To get the greatest gold effect on the ribbon, I let the bottle settle so all of the gold flakes fell to the bottom. Next, I took a pipette and got as much ink from the bottom of the bottle as I could. I laid the ink out across the page and used the pen to spread it out to the edges, making sure everything was covered. I let it rest for about 5 minutes to get the gold to settle on the bottom of the ink pool and then took an ink syringe and sucked up the remaining red ink. This worked perfectly! There was a bit of a red tinge, but since the gold particles were heavier, they stayed behind. I used this technique again when I wrote out "Merry".

There was still a lot of white space on the page, so I took a q-tip and dipped it in the cap of the ink. I wanted just a small amount of ink on the q-tip as I wasn't going for solid dabs of ink as much as speckles of snow across the page. I liked how that looked, but wanted some gold "snow" as well to add a little more cheer. I took the ink syringe, got some ink from the bottom of the bottle where the gold particles were heaviest, and dropped it on the page one at a time. I waited a couple of minutes and then sucked up the excess red ink, leaving behind the gold particles. Finally, I set it aside to dry.

I really enjoyed working with both the pen and ink. The pen had a little more feedback than I'm used to and the line was pretty broad, but it flowed well and the ink looked beautiful in it. The ink exceeded my expectations! It went from pink to red and entered a whole other realm with the gold shimmer. I loved that I was able to get areas of the piece without any shimmer whatsoever and others with lots of it.

I think this pen would work well for anyone who enjoys a fairly juicy medium nib with a bit of feedback. The ink would work well in writing, but you'll really get the most out of it if you used it for art. It wasn't hard to clean out of the pen and there weren't any clogging issues either!


You can find the Monteverde Artista Crystal Fountain Pen Clear at Gouletpens.com for $36. Diamine Red Lustre is available in a 50ml bottle for $20 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.50.

Did you know you have a chance to win the products featured in Monday Matchup each week? The contest happens over on our Instagram page each Monday at noon. Follow us on Instagram, match a fountain pen and ink, share a picture of your match, and be entered to win by tagging us (@gouletpens) and using the hashtag #mondaymatchupgiveaway. Don't forget to click on the hashtag to see what everyone else is matching that week! 

Do you have a favorite shimmering ink? Let me know in the comments below.

Write on,
Jenni

Friday, December 18, 2015

Kaweco Skyline Sport Metallic Purple: Special Edition


There's some serious excitement today around the Goulet Pens office! We've been anxiously awaiting the Kaweco Skyline Sport Metallic Purple for some time now, and are thrilled it's finally here. This pen is a special edition, meaning it's not going to be around for very long. If it catches your eye, consider picking one up before it's gone!

This pocket-sized pen is perfect to keep on you in your purse, backpack or pocket. When posted, it transforms into a full sized pen great for note-taking and letter writing. The Skyline Sport takes standard international cartridges, or for a larger ink capacity, consider converting it to an eyedropper. While this pen is metallic in color, it still is made of plastic, not metal.


We have the Metallic Purple available with an extra fine, fine and medium nib. All of these stainless steel nibs write consistently smooth, and are a great addition to a fountain pen enthusiast's collection. Kaweco pens are also a great choice for someone just starting out in the fountain pen world. Each pen comes with a cartridge so you're able to get writing right away!


You can find the Kaweco Skyline Sport Metallic Purple available at Gouletpens.com for $25-$27 depending on the nib size you choose. We also have the Skyline Sport available in a non metallic purple if that's more your style.

Are you going to pick up one of these special editions pens?

Write on, 
The Goulet Pen Company Team

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