Goulet Q&A Episode 240: Ink Sample Longevity, Collabs, and Using Food Coloring As Ink

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about ink sample longevity, interviews & collabs, and using food coloring as fountain pen ink!

This week:


1) Kenneth S- Facebook (7:19)

I keep hearing gold nibs being described as “springy”, but I’m having a hard time visualizing exactly what that is since I don’t own any gold-nibbed pens (yet). Is there a way Brian could demonstrate this phenomenon or is it one of those things you just have to experience in order to understand?

  • it’s really very simple, a springy nib just bends a little bit, to have some “give” to it
  • the tines stay together, unlike a flex nib  where tines separate and provide line variation
  • I don’t have a great way to show it, it’s very, very subtle and has more to do with feel than visual
  • it’s not something everyone cares about or even likes


2) Auston R- Facebook (10:35)

How long will ink samples maintain their properties in sample vials. I guess I’m curious if I should use the whole sample within a specific time period or whether I can let them sit for a while.

  • that’s a good question, and I haven’t done any scientific testing to say exactly
  • I’ve had some stored for years, that still have held up
  • given that they are in plastic vials, eventually, moisture will leach through the plastic, but I haven’t seen any observable difference in  vials I’ve had for 7-8 years

3) apollo_photograpy_ap- Instagram (13:18)

Is it smart to use food coloring as fountain pen ink? I know a certain someone who does it all the time…

  • yes and no
  • at some level it’s not that different, it’s water and dye
  • I don’t know the exact chemical composition, so I have to surmise a little bit
  • the degree of biocides are different, it’s my understanding food coloring lacks sufficient biocides for regular pen use
  • it also lacks the same surfactants and lubrication, so it may not flow as well
  • you might experience more feathering/spread
  • certainly you’ll see no degree of permanence or lightfastness
  • it’s something that I’ve seen around Instagram especially with dip/calligraphy pens for people doing ink mixing and multimedia artwork, and it can look good for that
  • it’s not something I would recommend for regular use in a fountain pen though


4) @jgilcher- Twitter (18:22)

I liked the interviews you’ve done in the past; Noodler’s, Edison Pens, Pineider, etc. Do you plan on doing any others in 2019?

  • potentially! I haven’t lined anything up yet at this point
  • a lot of times these things just kind of work themselves out, so there will surely be some
  • I can seek some out though, who would you want to see me interview?

5) eleanor.justice- Instagram (19:46)

What kind of collaborations have been your favorite (special ink colors, etc) and what’s that process like? Is there a dream collab you’d love to do but haven’t yet?

  • Collaborations can take a lot of different forms, and each one’s different depending on who it’s with
  • what’s tough is most of them are virtual, since we’re all operating online
  • most of the time it involved lots of emails and phone calls back and forth, sending samples, etc
  • We love doing them here, and will not stop anytime soon!
  • Anything with Nathan is a real experience, Liberty’s Elysium was really special
  • Visconti Opera Master Luna was pretty cool
  • Edison and Herbert pens have been really fun for me because get to relive my penmaking days
  • The Montegrappa Shiny Lines Dove was great
  • It’d be really cool to do something with TWSBI, Lamy, or Pilot, I don’t know if that’ll be a possibility
  • I do have one in the works that I can’t talk about yet that’ll be really cool for me personally!
  • It’d be great to collaborate with Jake Weidmann on a pen in the future

6) allthingsepistolary- Instagram (26:12)

Have you ever thought about carrying pen rests?

  • yes, sort of
  • we honestly don’t get asked a whole ton about them
  • I have a few that I use on my desk, but they’re all made by independent makers, not big enough to retail
  • help me out, what do you want to see?

QOTW: What’s the most important property of an ink to you? (29:54)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

January 18th, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

The 5 Hottest Inks of 2018

While pens get a lot of love in the fountain pen community, ink is very much an essential part of the writing experience! In addition to a bounty of amazing pens that came out last year; there were a number of colorful, vibrant, and notable inks released as well. From special edition inks from LAMY to regular offerings from Organics Studio, each one of these inks made a big splash last year. Here is our list of the 5 Hottest Inks of 2018:

LAMY VibrantPink

  • First special edition ink from LAMY that has been available year round
  • Hot pink ink that’s surprisingly usable. Even those that might shy away from pink could work with this
  • Good shading for a pink ink and even had a little shimmer under the right circumstances which was a surprise to us
  • Definitely has some gold sheen as well
  • Won’t be around long in 2019, but LAMY is bringing a new Crystal line of inks this year that might make this list for 2019!

Colorverse Hayabusa

  • This is a shimmering purple ink which is always a popular combination
  • Being a dark purple ink, it reminded us a lot of LAMY Dark Lilac which was an insanely popular special edition ink in 2016
  • Like other Colorverse inks, this came as a pair. The larger bottle was a normal purple while the smaller bottle had the shimmer!
  • Gorgeous deep saturated purple and that’s definitely been in vogue

Monteverde DC Supershow Blue

  • Monteverde has really stepped up their ink game in the last two years, hitting full stride in 2018
  • This ink was released at the 2018 DC Pen Show, and is a dark blue with red sheen (which is very popular!)
  • Deeply saturated, performs well on different paper, and decent dry time for a color this dark
  • Luckily, it wasn’t just a special-edition ink for the pen show, but a regular offering from Monteverde

Colorverse Voyager 1 Set

  • Colorverse in general has been a very popular brand in 2018. Really ramped up with their first limited-edition set!
  • Set to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Voyager 1 Rocket
  • Set of four 15ml bottles (Golden Record, Jupiter Flyby, Interstellar Space, and Pale Blue Dot). Set of 1977
  • In general, Pens + Space = Yes
  • Good colors, great theming, and showed what Colorverse had in store for future sets (like The Standard Model)

Organics Studio Nitrogen

  • After carrying the brand a number of times, Goulet finally brought back Organics Studios ink in 2018
  • Organics Studio as a brand had a lot of buzz this year because of their high sheening inks, topped by Nitrogen
  • Nitrogen is a deep blue ink with an insane about of sheen
  • It sheens on anything, even your finger or paper towel!
  • This sheen did not come without its drawbacks as it basically never dries and can smudge at any moment. It also is more prone to clogging than other inks, and is a general source of conversation on Goulet Nation
  • Haven’t seen this much talk over an ink since Noodler’s Baystate Blue (another wildly popular blue ink)
  • Despite its flaws, it outsold every other ink in 2018. Out of the 700 different ink colors we sell, this was #1 despite some out-of-stock issues early on.

That’s our list of hottest inks of 2018 but there’s plenty of honorable mentions! Did you find a new favorite in 2018? Leave a comment and let us know.

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company

January 17th, 2019|Ink Reviews, Top 10 Lists|0 Comments

Sneak Peek: 2019 LAMY Safari Pastels and more!

LAMY has a ton of special edition fountain pens coming out for 2019. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming in the first half of the year.


This year’s special edition AL-Star color is Bronze!

We’ve only seen this one picture, but it appears to be a coppery brown color. It will come equipped with silver trim and a steel nib in extra-fine, fine, and medium.

Much like the past few years, it will come with a matching Bronze ink, available in 50ml bottles, ink cartridges, and samples.

The AL-Star Bronze pen and matching ink should be arriving to Goulet Pens by March.



The Aion was first released in late 2017 in two standard colors, and this year we’re excited to see two special edition colors: Blue and Red!

Designed by Jasper Morrison, the sleekly designed Aion has a rounded grip section and aluminum finish. It is available with a steel nib in extra-fine, fine, and medium, and comes with a Z27 converter included. We expect to see these new Aion colors at Goulet Pens in March.



This year’s special edition LAMY Joy features a white body with a red clip.

LAMY Joy White/Red

Essentially a long tapered Safari, it is designed more for calligraphy-style writing and comes with a 1.5mm stub nib. This special edition should be available at Goulet Pens by May.

LAMY Safari

We’re pleased to announce not one, but three new special edition LAMY Safari colors for 2019!

Introducing the LAMY Safari Pastels: Blue Macaron, Mint Glaze, and Powder Rose.

This is the first time (to our knowledge) that there have ever been three colors launched simultaneously as a special edition. These will have silver steel nibs in extra-fine, fine, and medium.

The LAMY Safari Pastels should be arriving to Goulet Pens in May 2019, and will only be available for a limited time.

So what do you think of this year’s LAMY special edition colors so far?

Write On,
Rachel Goulet

P.S. Be sure to sign up for the email notification list on any of the pens you’re interested in!

January 15th, 2019|Pen News|1 Comment

Goulet Q&A Episode 239: MSRP, Factory Tours, and Goulet Day-to-Day Schedules

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about MSRP, factory tours, and his and Rachel’s day-to-day!

This week:


Sami QR- Facebook (05:17)

What is preventing acrylic maker to emulate the Omas Arco Verde or bronze, or even the vacumatic celluloid ? Is there any other material out there that may emulate this at reasonable price which does not involve explosive compounds ?

  • there are some physical properties of celluloid that allow for certain patterns/colors to really pop
  • there could be ways to emulate these in acrylic resin, but the techniques may be different and not yet mastered in the same way
  • it’s often more than just matching a color, it involves multiple steps of breaking or cutting into pieces, adhering back together, then turning in a specific pattern
  • it’s entirely possible to get pretty darn close, it just depends how “mad scientist” a company wants to get to develop an exact match
  • the difference you have today is few pen manufacturers are making their own cast resins
  • cast resins are pretty challenging to make, especially mastering certain techniques
  • I would argue it’s not practical for most pen companies to cast huge lots of resin themselves, they’re usually getting from a supplier for the eyewear/jewelry industry, or other turned/manufactured goods (like vapes)
  • huge resin manufacturers will make a host of different colors, but since the pen industry isn’t the primary market for these resins, they’re not making colors/patterns to specifically match vintage pen materials
  • it’s possible to emulate though
  • Pineider has their Arco, which is a modern take on Arco celluloid
  • Dante specifically designed this to be similar, but with his own flare


Dyuti G- Facebook (20:21)

What is the difference between J.Herbin and Herbin inks? Any reason for the name and bottling variation?

  • They’re in the middle of a rebranding effort, so their names will be a little transitional
  • instead of everyhing J. Herbin, they’re breaking out into two lines
  • Herbin will be their standard line, like the 30ml bottles, sealing wax sticks, stuff like that
  • the 1670 and 1798 ink colors will be Jacques Herbin, more of their premium line (like Pelikan Edelstein, Lamy Crystal, Pilot Iroshizuku)
  • more may be in development on a Jacques Herbin line that’s being tested right now in France
  • No word yet on what that might be for us here in the US
  • keep in mind, Herbin started in 1670, so it’s 349 years old!! They’ve undergone a lot of branding efforts, I’m sure!

prrfecone- Instagram (30:36)

I often find the colour of the ink changes considerably depending on how long it has been in the pen and which pen it is in. This change is usually for the worse, the colour is not nearly as nice. Any way to alleviate this?

  • this is fairly normal, the water is evaporating out of the ink (more common in winter due to lower relative humidity) and the dye stays behind, leaving a darker, more saturated color
  • not letting it sit there more often
  • water down your ink a bit
  • dip it in a little bit of water if it’s been sitting a while
  • use a pen that seals really well (some are better than others) like Platinum 3776 Century, TWSBI, Pilot Custom 74/823
  • this is entirely subjective, I actually love more saturated colors so I like when this happens!


colors_and_beads- Instagram (38:08)

What’s the point of MRSP if all retailers have the same “discounted” prices? Should that one be the MRSP?

  • MSRP is manufacturer suggested retail price
  • It’s the price the manufacturer sets as “full retail”, and is what you’ll often see in print advertisements, at company stores, flagship retailers, and the like
  • manufacturers often set their wholesale price off of MSRP, so it impacts the margins that both they and the retailer will get
  • because discounting can happen all over the place with certain brands, it helps manufacturers to have an MSRP so they have a target to shoot for in terms of positioning themselves in the marketplace
  • retailers can of course discount below that, but you’ll almost always see the manufacturer (when selling direct) sell at full MSRP
  • online you see a lot more discounting, because competition is a lot stiffer, and there’s a degree of separation (risk) when buying online that incentivizes lower prices than in-store
  • Not to say all B&M’s charge full MSRP or all online retailers discount, but you get the idea
  • manufacturers can’t dictate what retailers sell for
  • manufacturers CAN dictate what is publicly advertised, through what’s called MAP (minimum advertised price)
  • when you have authorized retailers, they respect the MAP pricing (which is set regionally) or else they’re in violation of the manufacturer’s wishes
  • we could debate why MAP and MSRP are relevant, but largely it’s for of branding and consistency
  • what makes it so tough online is if you see it at full MSRP some places and discounted elsewhere, you naturally tend to think that the discounted price is the true value and that everyone else is charging a premium
  • in fact, most retailers in a given region are paying (around) the same price for their goods, so when they discount they’re taking a hit on their margins
  • you’ll often see smaller retailers (sometimes a company of one person) with extremely low overhead offer or sell a product below MAP, which they may only have one or two, or even none of! But online you have no idea how big they are or how much stock they have
  • it can wreak havoc online, especially in marketplaces where algorithms are triggered to price match or show lowest price first, so it can really go haywire quickly when people go too low
  • B&M stores are more cut off from the outside world, so if they are deep discounting one or two pens, it really doesn’t impact anyone else
  • you’re still seeing some adjustments in the ecommerce landscape from traditional B&M
  • MSRP and MAP help give a floor to the discounting, give consistency in branding, which ultimately provide reliability and stability to the manufacturers and retailers, which is required for growth


Joseph J- Facebook (53:10)

I liked the Lamy plant tour. Any chance on doing others, maybe Visconti?

  • I did shoot footage of Stipula, Pineider, and Nettuno, but I have yet to edit it together!
  • Others could certainly happen, but I don’t have it planned at the moment
  • It’s quite time consuming and requires a lot of effort and coordination, but it’s certainly something I’m thinking about!
  • So yes, this could certainly happen, but I can’t promise when


elisaldez- Instagram (56:27)

What’s your favorite non pen-related podcast?

Elizabeth D- Facebook (01:00:21)

Does “a day in the life of Brian & Rachel” stay pretty consistent, or does it change a lot every day depending on what’s going on? We over at the Nation have surmised that you two spent more time signing cards lately

  • Oh my gosh, it can change a lot!
  • We have some regularly scheduled meetings we try to keep consistent, but there’s a lot going on
  • we have young kids that are now getting into activities, we’re involved in our church, there’s a lot in our personal life that affects our schedule
  • work stuff is a mix of regular work and project work, so we’re always djing our schedules together
  • we have been signing more notecards, though, partly because of our increased volume through the holidays
  • we want to help out our team and lead by example, so we’re signing more notes as we can!

QOTW: What pen color/material would you like to see revived? (01:08:03)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

January 11th, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Coming Soon: New Diplomat Magnum Colors

In July 2018 we introduced one of our new favorite pens, the Diplomat Magnum! This fountain pen has been around for several years, but last year was the first time we offered it at Goulet Pens. It’s been a game changer in the sub $30 price range for fountain pens for both first time users and collectors alike. And there’s good news – six new colors of the Magnum are coming next month!


We did want to give you all a heads up that the current colors of the Magnum are no longer going to be made, so if you have your eye on one, now is the time to grab one of those.

The new Diplomat Magnum colors should be here in mid February and will be available with a Fine, Medium, or Broad steel nib. It also comes with a standard international converter and a cartridge. The price for the new colors will be $21.60. Be sure to sign up for the waitlist to be notified as soon as they are available!

What do you think of the new colors?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

January 11th, 2019|Pen News|0 Comments

MBTI + BuJo: 4 Ways to Improve your Note-taking Strategy

Are you excited to take notes, but a bit overwhelmed about what strategies to use? Social media offers so many impeccably crafted spreads and elaborate systems, but what would work best for the way that you personally like your information organized? Taking some time to consider your own habits can help narrow down the seemingly infinite realm of note-taking possibilities.

Here at Goulet Pens, we use the MBTI personality assessment to better understand our individual personality traits and how they translate into a work environment. We’ve gathered some tips from our experience with MBTI in hopes of giving you inspiration for your own note-taking and journaling strategies!

If you’re also a fan of the MBTI Personality Test, then join us in sharing your favorite BuJo strategies. If you don’t know your Myers-Briggs Personality type, and would like to know before reading on, we like 16personalities.com for our MBTI assessments!

Introverted (I) vs Extroverted (E):

While one’s level of extroversion is often associated with socialization, it relates to their relationship to stimuli in general.

A Lamy CP1 fountain pen in Black and a Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dot Grid notebook.

A Lamy CP1 fountain pen in Black and a Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dot Grid notebook.

For note-takers who are particularly introverted, they may find too many colors or patterns overwhelming, or even off-putting. To make journals easy on the eyes, we suggest using a simplistic layout with only one or two colors, or more muted hues.


Those who are more extroverted tend to seek out stimuli, so the more the merrier! Jazz up pages with brightly colored sticky notes, stickers, washi tape, highlighters, or different brightly colored inks. We can’t be falling asleep looking at our own journals!

Observant (S) vs Intuitive (N):

The Observant population is less concerned about the abstract or the imaginative, and is just in their notebook for business. The S may find they only need a place to write down the bare minimum of information: day-to-day notes, practical information to get the task finished. There may be less interest in planning for things, and there’s no real desire to attach emotion to what goes in the notebook.


Note-takers who are more in the Intuitive camp, or N, are more than likely going to prefer a place to keep track of plans and goals. The more space allotted for brainstorming and inspiration, the better. They may even benefit from certain pages being dedicated to ongoing lists for themed ideas.

Thinking (T) vs Feeling (F)

Thinking vs Feeling strategies in regard to journaling are a little nuanced, but we will suggest that our F personalities dedicate a little extra space to get those feelings expressed in their notes. Thinkers tend to be more focused on the logical and rational, so they’re already doing that by #gettingthingsdone in their notebooks – their “journal entries” resemble ship logs more than autobiographies, and that’s equally fantastic!


Feelers want that additional space for the actual “journaling” portion of note taking, because it helps them to process all of those feelings so that they don’t clog up the flow of day-to-day practical information. One way to help these entries coexist with daily tasks is to make a separate section or page in a spread for journaling that won’t interfere with the task flow of the BuJo. For those F personalities who are more private or have a particularly large amount to write, it may be beneficial to invest in a separate journal altogether to devote to thoughts and feelings.

Judging (J) vs Prospecting (P):

Some of us love to have our options open and a-plenty, while some of us cringe at the thought of having too many things to choose from. That’s one of the primary differences between the Judging and Prospecting personalities, and one that could have an effect on our note-taking strategies.

For those who are more Judging, they may benefit from more detailed and broken down notes for a project. Being able to assess the bite-sized tasks helps a J feel like they have a handle on their productivity. Checking off each subtask will fill them with satisfaction and keep them motivated. Even having a set of “rules” or a key could help Js maintain consistency and fill their heart with happiness. For non insta-BuJo stars, purchasing a notebook or planner with pre-made inserts can provide structure with just enough space to allow note-taking styles to flourish.


Prospecting personalities, on the other hand, should probably not use the subtask method. In fact, this method can be really overwhelming to those who are more big-picture planners. Being able to stay flexible is the key to success. Too many rules and details don’t allow for much mental wiggle room, so sticking to simple, overarching goals or just focusing on general opportunities can establish something encouraging, but not stifling, to look toward.

Perhaps these MBTI-inspired techniques can cure some of your writer’s block. What’s your MBTI personality type? Did you find a strategy that resonated with you? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

January 9th, 2019|Tips & Tricks|0 Comments