If you’re interested in pens, ink, and paper, you should have heard of InCoWriMo! If you haven’t, you’re missing a fantastic way to use all of your favorite writing tools. International Correspondence Writing Month is a letter-writing challenge. Throughout all of February, participants will write a letter EACH DAY. For more information, read the official InCoWriMo Website. So how do you participate in this celebration of connection through stationery?
1. Get your writing tools together
If you want to impress your pen pals during this mad month of letter writing, you’re going to want to bring your stationery A-game. Lucky for you, we at Goulet Pens have (almost) everything you need to make this year’s InCoWriMo a success. Make sure you stock up on:
- Paper: If you sit down to your desk on February 1st and realize you have no paper, you’re going to be really embarrassed. We’ve got Stationery Sets that include matching paper and envelopes, so your letters will automatically look special and put-together.
- Ink: These letters are going out into the world, possibly on display if they’re pretty enough, so you need to use an ink that will really WOW your recipient. For those who want to dazzle, we recommend a blindingly sparkly shimmering ink. For addressing envelopes, you might want to be a bit more reserved. Rain, sleet, sweat, and many other liquids could come into contact with your envelope, so make sure you address it with water-resistant ink.
- Pen: If your letters aren’t going to be very long, or you’re a dipping enthusiast, you should take a look at our selection of lovely glass dip pens. They are gorgeous and will look lovely if you decide to photograph your letter-writing setup. For the writer who hates having to ink their pen, the TWSBI ECO has a huge ink capacity, so it will write pages and pages of letters between fills.
- Sealing Wax: While not technically necessary, sealing wax shows your letter recipient that you’re serious about your stationery. Give your recipients an experience. We carry everything you need to shock and awe your pen pals this year.
- Stamps: Unless you’re hand-delivering all 29 of your letters in February, stamps are completely essential.
2. Figure out who you’re writing to
Starting out with a list is absolutely critical for succeeding in this challenge. Lucky for you, we’ve put together a handy list of prompts to help you come up with your 29 lucky recipients. You could even write to us! We might not be able to write back to all of you, but we love getting mail. You can reach us at:
The Goulet Pen Company
1590 E Parham Rd
Henrico, VA 23228
3. Determine when you have time to write letters
Our lives can get hectic. We’re running to the grocery store, the doctor, to go buy scented candles, there’s a lot happening day-to-day. Before February 1st, you need to plan when you can write your letters. Will you set aside time in the morning? The evening? Will you write one every day, or in batches? You need to create a roadmap for your InCoWriMo. Otherwise, you might end up hunched over your desk on February 15th, randomly stuffing four-word letters into envelopes. Don’t be that person. Come up with a plan and stick to it. Happy writing!
The Goulet Pen Company
In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about pen brand relationships, if broads are more troublesome than fines, and where “free ink” comes from. Enjoy!
- Amazing weather, lots of kid time
- CRAZY week for us, vendor visits, lots of year end reporting and annual planning, January we just live in spreadsheets
- Not launching a whole ton right now
- Maiora Impronte, Aurora Hastil, Edison Collier Rock Candy
- TWSBI Eco White/RoseGold in the wings
- Thursday Jan 23 is National Handwriting Day, so let’s all enjoy writing with some pens and sharing about it in real life and on social
1) elladrawing- Instagram (3:33)
Are broad nibs more prone to having issues than fine nibs?
- I would say generally no, they have more of certain types maybe
- fine nibs usually have more of an issue with flow, feeling scratchy, or variation in size from nib to nib just because tolerances are finer, there’s less surface area of tipping on the page, and the capillary action is drawing less ink through the nib, so they can be slightly more sensitive to clogs (like with shimmer ink)
- broader nibs are usually wetter and feel smoother
- the one issue you see consistently more with broad nibs is hard starting and skipping due to baby’s bottom, which is when the nib is ground TOO smooth
- it’s SUCH fine tolerances between baby’s bottom an a finely tuned nib it’s crazy, and manufacturers often err on the side of baby’s bottom than feeling scratchy
2) @TankCruisin- Twitter (15:49)
What’s a good, sub-$100 EDC for people who ink a pen up, write with it a bit, then throw it in their work bag and forget they own that pen until they need it 3-9 weeks later? I know about Platinum and TWSBI, but are there any that use standard international cartridges?
- ummm….I’ll be honest, this isn’t where fountain pens really shine
- if you want a throw-it-in-your-bag-for-weeks-and-forget-about-it pen, that’s exactly what ballpoints and rollerballs do best
- they’re cheap, they’ll start up (maybe with some prompting), and you aren’t really getting much of an “experience” from them, they just do a job
- fountain pens are more maintenance, and while there are some that you can forget for a while, this is pushing the limits of their best use
- TWSBI does great here with Eco/580/mini/vac700R, Platinum too with Preppy/Prefounte/Procyon/3776, they will be some of the best for the job
- Your mileage will certainly vary here, but these would be some of the top contenders I can think of:
- Kaweco may do well here, perhaps Monteverde Monza, Jinhao 51A/X450/X750, Diplomat Magnum/Traveler/Esteem, Traveler’s Company Brass Pen, maybe Conklin Duragraph
- any of the more expensive pens make me a little nervous with the “throw into their work bag” qualification, and metal-bodied pens would undoubtedly be the most protected
3) drainer_a- Instagram (24:06)
If you could bring back three limited edition inks, which ones would you choose and why?
- Lamy Dark Lilac (though Lamy Crystal Azurite is a great sub)
- Pelikan Edelstein Turmaline (for Rachel)
- Parker Penman Sapphire, though honestly there are good modern alternatives to it (Organics Studio Nitrogen), so this is a toss up for me with Lamy CopperOrange
4) feleciafancybottom- Instagram (33:27)
Do ink cartridges tend to dry out faster than converters?
- from a functional standpoint, no not really, it’s the nib that’s going to dry out first, not the filling mechanism
- technically, the plastic used in disposable cartridges (not 100% sure but looks like HDPE like milk jugs or something similar) is more permeable than converter plastic, so when sitting for months or years it could leech moisture more, but the nib will usually have dried out first, so it doesn’t really matter
- maintain your pens well, keep that ink flowing, and you won’t have to worry about the speed of any filling mechanism drying out
5) thebatrachotoxin- YouTube (37:51)
I’ve been a customer since 2016, and I tried to make an order last week, alas, you don’t deliver to Brazil anymore, why is that? I mean, we all know that our taxes are abusive and our customs are horrible, but we all know that, if we order from abroad, you should expect to pay and wait. I felt sad about it, can you explain why? And if it is the customs stuff, you should resume the ordering and put up a big disclaimer that you can’t accept returns for our sad customs… thank you
- yeah, this one’s a bummer
- we’ve had challenges shipping to Brazil since our founding, there are high customs fees (usually 100% of the product price), unreliable tracking, lots of returned packages, damage, loss in transit
- the recent straw that broke the camel’s back was a new Brazilian regulation requiring us to attain, securely store, and remit your CPF (equivalent to the US Social Security Number) and we simply don’t have a good way to do that
- FedEx has required this previously so we couldn’t offer that as a shipping option, but now our USPS shipping consolidator who handles all our USPS international mail is required to collect it to, so we have no other options
- it was too burdensome on us to be able to do this, so we’ve regretfully had to stop offering to Brazil
- there may be US-based shipping consolidators that you could work with, we know sometimes people do that when buying internationally
- they could have the systems in place to handle that sensitive information, and you could order from us and ship to them (since they’re in the US), but we don’t have an affiliation with a particular consolidator, we’ll keep our eyes open though
- I’m very very sorry!
6) journaltimesimagination- Instagram (44:20)
How are you guys able to give away free bottles of ink with some purchases?
- there’s really no such thing as “free ink”, as the economic adage says about free lunch, someone’s paying for it
- the original saying goes back to turn of the 20th century where American bars/saloons would offer free lunches with the purchase of a drink, of course the food was high in salt which would make a person thirsty…thus making them drink and the bar would make up it’s losses in drinks
- that’s not quite our situation, though this is most certainly a tactic many retailers (in general, not so much in the pen world) employ
- Specific to us here at Goulet:
- sometimes it’s us just eating the cost, because we may have slow-moving inventory and we would rather take a hit on margin than have overstock sitting on the shelf
- sometimes it’s a promotional thing, we might work out an arrangement with a manufacturer who’s trying to get attention or awareness around a new pen (or ink), so it’s almost a sort of loss leader
- sometimes there might have been a misorder, double order, or something else kooky that gives us or the manufacturer more stock than they want, and they want to move it on through
- sometimes we do promotions like that and just lose out on margin so that we can help ride out slower times of the year and keep our team members busy and working, we’d rather sacrifice our own profitability than risk bad morale or losing good people because of demand fluctuations
- there are a number of reasons that could even overlap, so each circumstance is kind of unique
7) Hercule Poirot- YouTube (59:11)
If you carry a pen company, do you require a constant supply of products? For example, if you wanted to carry a small, new brand that couldn’t carry out a continuous supply, but released batches or what not, would you still carry them? Or if a company who you only carry special editions of, like Pelikan, if all the releases are uber popular, how would you handle a complete lack of stock for a company?
- we don’t “require” anything, though we certainly like to dream!
- stock supply is one of our biggest challenges, this industry is just really small
- most of what we deal with is small batches with irregular supply, that’s more the norm than the exception, so yeah, we’ll still carry them
- We deal with super small companies like Organics Studio, Noodler’s (believe it or not), Herbert, Edison, all single-digit companies, maybe just one person
- if they make good products and we can get enough of it to come out ahead and not frustrate everyone, we’ll do it, as long as communication is good
- We have plenty of other companies where special editions are pretty much everything for us, Pelikan being a very pertinent example, and we “handle it” by leaning into the opportunities when they come, and begging and pleading with them when they aren’t here!
- this is part of the reason why we (as a company for our own stability) diversify our brands, we’re not beholden to any one brand or supplier, so when we have outages it hurts but doesn’t cripple us
- it’s a simple diversification strategy just like if you were dollar-cost averaging in the stock market, we acquire brands steadily, ride some highs, ride out some dips, and we as a company will grow over time with the general market (this is way oversimplified, of course!)
8) Connor Adlam- YouTube (1:08:48)
I’ve noticed that over the years brands have come and gone with some level of regularity on GP. Do you find that once you carry a new brand, interested customers buy and then sales slow as everyone who wanted a product got it? Once a customer buys a pen it’s unlikely that they would want another identical pen so does that factor in to your decisions to add and drop brands over the years?
- Sure, that does happen, it really depends though
- new stuff is interesting, especially to veterans of the hobby, so the innovators and early adopters will jump on new things which spike demand
- this is part of why you see so many special and limited editions coming out, from new and established brands alike
- assuming it doesn’t fall flat and we can cover our fixed costs of all the overhead to launch a new brand (which is not insignificant), then we get on track relatively quickly
- for a brand or model to really have legs though, it has to be established and a solid reputation for a while, with some universal appeal
- think Lamy 2000, Pilot Vanishing Point, Custom 823, Visconti Homo Sapiens, Lamy Safari/Al-Star, TWSBI Eco/580, these are all mainstays of the community, and they maintain a sustained level of demand beyond the initial launch
- When we’re looking to launch whole new brands, we’re always hoping for a long-term relationship, and often we’ll hold off until we feel we’re both ready for that to happen!
- it’s tough though, iconic evergreen brands aren’t just waiting around in abundance, so sometimes we have to take some risks
- at the end of the day, if it’s an amazing product, fairly-priced, good availability, and differentiates itself enough in the community, then we’re likely not going to drop it because it’ll sell well enough to keep going
- if it’s something novel but not universally appealing, is a fad, or faces too many uphill battles with consistency, supply, quality, or other factors, then it may not stand up on its own and if our sales just aren’t there, we’ll eventually drop it
- part of why you’re probably seeing more brands we’re dropping now than every is partly due to the fact we’ve been around longer, so we just have more brands we’ve worked with (so by the numbers, we’d have more we drop, too)
- we also carry all the big ones we can, so now more of the newer brands we’re carrying around smaller, newer, more speculative ones and there a lot of complications that can jeopardize things
- we do really want to support “makers”, but we’ve also bootstrapped this whole company from nothing and we know just how hard it is to make it happen…so we will often have to make some hard decisions to either wait to carry or ultimately drop the brands that can’t stand out among all the others we carry, but we’re rooting for them all!
Question of the Week: Have you ever purchased a discontinued ink, or at least stocked up on an ink you knew would be getting discontinued? (1:17:35)
In the first Goulet Q&A episode of 2020, Brian talks about what will happen after he tries every single pen and ink we carry, his favorite discontinued pens, and the most polarizing products we sell. Enjoy!
The last few weeks:
- Christmas, New Years, Goulet fam took a break and it was great
- New Years resolution, I haven’t set on anything specific, still carrying over mine from last year of rekindling my woodworking passion, very much driving towards that
- more Monteverde and Conklin JoWo nibs arrived, so we’re finally restocking some long overdue pens (with free ink), Drew and I talked about in Wed’s Write Now
- S.T. Dupont has kind of snuck in here, we’re doing a soft launch and I’ll be talking about them Monday with Drew in Write Now
- We got in the Maiora Impronte, brand behind Nettuno, and we plan to learn a little more about them and share more, initial impressions are good though!
- A bunch of new Leuchtturm A5 in Neon and Sage, Powder, Denim, and Bellini
- Monteverde First Step– reverse painted!
- Coming soon: TWSBI Eco White and RoseGold, Galen Leather Writer’s Medic Bag, Lamy Al-Star Turmaline
1) oihanaguinaga- Instagram (10:57)
What happens when you finally try every single ink and pen? How to keep up the “penthusiasm”?
- I guess I’ll retire! not
- I’m taking this question in the spirit of Hans Gruber’s quote from Die Hard, “And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.” meaning that the “penthusiasm” is around trying new pens
- I’ll take every pen SKU we have, which includes each variant of nib size, model, color, etc, some of these will be really similar to one another but the math is easier
- Roughly 2,500 different pens
- Ink is around 700 colors
- Just experiencing one of each of these, then that’s 2,500 experiences (reusing some of the same ink in different pens, but still experiencing them all)
- Say I am doing one new one per day, that’s close to 7 years with a new pen EVERY DAY, you gotta write with it for a bit, carry it around, etc
- But there are new products coming out, too, we probably added around 800 pen and ink SKU’s last year
- Conservatively, let’s say it’s 500/year we’re adding, well that’s more than 1/day, so shoot, I have to pick up the pace
- Doing 1.37 SKU’s a day just to keep up with what’s new coming out, if I double and do two a day, it’ll take me 3,969 days or 10.87 years to get caught up (and then I’ll still have 1.37 SKU’s/day new coming out)
- If we expand beyond the Goulet Pens catalog to other brands currently made, that number drastically increases (we don’t carry EVERYTHING), easily triple, quadruple, who knows
- If you wanted to experience every pen and ink currently made in the world, it would easily become a full-time commitment
- That’s just if you experience everything possible once, if you really wanna go nuts, let’s talk about possible combinations
- 2500 pens x 7oo inks (not even new stuff)= 1,750,o00 combinations, or 3 combinations a day for 1,600 years….not possible, how about increasing then to 120 combinations a day every day for the next 40 years (working 14 hours a day, that’s one new combination every 7 minutes, I better clean my pens fast!!)
- Factor in new products too, we’re probably talking a new combination every 3 minutes, 14 hours a day every day for 40 years…yeah, I think that would kill my penthusiasm!
- Clearly, we’re outside the realm of possibility already, and when you consider other factors like brands not at Goulet, vintage pens and ink, custom nib grinds, and other factors like paper, it becomes effectively inconceivable (though I’m sure the math is workable)
- all this to bring it back to the fact that the enjoyment of fountain pens is not solely based on just trying the next new thing, as exciting as that is, but rather it’s about enjoying whatever experience you are having
- your interest in new pens will rise and fall, you’ll rediscover things with the products you’ve owned for a long time that will reignite with interest and passion, much like reading an old book or rewatching a movie you pick up new things from it
- I think with as much time as I’ve spent over 10+ years in this as a full time+ job, I’m living proof that in all practicality, you are capable of achieving an entire lifetime of enjoyment of fountain pens without running out of options
2) Jackie O.- Facebook (22:13)
It puzzles me why so many mass-produced low end (and of course many high end) pens have ebonite feeds, but almost no mid-range pens do. Low end–I’m thinking primarily Indian made pens–have more malleable stamped steel nibs which might conform to a less precise ebonite feed. ABS feeds can be mass produced with great precision to match higher quality European nibs. Am I on to something, or am I over-thinking it?!”
- I’ll start off by saying it has absolutely nothing to do with the nib conforming to the feed, you’re off the mark on that one
- it’s the complete opposite of that, one of the ebonite feed’s main advantages is that it can be heat set to match right up to a nib
- more expensive pens usually are made of gold, which are softer than steel nibs on less expensive pens and gold would be more likely to “conform” than steel, so I just had to ensure understanding around this nib/feed relationship
- it’s really not THAT many pens that have ebonite feeds, it’s actually just a handful as most companies at all price points are using plastic feeds
- you’re right in that there does seem to be a gap…you have some pens like Noodler’s and others like them that have ebonite feeds at the low-end, and Aurora, certain Namiki, Scribo, Montegrappa and others in the $500+ range, nothing in the $75-500 range has them that I can recall
- it’s less about why they don’t have them in the middle range and more about why they do have them in the low range, I honestly don’t know how they do it
- Noodler’s does because he basically breaks even on the pens, it’s very boutique, and Nathan Tardif isn’t driven by profits
- Ebonite isn’t cheap, and the process for machining ebonite feeds is far more expensive than injection-molded plastic feeds
- there’s a ton of waste in the process because it’s a natural material (at least 1/3 is wasted because of voids/defects in the manufacturing process)
- they also can’t be injection-molded but have to be machined which takes way more time
- the fact that any low-priced pens have these blows my mind
3) etavirp_40fejn- Instagram (35:39)
What was the first pen Brian inked up and the first pen Brian wrote with in 2020?
- honestly, I think it was a Jinhao Shark pen for my daughter, but I’m not 100% certain
- I inked it with Lamy Crystal Azurite, the dark purple, but I don’t know that I actually wrote with it though, maybe a couple of scribbles just to make sure it was flowing after inking
- The first pen I wrote with was my Homo Sapiens Skylight, which I’ve been carrying around for a bit now, with Robert Oster Blue Water Ice
- I’ve been doing a slew of pen cleaning, Nib Nooking, and sampling other pens, it’s been kind of a blur since I’ve been back in the office this week!
- None of my stuff was significant or related to it being a new year, I’m using pens constantly and these just happened to be the ones I was working with when the decade turned!
4) brian.degayner.repair- Instagram (38:09)
Do you have any favorite discontinued fountain pens? or brands?
- There are SO many things I could lump into this! What a hard question!
- Lots of old old vintage stuff I could mention, like all “wet noodle” vintage nibs
- Parker 51, cool as heck
- Sheaffer Snorkel, love the engineering
- I also am a huge fan of the Pilot m90 with its integrated nib into the steel body
- if I stay a little more current, I do really miss Omas, the Ogiva and 360 were just really cool pens and they went under just as we were starting to carry them
- Delta had some great stuff too, we were never super heavily involved with them either, it was sort of another Omas situation
- Lamy Dark Lilac Safari (and ink) were great, I hope Lamy can bring those back
- I really loved Visconti’s Homo Sapiens London Fog
- Lamy 2000 Bauhaus, just weren’t enough of them, I wish we could offer them regularly
- for the most part though, most of the pens that are discontinued are that way for a reason, they either run their course or they were limited for a reason so of course we’d miss them!
- The great thing is, new stuff is still coming out all the time, and there will be more new and exciting things to come
5) Bradthebear1- Instagram (45:03)
What do you think is the most polarizing fountain pen, ink, and paper that Goulet Pens sells?
- well clearly this question is polarizing in and of itself, and I may have people that debate me, ha! I’m curious what others think about this
- pretty much any flex nib from any brand, that’ll get the fire stoked! The more affordable, the more it stirs things up because it gets more pens in people’s hands.
- Noodler’s Flex pens dominated the polarization for years, now OmniFlex gets in there pretty good, too
- Noodler’s has long been one of the most polarizing brands, and that’s been Nathan’s whole mission behind his company, to encourage writing and prompt (specifically political) discussion
- Interestingly enough, as the political landscape has become a hotbed on all sides, he’s toned down his messages a bit, so he’s not stirred up that pot quite as much in recent years
- Still, with the convention-pushing properties and high level of saturation and permanence, there’s active debate to this day about his ink even within the manufacturers and nibmeisters, and all throughout the community
- Baystate Blue has long been the poster child for this, from the theme around taxation and the extreme bright color and unique properties of the ink, it keeps people talking
- Other highly saturated inks like Organics Studio Nitrogen, various shimmer inks also spark debate, but none quite so emphatically and individually as Baystate Blue has done for many years
- in general people tend to be a little less fired up about paper
- Tomoé River probably takes the prize, because it’s rather unique, sheens heavily and is so thin, it gets a lot of hype (and thus refuting of said hype)
6) @_juanikiki- Twitter (52:58)
Are you inspired to write and have a pen or do you get inspired because you have a pen?
- both, really
- sometimes one is the catalyst for the other
- it’s like having an instrument, sometimes you want to play or sing a specific song, so you pick up the instrument to accomplish that goal
- other times, you just have the notion to pick it up and feel inspired to play or sing something
- it’s the same with writing for me, I do love my pens and will often look for ways to write more in my life
- I’m currently reading Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport (Author of Deep Work), and thinking a lot about the intentionality of the tools we use (digital and otherwise)
- I always enjoy the tactile writing process, and pens to me help keep me singularly focused and in my own thoughts, a sense of solitude and reflection
- So sometimes I’m inspired just by the activity of picking up a pen, other times I pick up a pen because I’m inspired, it’s really both
7) Dayna L.- Facebook (58:25)
I recently discovered Q&A at episode 256. I went back and watched them all from the beginning and noticed early on you referred to both yourself and Rachel as introverts. By episode 170 you mentioned you were more of an extrovert and more recently went so far to say you get jazzed up from talking to people. What do you believe was the biggest factor(s) to that change from introvert to extrovert?
- increased self-awareness and education
- I took the Myers-Briggs test (along with several others like DISC, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, Languages of Appreciation) and I do lean pretty definitively towards Extrovert (75% on the scale)
- I’m also more task than people-driven, so I’m somewhat of a complex flavor of extrovert
- I grew up with a very extroverted sister and father with a very introverted mother, so I always associated myself more on the introverted side
- as Rachel and I have learned more about ourselves, gone to counseling, done personality testing, and been speaking more about it with others, we have better perspective on ourselves
- Rachel is introverted, she’s drained after spending time around people and needs to retreat to recouperate
- I gain energy from being around others (to a point), and think and talk out loud as part of my daily activities
- I don’t know how much we’ve each actually changed, I think it’d just that we have more self-awareness and comfort in being who we actually are!
Question of the week: If money and practicality were not a factor, how often would you want to acquire a new pen or ink? Are you driven by the pursuit of “new”, or do you think you’d settle into a sweet spot after X number of acquisitions? (1:07:25)
Hi, fountain pen friends, I’m Brian K. I am a Customer Care Representative here at Goulet and I’m excited to share my first Inksploration with you. I was fortunate enough to get to play around with LAMY Benitoite, a lovely grey-blue water-resistant ink from their Crystal inks line. Read on to hear about my inspiration for the drawing and my thoughts on how the ink behaves.
Drawing Inspiration and Technique
The color of LAMY Benitoite reminded me of the blue hue of smoke when the light shines through it. I took this observation and ran with it when it came time to do my drawing. I started out by sketching the rough outline of the match and flames using the TWSBI ECO. When I was happy with how it looks, I went in and darkened up some of the lines, making the wood grain, match head, and flames more pronounced. I then grabbed a water brush pen and blurred some of the lines to create depth and used the same brush pen dipped in the ink to fill in the drawing. I alternated between a fountain pen and brush pen, adding more detail until I had a look I was satisfied with.
The water fastness of the ink helped keep the initial layout lines in check, which was key in getting the definition I wanted in the wood grain especially. The shading capability was great for getting the range of color I like to draw with and the ink took really well to being used as a wash or watercolor. The dryness also helped with keeping the lines crisp and defined while drawing and not having to worry about smearing and bleeding into the page. Overall, this ink was surprisingly nice to sketch with and the feel on the page with an EF nib and dry ink is the type of feedback I would like to have when drawing.
- Flow- Dry
- Definitely dry but still smooth
- The feel is drier than normal LAMY inks
- Flow out of the ECOs was excellent and worked well in all the other pens I tested before
- Dry Time- 20 seconds
- Relatively fast
- Good for a right-hander but might be a bit slow for anyone left-handed
- The trade-off in dry time is the inks eventual water resistance
- Water Resistance- Medium
- Plays well with a wash before it fully dries and afterward has excellent water resistance
- Shading- Medium
- The shading is subtle with finer nibs
- Still understated with thicker lines but has a good range to utilize
- How did the ink behave on other papers?
- Little to no ghosting on Leuchtturm
- Shading on the Leuchtturm paper was excellent as well
- Minimal ghosting on Tomoe
- Ghosting was more apparent because of the dark ink on thin paper.
- Special Features Worth Noting?
- The LAMY bottles are very easy to use and fill from.
- The ink is very well behaved on most papers and has little to no bleedthrough and ghosting.
- I enjoyed writing with this ink and it really lets you feel the nib on the paper because of how dry it is.
What is your favorite water-resistant ink?
Last week, we gave you our list of hottest pens of 2019, this week? We’re tackling inks! We wanted to highlight some of the most exciting ones that came out in the last year. “Collections” seemed to be the theme as not a lot of individual inks stood out, rather entire series or lines of ink.
Here’s our list, sorted chronologically based on when they launched throughout the year:
Launching here in the US in early 2019, the LAMY Crystal inks were a whole new line from LAMY with some real standout colors. Azurite was by far the most popular as it reminded a few of their past special edition Dark Lilac ink. Overall, with strong saturated colors and attractive packaging, the Crystal inks were a big hit.
Designed to complement their 7 Gods of Good Fortune pens, Pilot released 7 special new colors of Iroshizuku ink, all packaged together in one set. Each mini boxed set comes with seven 15ml bottles. Each individual ink was also available in a 50ml bottle as well.
Exclusive to Goulet Pens in the US, Jacques Herbin expanded their ink offerings in 2019 with 14 new colors. Of the group, the four scented inks really drew attention of the fountain pen community offering perfume quality scented ink. Making a full circle, Herbin was actually the first ink brand we carried back in 2009.
Debuting at the DC Pen Show in August, Noodler’s released Tokyo Gift. A gorgeous red-pink with a cool story behind it. The ‘Tokyo Gift’ was the cherry blossom trees in 1912 from the mayor of Tokyo to DC. Nathan Tardif always brings a deeper meaning to his inks and this one was no different.
Also launching at the DC Pen Show, Monteverde DC Supershow Teal was a very popular option for us in 2019. Nice saturation, great shading, and an affordable price helped this ink get into the hands of many ink fans!
Despite being named after desserts, the Monteverde Sweet Life collection was not scented! This 10 ink set offers a wide variety of saturated colors with Blue Velvet Cake and Pumpkin Cake being a few of the most popular options.
Diamine InkVent Calendar
Dethroning Organics Studio Nitrogen as the best selling ink product of the year, the Diamine InkVent Calendar was a truly awesome and unique product that was super popular. Ink advent was always something we wanted to do, but logistically was tough, so we were very excited when we saw Diamine had created it! Consisting of 24 mini-bottles and 1 regular sized, it was a lot of fun seeing each person reveal the days’ ink as December went along.
Most recent on the list, but a milestone launch for a very popular brand. TWSBI released the 1791 collection, their first line of inks, in the holiday season. The famous Chinese book, “The Dreams of the Red Chamber”, released in 1791 gave inspiration for each ink. Conservative colors, but really cool to see a pen manufacturer get into the ink game.
Did you have a favorite ink release in 2019? Leave a comment below and let us know!
The Goulet Pen Company Team
What were the best pens of 2019? It was an amazing year for fountain pens which made narrowing down this list of hottest pens that much more difficult! So many great limited and special edition pens released as well as some awesome new pen models. Watch the video above to see Brian and Drew’s picks for the hottest pens of 2019:
While the Magnum has been around for decades, the Prismatic Purple color is new and exclusive to Goulet Pens here in the US. Beyond the amazing color, the Magnum is a staple starter pen for many with its affordable price, and springy JoWo nib. Diplomat even expanded their nib offerings to include an Extra-Fine option later in the year.
An amazing design made the Sunstone of our most popular Conklin pens in 2019. The rose gold nib and trim really balanced out the rich brown barrel. It was also a turning point and kicked off a new and iterative improvements to the unique Omniflex nib.
One color wasn’t enough for this year’s special edition LAMY Safari as they debuted three new pastel colors: Blue Macaron, Powder Rose, and Mint Glaze! The pastel tone was on trend in 2019, but Blue Macaron was definitely the best selling of the bunch. There was no matching ink this year, but the pens look great on their own.
TWSBI’s flagship model, the 580/580AL, received a couple special edition colors this year but none did as well as Emerald when it was launched in February. This was actually our best selling special edition in 2019 across all brands. In addition to a great color, the pen itself is super reliable and well-regarded in the fountain pen community.
Retro 51 Apollo Space Race LE
2019 was the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and Retro 51 did a great job celebrating this. The Apollo fountain pen popper sold very well after the 3 rollerball sets (Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury) launched in January. The moon landing was a great inspiration for a number of fountain pen manufacturers and it’s great to see historical events pop up in designs.
One of the most unique pens of the year, the Montegrappa Ammiraglio 1939 was an interesting collaboration with Sailor. Providing the nibs on these beautiful pens was really special and the first time we can remember something like this happening. In addition to the nib, each pen was made from beautiful celluloids, making it a great collectors piece as well.
The Diplomat Aero is their flagship model and for good reason! This reliable and smooth-writing fountain pen received a new Goulet-exclusive color in 2019 with Turquoise. Launching in August, each pen is made of an anodized aluminum that really pops with the vibrant turquoise color.
One of the most popular releases each year, 2019 was no different with the Pilot Vanishing Point Tropical Turquoise. A bold color was to be expected as the US had the design choice this year (alternates between US, Japan, and Europe), but even this turquoise design blew us a way. It came and went in September, selling out in a couple of days.
TWSBI kept the ECO collectors very happy in 2019 with a number of transparent designs being released. Most notable was the Transparent Purple launching in late September. The ECO is a very popular go-to option for both newbies and enthusiasts alike and a great deal for under $30.
New pen models from Noodler’s are rare, so when the Triple Tail launched in October, it was met with considerable excitement and praise. Featuring a flexible music nib similar to the Neponset, the Triple Tail’s biggest change is utilizing a different resin that didn’t have that “Noodler’s Smell”. The pen itself writes very broad and very wet making it a unique pen to add to any collection.
What do you think of our list? Feel like we missed a few great pens? Let us know in the comments below. We’re already excited to see what lies ahead in 2020.
The Goulet Pen Company Team