Since it’s creation almost 1 year ago, our Facebook group, Goulet Nation, has grown into a large, diverse, fun group of fountain pen fans from all over the globe. It’s been quite thrilling to see how this community of people has developed its own identity and rhythm that is unique to the Nation. With its population nearing 11,000 members, we thought it would be fun to share some of the entertaining things that have happened in the group over the past year so that more of our audience could feel inspired to become a part of this fantastic group.
1) Matching pens to your attire (shoes, nail polish, etc.)
Your pens become just as much a part of your wardrobe as your clothing and accessories, so why not make a habit of coordinating them into a complete look? A few members of the nation did just that and it resulted in some creative pairing and an entertaining assortment of photos. A search for Hector’s posts will reveal a wonderful rainbow of these pen and shoe pairings!
2) Using pens to create gorgeous sketches or drawings
There are quite a few very talented folks in our community and Goulet Nation has proven to be the perfect place to share those talents. The Nation is very welcoming and excited to shower praise on anyone willing to share their artwork in the space of the group. It is a great way to see inks in use and the astonishing variety of colors you can achieve with them.
3) Including pens in other daily hobbies or passions
Crystal’s post above shows a perfect example of how the community included their pens in their other hobbies throughout the day. We see many wonderful journal spreads, pens being used during game nights, and various other fascinating hobbies we may not otherwise know about. The Goulet Nation always offers something new to learn about.
4) Exclusive Discounts and Giveaways!
The Goulet Nation is a very special place and we at Goulet Pens like to recognize that from time to time. You never know what coupon codes, exclusive giveaways, or first sneak peeks you might find in the Nation. Be sure to join so you can see what we’ll be offering next!
5) Product Recommendations or Advice
One of our favorite posts to see on the Nation is the requests for product recommendations. The hive mind of the Goulet Nation is a fitting place to go when in need of a pen, ink, paper, or any other type of suggestion to further enhance the fountain pen experience. There’s always someone that’s happy to answer!
6) Penabling stories and tales of sharing the joy of fountain pens with community
Another fun source of entertainment for the fountain pen community is spreading the love of pens to new people. There are always new posts being shared in Goulet Nation regarding friends, relatives, and even complete strangers catching the fountain pen bug from one of our Nation members.
7) Fountain Pen Community Building
And the final favorite part of the Goulet Nation experience is witnessing the joy of community building. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that there are thousands of people out in the world who understand your excitement, joys, and frustrations. It’s especially meaningful if no one in your every day world is a fountain pen fan as well. This is a situation some of the Goulet Nation can attest to. The connections and mutual acceptance and understanding that are shared amongst the Goulet Nation are so heartwarming and quite unique.
If you have any questions about the Goulet Nation or want to learn more, we’d be happy to help! Leave us a comment below or reach out to us on Facebook!
The Goulet Pens Team
In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about ink sample longevity, interviews & collabs, and using food coloring as fountain pen ink!
- Shooting Q&A in advance for next week
- Meetup in New Orleans, NOPSI hotel lobby 1/26 at 4:30pm
- Pineider Ink Alchemy
- Retro 51 Space Race restock
- Monteverde Monza closeouts
- Pilot VP Stripes
- Esterbrook Estie Evergreen
- Lamy Crystal inks coming soon
- Closed on Monday
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)
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:
- 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!
- 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 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 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)
- 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 amount 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.
The Goulet Pen Company
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.
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.
The AL-Star Bronze pen and matching ink should be arriving to Goulet Pens by March.
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.
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.
We’re pleased to announce not one, but three new special edition LAMY Safari colors for 2019!
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 April 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?
P.S. Be sure to sign up for the email notification list on any of the pens you’re interested in!
In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about MSRP, factory tours, and his and Rachel’s day-to-day!
- Pelikan Edelstein Garnet
- Pineider Ink Alchemy
- Pen battle video
- 7 Ways to Treat Yourself
- MBTI Bujo Blog
- Esterbook Evergreen
- VP Stripes
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)
- 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?
- I have a few, I mainly listen to audiobooks on self-improvement/leadership/business
- Gary V Audio Experience
- The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe
- How I Built This with Guy Raz
- TED Radio Hour
- Word on Fire with Bishop Robert Barron
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)
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!
- Aegean Blue
- Indigo Blue
- Crow Black
- Pearl White
- Burned Red
- And a Goulet Pens US exclusive color, Prismatic Purple! You’ll only be able to shop this color at GouletPens.com.
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?
The Goulet Pen Company Team