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Thread: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

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    Question Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    A question, especially for the ink people among us. Do you buy an ink color or an ink fantasy?

    This morning's weekly marketing ad from Jet Pens featured new inks by Robert Oster.

    "We've added more Robert Oster Inks, including some inspired by Australia's terrain and new glittering shades."
    .
    .



    Now "glittering shades" is obviously marketing hype. Is "inspired by Australia's terrain" also marketing hype? I could accept that for real artists --- people who see color in a way most of us do not or cannot --- the concept of a local color, e.g. "Australia's terrain" may actually have meaning. But, given my bias against marketing, I doubt it.

    All the ink sellers seem to do it, the Japanese more so than others, but that's likely a cultural thing. How many Sailor inks are "inspired" by Mount Fuji or its environs?

    Some year's ago Noodles (yes I know it's Noodler's) "Apache Sunset" was all the rage in the ink community. If you weren't using Apache Sunset, you certainly were not part of the in crowd.

    I'm in with the in crowd
    I go where the in crowd goes
    I'm in with the in crowd
    And I know what the in crowd knows

    Naturally, I wanted in so I sent my money to Mr. Noodles and got a bottle of Apache Sunset. Well, what the in crowd knew was lost on me. I could hardly see it on white paper. So I decided maybe Diamine's "Autumn Oak" was the answer. I love Autumn and the colors of the season. It was a little better, but it never inspired Autumn in me. I tried for several years --- every October I'd fill a good fountain pen (usually broad or music nib) with Autumn Oak, hoping for a glimpse of New England foliage that never materialized no matter what I wrote. On paper, it was just another pale orange that faded out in a few weeks. My money had gone up in smoke like the piles of burning leaves from my childhood.
    .
    .
    .

    .


    Frankly, I wonder if fountain pen ink isn't one of the greatest marketing con games going. Am I wrong? Has anyone been talked into buying these names?

    Red Dragon

    Dark Chocolate

    Edgar Allan Poe

    Kabayaki Hamanako Eel

    Black Swan English Roses

    Herbert Simon Cranberry Nobel

    Nightshade

    Sweet Potato Purple

    Norwegian Wood Emerald

    I own or have owned all of them. And when it comes to writing something with a fountain pen, you'll see me using black, or if I'm feeling frisky, a blue-black.

    So, when you buy ink, are you truly buying a color --- or a marketing dream?

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    Senior Member Yazeh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    As an ink nerd, I have limited my scope to waterproof inks. If I had the patience or inclination, I would just mix and match my own inks, with either De Atramentis / or Noodler's/ Octopus inks.

    In the beginning I bought a haphazard bunch of inks [including Apache Sunset (newly named Southwest Sunset), Ancient Copper... , most of which I would gladly get rid of.
    Overtime with experience, I have a few pens permanently filled with my favorite permanent inks
    As of now, I'm going through all the samples I have accumulated to figure out what I'm looking for in each colour category.
    In this journey I have discovered colours which I would've never used and I'm now enjoying [Murky Greens/ Greys], colours which I don't enjoy at all [mostly reds, and oranges], colour that I love but I don't like in ink [blue]. Inks that I love the tactility when writing (and not necessary the colour)or badly behaving inks, which I enjoy using for some obscure reason
    I have also discovered that I love muted/ "chalky", fast drying inks and don't care that much about shading, sheen (shocker!)
    I have a weakness for some of Noodler's historical inks, for ex. Rome Burning, Akhmatova, or Mata Hari's Cordial. Yes it is marketing, but I get something more interesting than blue/ green/ yellow in the name, or even worse blue 1, blue #2. etc.

    Then there's the matter of paper, I love Japanese papers, and only use Rhodia for my reviews. I surprisingly like thick absorbent papers, as they tame many a wet ink.

    And have discovered excellent brands like Octopus Write and Draw or Büroservice Bergmann's IG inks.
    But if I were to restart my journey, I would recommend to my naive self to start with samples and only samples....

    In the end, there any many shades to each colour....


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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    I love Red Dragon - even though it doesn't shade. (I'm mad about shading.)

    I like it when the name of an ink is interesting, but I'm buying the color. This is why I have so many samples but (since switching to samples), not so many bottles. I love the diversity and enjoy the samples, but the color has to wow me before I'll buy a bottle of it.

    I think the marketeers are trying to catch your attention, but I also think there's some acknowledgement that the product has to link to the name somehow. Even if it's only a notion and not reality...

    Meanwhile, I rather like that Australis Oak, but I'm not really into glitter - don't mind them, but would just as soon have the ink without the glitter usually - so I probably would just wait until I find a similar brown, or a better brown... I'm up to my ears in ink anyway, no real need to chase new ones.


    @Yazeh, that video: - absolutely hilarious.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    I purchase ink by the color and the properties, not the name. I go by trusted ink reviewers, not marketing. If I am uncertain, I order a sample and see for myself if an entire bottle is worth it. If I like the color and the way it works with both pen and paper, they can call it dogshit for all I care, I'll buy it and use it.

    Life is too short to only use blue, black, and blue/black inks exclusively.
    Last edited by Jon Szanto; October 3rd, 2023 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Adding emoji so I don't sound like a jerk! :D
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    Yeah, the marketing and Oooo-Shiny got to me in the beginning. A LOT. No longer, though.

    I had a sample of A Patchy Sunset, loved the color and shading, but it was formulated with Noodler's Never-Dri™️ so I reluctantly let it go.

    If I have a dry ink I can happily match it to a wet pen, and vice versa.

    No longer use glitter inks, still shy of pigmented, and tend to stick with a few known brands like Monteverde, Montblanc, and 'penmaker' inks.
    My other pen is a Montblanc.

    And my other blog is a tumblr!


    And my latest ebook, for spooky wintery reading:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0CM2NGSSD

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    As I thought about the subject this afternoon, while doing some work, one thing did dawn on me: we're in a golden age of inks, I think. Unlike pens, I don't think there is any time in the past when there have been as many ink makers with this many inks available. And if you are someone producing those inks, you have to call them... something! An interesting project over the past couple/few years has been the reddit fountain pen forum ink.

    Every year they get a maker to make two (originally one) shades of ink, and first they have multiple polls/votes as to which colors (from many) people like. And THEN they get on to naming them, which is a Big Deal, and takes many rounds of voting. All to pin a moniker on something that might be basically teal or dark read or something. Instead, we get "Writer's Blood" or "Celedon Cat". I'm ok with that - I just look at the ink colors and see if they appeal to me, and the process is kinda fun.

    Shout out to Brilliant Bill: this afternoon I had to change inks in a pen and... I loaded it up with blue/black! I was inspired by my friend FredRyder, who had a note in Randall Blue/Black and I had forgotten about that one, so I pulled out the bottle and inked it up. Dramatic.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Life is too short to only use blue, ...
    Yup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    ... black, ...
    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    ... and blue/black inks exclusively.
    Blasphemy! Inky demon-spawn! Blue-black is the most exalted ink color, followed closely by murky green...



    (Note for those with no sense of humor: Just teasing.)

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    @Brilliant Bill, thank you for the mini-essay exploring the question that at some point we all ask ourselves when we're being honest ... to ourselves.

    I am unashamedly a sucker for evocative-smart-creative ink names, and even more vainly, I am a sucker for pretty boxes too. At the Dallas Pen Show last week I was stuck at the Vanness Pens table, trying to decide which Ukiyo-e Taccia ink I wanted to buy because their boxes are just cool. Unable to make up my mind, I finally settled with Taccia Aoguro which I really like! (but the box is a lot more plain, hahaha)

    Having said that, I have tiny collection of ink bottles (and equally manageable samples) compared to many of you, I bought the Aoguro because I actually finished my bottle of PenBBS 236 recently.

    Now pens, that's a completely different story...
    Last edited by penwash; October 4th, 2023 at 02:08 PM.
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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    I only care about the color and the properties, not the naming. But, if you want a bigger attempt at buying a fantasy, what about the MB WE/LE pens? Does anyone think they'll write like these great writers, or think like these great thinkers, if they use such a pen? Kafka could never own a Kafka, a pre-1905 Einstein couldn't own an Einstein, ...

    Typos courtesy of Samsung Auto-Incorrect™
    M: I came here for a good argument.
    A: No you didn't; no, you came here for an argument.
    M: An argument isn't just contradiction.
    A: It can be.
    M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    A: No it isn't.
    M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
    A: Yes it is!
    M: No it isn't!

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by LizEF View Post


    @Yazeh, that video: - absolutely hilarious.
    Paints have even more weird catalogue names. Unlike the painter in the movie, most painters, I've met despair when they have to paint plain white/ off-white. I've even played with paint on the wall to make it uneven, shading, which is much more nicer

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeh View Post
    As an ink nerd, I have limited my scope to waterproof inks. If I had the patience or inclination, I would just mix and match my own inks, with either De Atramentis / or Noodler's/ Octopus inks.

    In the beginning I bought a haphazard bunch of inks [including Apache Sunset (newly named Southwest Sunset), Ancient Copper... , most of which I would gladly get rid of.
    Overtime with experience, I have a few pens permanently filled with my favorite permanent inks
    As of now, I'm going through all the samples I have accumulated to figure out what I'm looking for in each colour category.
    In this journey I have discovered colours which I would've never used and I'm now enjoying [Murky Greens/ Greys], colours which I don't enjoy at all [mostly reds, and oranges], colour that I love but I don't like in ink [blue]. Inks that I love the tactility when writing (and not necessary the colour)or badly behaving inks, which I enjoy using for some obscure reason
    I have also discovered that I love muted/ "chalky", fast drying inks and don't care that much about shading, sheen (shocker!)
    I have a weakness for some of Noodler's historical inks, for ex. Rome Burning, Akhmatova, or Mata Hari's Cordial. Yes it is marketing, but I get something more interesting than blue/ green/ yellow in the name, or even worse blue 1, blue #2. etc.

    Then there's the matter of paper, I love Japanese papers, and only use Rhodia for my reviews. I surprisingly like thick absorbent papers, as they tame many a wet ink.

    And have discovered excellent brands like Octopus Write and Draw or Büroservice Bergmann's IG inks.
    But if I were to restart my journey, I would recommend to my naive self to start with samples and only samples....

    In the end, there any many shades to each colour....

    LOVE that film. One of its many memorable scenes!
    My other pen is a Montblanc.

    And my other blog is a tumblr!


    And my latest ebook, for spooky wintery reading:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0CM2NGSSD

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    I suspect ink manufacturers sometimes have a problem in thinking of names for inks now there are so many in the world. I always buy my inks by the actual ink colour and the name doesn't matter.

    Sometimes I wonder why an ink is called by the name it has been given as it doesn't fit in with my idea of what the colour might have been. Diamine Steel Blue is an example. It doesn't make me think of steel blue but I really like the ink so it makes no difference. I also like Red Dragon but only because of the actual shade of red. After all there aren't that many dragons around, red or otherwise, so I wouldn't have any idea of what colour one was supposed to be.

    I bought Sweet Potato Purple because I liked that colour and I bought Rikyu cha for the same reason so I don't believe I'm led by marketing. Just by personal choice.
    Last edited by Chrissy; October 4th, 2023 at 03:01 PM.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Review Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    I have this odd belief that gratitude is not limited to Thanksgiving day...

    Thanks to Jon for pointing out the great fortune we have in the kaleidoscope of inks now available. I suppose the intense competition inspires some of the marketing lunacy, but we are awash in inky good fortune.

    And Yaz, that vid clip is so perfectly appropriate --- and a delight to watch, over and over. Thanks!!

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    Along the lines of fashion, marketing, FOMO and all the related trend topics, I saw this posted earlier today on reddit:

    newinks.jpg
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Along the lines of fashion, marketing, FOMO and all the related trend topics, I saw this posted earlier today on reddit:

    newinks.jpg
    well, is there???

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    I feel the pull of some marketing techniques, and, to Bill's question, am vulnerable to a bit of "fantasy" conjuring. For the most part, I am able to resist it, and I am mostly tempted by the color that my eyes see. Names, as language, interest me, and I must admit that I do find simple names like "red" or "green" a bit unimaginative and boring in comparison to the other names also familiar in the market. But I don't care what ina-ho means, that is an ugly ink to me and my test sample repulsed me.

    My peeve is author-named inks that have nothing to do with my vision of the tone or style of that person's writing. That is sacrilege to me.

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    Have you ever seen the correspondence between Ford Motor Company and poet Marianne Moore? They asked her to suggest possible names for what finally became the Edsel (NOT her fault!). Most of the names she suggested bordered on ludicrous (Utopian Turtletops), but the letters were fascinating.

    I can't rise to the level of sacrilege in naming a red ink Shakespeare, but I do find it hard to find a connection. I suppose the name Shakespeare is free and conjures up mostly positive images. That's marketing for you.

    If you were asked to provide a name for a new red ink, what would you suggest? How about "Valentine Heart"? "Living Martyrs"? "Stalin's Curse" if we wanted to go the Noodles route?

    Be careful what you suggest; it may end up next year's newest success from Diamine! How about Diamine Road Rage Red?

    Such fun.



    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    I feel the pull of some marketing techniques, and, to Bill's question, am vulnerable to a bit of "fantasy" conjuring. For the most part, I am able to resist it, and I am mostly tempted by the color that my eyes see. Names, as language, interest me, and I must admit that I do find simple names like "red" or "green" a bit unimaginative and boring in comparison to the other names also familiar in the market. But I don't care what ina-ho means, that is an ugly ink to me and my test sample repulsed me.

    My peeve is author-named inks that have nothing to do with my vision of the tone or style of that person's writing. That is sacrilege to me.

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliant Bill View Post
    How about Diamine Road Rage Red?
    Love it! Several of us on r/fountain pens thought a cream ink with blue-green bits named Roquefort would be fun...

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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliant Bill View Post
    Have you ever seen the correspondence between Ford Motor Company and poet Marianne Moore? They asked her to suggest possible names for what finally became the Edsel (NOT her fault!). Most of the names she suggested bordered on ludicrous (Utopian Turtletops), but the letters were fascinating.
    No, I have never seen these.


    If you were asked to provide a name for a new red ink, what would you suggest?
    Oh, my first ideas are too macabre for printing here. I am the one who used to respond with long, bloodcurdling screams as if I were being murdered when a telemarker would call my landline.

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    Senior Member Lloyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying Color or Buying Fantasy?

    Bloodshot Eyes Red sold in airline/nip bottles?

    Typos courtesy of Samsung Auto-Incorrect™
    Last edited by Lloyd; October 9th, 2023 at 10:49 PM.
    M: I came here for a good argument.
    A: No you didn't; no, you came here for an argument.
    M: An argument isn't just contradiction.
    A: It can be.
    M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    A: No it isn't.
    M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
    A: Yes it is!
    M: No it isn't!

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