Hi and welcome to another ink review at Pennonia! Before we delve into it I just want to talk a little bit about the review process. On upcoming reviews I won’t post this info but I want take a little time and talk about how I’m doing the reviews and what I came up with. 🙂
Okay so I only did two “proper” reviews on the site but as part of the 2019 refocus of Pennonia I decided to take things more seriously and come up with my own standardized process because I’m sure everyone values consistency and it’s basically needed to somewhat compare inks between themselves. So actually this first post will feature the “prototype” page I have created and the actual standard post will come after the next review (although only the presentation is slightly different).
Here’s how I’m going to do my ink reviews and what elements it includes:
1. Brief presentation and personal opinion about the ink
2. Scanned writing sample + water test scan
3. Ink swatch and similar inks (naturally only those which I own)
4. Optional: Some product/studio shots if I have the time to set up the lights, camera etc.
My monitors are color calibrated so I’ll try to match the inks as closely to what I can see in real life, but it’s really hard to get them to look like as they do and not to mention that everyone’s monitor displays color slightly differently.
The scanned writing sample includes the following information:
1. Paper: For my paper I chose Rhodia 80g/m2 (DOTPAD No 16) because I think it’s a fairly accessible paper and it seems highly regarded in the eyes of most people. I’m sure it won’t satisfy everybody’s needs but I don’t want to complicate things for myself by using different brands as there are simply way too many of them.
2. Writing test: This will be done using capital and cursive handwriting. I think both are necessary because capital letters show shading more easily due to the fact you have to raise the nib a lot more than using cursive (where you can write down whole words without lifting the pen). I chose to write down one of my favorite childhood ballads: “Toldi” by János Arany. Each review will feature one stanza. I will choose a random pen from my collection to write it and I won’t do different nib sizes.
3. Very rudimentary doodles: Literally a square drawn with lines and a square drawn with circles/loops.
4. Ink swab: Ink swabs are an integral part of most reviews and I wanted to include them in mine as well. Over at the Pen Addict slack user @Inkantadora suggested that I should turn the pen over and just drag the nib across the page instead of using a cotton swab and I have to say it’s a great idea because it’s super fast, doesn’t waste ink, no risk of contaminating your bottle and personally I think it spreads the ink more thinly so it’s not that unrealistically saturated.
5. Star rating system: Okay so the star rating system goes from 1 to 5, I don’t think I need to explain how numbered ratings work. Categories include flow, lubrication (yeah I know it can be considered the same as flow but to me lubrication means smoothness when writing, while flow refers to how much ink goes onto the paper), shade, sheen and water resistance. The only thing I want to talk about here is water resistance and how I’m doing my test. I write one line on a mini Rhodia Dotpad No 12, tear out the paper, put it into the sink and pour on it one mug of water (300 ml, simulates a spill on your desk)
Okay! So now that this is out of the way here’s the actual review