Ink review: KWZ Ink Raspberry

A pink ink crush is one of my most recent fountain pen related revolutions. I never  cared much for pink inks until I was gently ushered back towards them by using and loving burgundies and purples. The Fall of 2016 saw me falling for oranges and now that Spring is upon us, I ink my pens up with pinks. Now pink inks are somewhat of an issue when it comes to the delicate matter of “office appropriateness”. There are pinks that are and those that are not. For me the rule of thumb is: can I stand looking at a full written page for as long as it takes to read the text? If not, do not use the ink for business correspondence. Use it for journaling, editing, or writing messages on cards. Or any situation where is is okay for your written word to pop cheerfully into the reader’s spectrum.

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KWZ Ink Raspberry is an ink I do use in office situations, where I take notes for myself in small paragraphs during a meeting. The lively, but not too “in your face” pink is bound to attract my attention later on when I am flipping through my notes. It is also a nice ink to use for editing printed texts. Especially in the extra fine nib, the ink shows up more as a pinkish burgundy than a bright pink. The wider the nib, the lighter and brighter the ink, the less work-appropriate it becomes. The color is beautiful, though, and I think this is a pink that will suit the many other uses you might have for your inks apart from using them in the office. A perfect ink for leaving a loving message to your better half when and where they least expect it.

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As for the properties: this is a medium wet ink. It flows very good in my fine nibs. I have it in a Pilot Prera fine and that is always ready to write, with the ink still “respecting” the fine line this nib is supposed to lay down. My Lamy 1.5 is a well-used and very wet nib, so you can see it puts a much fatter ink line on the page than the much newer 1.1 and 1.9 Lamy nibs. In the Kaweco it behaves excellently, not too wet, certainly not dry. There is not a lot of shading, especially on this Leuchtturm paper. On more ink resistant paper such as Rhodia or Tomoe River, there is a bit more shading. I have not been able to detect any noteworthy sheen on any paper (perhaps if you put a blob of ink on Tomoe River) but the loveliness of the color makes up for that as far as I am concerned. Plus, it is nice to not be bedazzled by a lot of sheen on your written page when you use a bright color. Cleaning is done in a jiffy, which also means that the ink is not waterproof. So, very nice for letter writing, but the address will not survive a rain shower if the ink is used for addressing the envelope. One thing I almost forgot to mention is the smell. This KWZ ink has the most subtle smell of all the inks I have used so far. A little on the herbal side, and very light. Where inks like Honey, Old Gold and Menthol Green are really noticeable, Raspberry only has a hint of smell.

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Looking at my always very scientifically executed -not- chromatography, you can see this ink consists of quite a lovely mix of pigments. Yellow-oranges, reds, going upwards into pinks and almost lavenders. This bit of tissue makes me very cheerful, actually!

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Comparing KWZ Raspberry to a couple of other inks, you can see that it leans more towards the cherry-burgundy ink family where Amaranth and Black Swan in Australian Roses can be categorized. Diamine Hope Pink is truly a much more “Barbie” pink and Diamine Deep Magenta leans more towards the purple spectrum. Raspberry clearly has more of a reddish-pink component than those two.

All in all, a lovely pink. Since I bought the bottle, there has always been a pen inked up with this ink. I am curious how it will compare to Robert Oster’s Cherry Blossom and Pinky, and I am sure I will do a side by side of those inks one day. If I forget, do remind me.

Do you have a pink ink that has become a staple in your collection? Please leave a comment, I would love to know. Especially the guys out there “brave” enough to use pink inks!

Tools used:

  • KWZ Ink Raspberry, of course
  • Leuchtturm A5 notebook
  • Platinum Preppies EF, F, M
  • Lamy Vista B, 1.1, 1.5, 1.9
  • Kaweco Classic Sport BB architect grind
  • Lots of water and tissue
  • Diamine Hope Pink, Deep Magenta and Amaranth
  • Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses

Thank as ever for reading and until the next post!

Janine

Ink comparison: Akkerman 15 Voorhout Violet and Montblanc Lavender Purple

At the end of the first Dutch Pen Meet-up, when we had besieged Akkerman The Hague, we were graciously given a wonderful goodie bag plus an Akkerman ink of our choice. I went back and forth between Voorhout Violet and Groenmarkt Smaragd, but finally opted for Voorhout Violet, Akkerman ink no. 15. One of my fountain pen friends from that meet-up, Neseli, asked if I could do a comparison between this ink and Montblanc Lavender Purple and I hereby happily oblige.

fullsizeoutput_42f.jpegBoth inks are of very good quality, decently behaved, easily cleaned and both are not waterproof. Both come in a 60 ml bottle. The bottles are very distinctive and good looking bottles in their own right. Dry times on this Leuchtturm paper was about the same for both inks. On Tomoe River the Montblanc dries more quickly. In the Netherlands, the price of both inks fall in the same 15-20 Euros category, the Montblanc being about 3 Euros more expensive for 60 ml.

Seen from above in natural light, the inks both are dark purples. So let’s take a closer look at them. Pens used, by the way, are a fine Preppy for the faux brand calligraphy and a Kaweco BB with an architect grind for the alphabets, squiggles and scribbles.

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The Voorhout Violet is a dusky violet purple on the blueish scheme. It is actually pretty close to the darker shades in the pansy after which it was named. Voorhout is a chic avenue in The Hague and the ink reminds me of Eline Vere, a novel named after its main character by Dutch fin-de-siecle novelist Louis Couperus. Eline Vere was quite a hysteric character, misled by her day dreams and misplaced romantic illusions, fed by her male equivalent cousin. A beautiful novel that portrays the ennui of the upper classes in The Hague at that time pretty impressively. This ink fits the atmosphere in that novel very well. Ill-lit rooms, crammed with dusty expensive furniture and people stifled by their bourgeois rules. Chic, but gloomy. I love the novel and I love this ink. Great for letter writing on good quality paper, journaling and I would consider it office appropriate.

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The Lavender Purple is a much pinker, redder purple than the Voorhout Violet. It reminds me of the dark purple that was fashionable in the 70s, but a little more subdued and fit for everyday use. To me it is much more purple than lavender. Lavender in bloom tends to lean more to the blueish spectrum. Nevertheless, a beautiful ink. I love using it as an office ink in my Hobonichi office planner, because it dries pretty quickly, even in a broad nib. I would qualify the Lavender Purple as a bit more cheerful than the Voorhout Violet, without jumping off the page in screaming purpleness.

A closer look side-by-side, in natural light:

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This picture shows equal qualities in shading. No sheen to speak of on this Leuchtturm paper, but both do sheen on even more ink resistant paper. Both lovely inks in their own right and I am happy to have both as a full bottle. These dark, decent purples will surely get good daily use because I consider both office appropriate.

Now for my crude chromatography, picture taken in natural light:

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To the left the Voorhout Violet, to the right the Lavender Purple. Both show dark blue at the base, lavender hues in the middle coming up to still dark purple with a light pink halo in the Voorhout Violet. The Lavender Purple shows a bright nearly hot pink halo.

As said, I am happy to have both the inks at my disposal, and both will get a good deal of written mileage. Now that leaves just one thing… one day I will still have to go for that bottle of Groenmarkt Smaragd… The struggles of an inkaholic!

One final picture, just for the heck of it. Let me know what your purple ink of choice is. And as ever, thank you for reading!

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