How to thINKthursday

thINKthursday Format Explained

Chris here! As you’ve noticed, we’ve started doing thINKthursday, a weekly ink review that will continue until we run out of ink.  Having worked at Anderson Pens for nearly a year, I’ve been exposed to nearly every ink we carry – over 700 – and I’m excited to share my observations, thoughts and doodles. I took inspiration from different review formats across the internet and compiled them into 8 different sections, which I explain below:

thINKthursday Format

thINKthursday Format

  1. The Ink Brand, Color, Pens and Paper Used: I always use a fine and a broader nib for the review because the color of an ink can change SO much depending on the nib. The paper is always Rhodia No.18, 80g.
  2. A Little Doodle that Relates to the Ink Color: Sometimes these are funny, sometimes literal, and sometimes abstract. A lot of people enjoy drawing with fountain pens and this section allows you to see what the color looks like as washes.
  3. Ink Swabs: The ink is swabbed with a Q-tip in this section. The 4 lines farthest to the left are single strokes/passes, the middle 4 each have two passes, the 4 on the right each have three passes. I let the ink dry before I add additional passes.
  4. Waterproof Test: I write out the ink brand and color for 5 lines with the fine nib pen and then 5 times with the broader nib pen. I then drip water to test how the ink stands up. I think performing this test over text gives you a better idea of how your writing would stand up if you spilled something on it.
  5. Dry Times: Using both the fine and broader nibbed pens I demonstrate how quickly (or slowly) the ink dries. This can vary drastically depending on which nibs I am using for the review, but it should give a general idea of dry time.
  6. Writing Samples: This is a section that I added because I think it gives a lot of helpful information and is not included in many other reviews. The text is different for each review and consists of definitions taken from Pen Speak: The Secret Language of Pen Lovers. I am going alphabetically through the dictionary in the back of the book, so you can expand your pen vocabulary with each review. The first four lines are written with the finer nib – top two lines written in print, bottom two in cursive. The next four lines are written with the broader nib – top two lines in print, bottom two in cursive. Ink can look very different depending on your handwriting and I hope this will help you determine how it might look if you were using it.
  7. General Review: This includes flow, saturation, dry time, water resistance, feathering, bleed through, shading, and clean up. Please do not consider this information to be a definitive. As I always say, the pen, the paper, and the person doing the writing will all influence the way an ink looks. If you’re not sure about a color, try a sample to be sure it’s right for you.
  8. Similar Ink Colors: I select similar inks based on the swab cards we have in the shop – the very swabs used for our Ink Comparison Tool.

I hope that you find this format useful. I am a very visual person and part of my goal is to provide you with as much visual information as possible, in a variety of writing formats, so that you can best determine how the ink might look for you.

Ink it up!
Chris

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  • Brian Anderson

    Thanks for your kind words Audrie! Yes it will probably take close to 15 years to go through every single ink we have but we’ll try to hit the newest inks and most significant as they come out first!