Ink Swabs + an Ink Book + a Just for Fun Contest

It’s been almost 6 months since we moved into this new space, but we finally, finally have new ink swabs up on the shelves! I know some of you were asking what was taking so long, and really, it was finding enough time to do this massive project properly.

We wanted to make sure we were organized enough to do it all correctly, because we also wanted to make an ink book at the same time. Over a few long and dark nights, there was paper chopping and ink spilled and lengthy discussions about burgundy vs brown and turquoise vs “peacock blue.”

Noodler's Ink Toronto Canada

But now, we have an ink book! I know a lot of you were also asking for this, because sometimes you want to be able to compare inks in just one place, and know that you’re seeing “all of the reds” or “all of the blues,” rather than walking around between the shelves.

Our ink book is sorted two ways: by brand and by colour. In our table of contents, which I unwisely wrote in fountain pen first, you can look up either all of the inks of a certain colour, or all of the inks in a certain brand.

Diamine J. Herbin Platinum Carbon Black Ink Toronto Canada Fountain Pens

If you look closely at the real thing, you’ll see there are some white labels covering some incorrect entries…

Wonder Pens Ink Swab Book

Blue Inks

Noodler’s Inks!

Our next step (and by our, I mean Jon’s) is going to be scanning and uploading all of these to the website. That is going to be another huge undertaking, with colour correction and getting the swab onto the same shot as the bottle of ink so you don’t have to click around so much. I will be making the snacks while all of this scanning is going on, and Jon is saying, “Liz, we need to hire some sort of technology intern…”

All this said, just remember that there’s still a bit of human inconsistency in how the swabs look – for example, just a little bit of looser or extra cotton on a q-tip means quite a bit of difference in how wet the q-tip can be, which makes a difference in how rich or saturated the swabs look. We tried our best to use our judgement to make each swab as reasonably consistent as possible. Also remember that the swab is an indication of colour, but the ink line coming out of your pen will be different from how it look in the swab.


The best part of all this sitting down and freshly swabbing every ink is getting to see all of these inks again! It reminded me of a few inks that I once loved but had forgotten, and also a few inks that I’ve never tried but now have next on my list. I kept a page on the side with small swabs of all the inks that are next to be put into a pen…

Ink Swabs on Midori Traveler's Notebook Paper Fountain Pens

(I also keep forgetting how amazing Midori TN paper actually is for fountain pen ink – no bleeding, even with a q-tip swab!)

I didn’t write down the names of them as I was swabbing since I was waiting for the ink to dry, and I thought it might be fun to hold a mini contest! Any guesses?? The first closest guess in the comments over the next three days will receive a surprise package from me in the mail! It will be some fun and exciting treats, stationery related, or maybe not! 🙂

And, I’ll give you a few hints, because I feel like this may be a bit tricky, and because I like giving hints.

I’ll number them like so:
1   –   2   –   3  –  4
5   –   6   –   7  –  8
9   –  10
11 –  12

No. 3 has the name of a country in its name.
No. 10 has the name of a season.
No. 11 is one of my all-time favourite inks, and I’ve done a review of it in the past.

Of the swabs, there are:

3 Diamine
2 J. Herbin
2 Noodler’s
2 Rohrer & Klingner
2 Sailor
1 Waterman

Seven of the inks have two or more words in the name (other than the brand), for example, Alt Bordeaux – which is not one of the inks.
Four of the inks begin with the letter “A”.
If you come in and ask, Jon will tell you one of the inks.

And here are a few more shots:

Third column, second row

Third column, second row (Bonus clue: this isn’t Yama Dori)

First column, third row

First column, third row (Bonus Clue: This is a permanent ink)

First column, second row

First column, second row

Good luck!

12 thoughts on “Ink Swabs + an Ink Book + a Just for Fun Contest

  1. dannytang

    Just a friendly reminder to about the scans… Everyone’s monitor will be different, so even if John color corrects them to a calibrated screen, you’ll still need to add a reminder on the website =)

    1. Liz Post author

      Yes, definitely a great and necessary reminder! I know so often people come in and say, ‘oh, that’s what the ink looks like!’ because it can sometimes be hard to get the true colour value on a screen. Thanks so much for your tip!

  2. Lilith

    Okay, here are my best guesses!

    1 Sailor Oku-Yama
    2 Waterman Mysterious Blue (I can’t figure this one out! It’s a mystery!)
    3 Diamine Monaco Red
    4 Noodler’s Blue-Black
    5 J Herbin Rouge Hematite
    6 R&K Sepia
    7 Noodler’s Navy
    8 J Herbin Ambre De Birmanie
    9 Sailor Souten. Not sure if it’s permanent, but man it looks so similar!
    10 Diamine Autumn Oak
    11 Diamine Ochre
    12 R&K Alt-Goldgrun

  3. Courtney C.

    My guesses are as follows:
    1 – J Herbin – Rouge Hematite
    2 – Diamine – Majestic Blue
    3 – Diamine – Monaco Red
    4 – Rohrer and Klingner – Verdigris
    5 – Sailor – Oku-yama
    6 – Waterman – Absolute Brown
    7 – J Herbin – Emerald of Chivor
    8 – Noodler’s – Apache Sunset
    9 – Sailor – Sei-boku
    10 – Diamine – Autumn Oak
    11 – Noodler’s – Kiowa Pecan
    12 – Rohrer and Klingner – Alt Goldrun
    Thanks for the contest! 🙂

  4. multipass23

    How much fun was this!
    1. J herbin-rouge hematite
    2. Noodlers-blue upon the plains of Abraham
    3. Noodlers -black swan in Australian roses
    4. Sailor – blue black
    5. J herbin- emeraude de chivor
    6. Waterman- absolute brown
    7. Sailor-souten
    8. Diamine- ambre de birmanie
    9. Rohrer and klingner- blue black perm
    10. Diamine- autumn oak
    11. Diamine- ochre
    12. Rohrer and klingner- alt goldgrun

  5. Annie Lam

    This was quite a challenge but oh man this is going to be interesting.

    These are my guesses:
    1. Noodler’s Nikita
    2. Rohrer & Klingner’s Verdigris
    3. Diamine’s Monaco Red (I wasn’t sure to put this since I couldn’t find it in your store but it sure does beat out J Herbin’s Orange Indien)
    4. Sailor’s Jentle Shigure
    5. J Herbin’s Lie de The
    6. Waterman’s Absolute Brown
    7. J Herbin’s 1670 Emerald de Chivor
    8. Noodler’s Apache Sunset
    9. Sailor’s Jentle Souten
    10. Diamine’s Autumn Oak
    11. Diamine’s Ochre
    12. Rohrer & Klingner’s Alt Goldgrun

    Can’t wait to see what the colours really are!

  6. Cyn

    Here are my pitiful guesses.

    1 – Sailor Oku-yama
    2 – R&K Verdigris
    3 – J Herbin Orange Indien
    4 – Diamine Denim
    5 – Noodler’s Burma Road Brown
    6 – Waterman Absolute Brown
    7 – Noodler’s Navajo Turquoise
    8 – J Herbin Ambre De Birmanie
    9 – Sailor Sei-boku
    10 – Diamine Autumn Oak
    11 – Diamine Ochre
    12 – R&K Alt Goldgrun

    Anyway I need to know what 5 and 7 turn out to be, because I think I need to own both of them. 😛

  7. Michelle

    Those swabs will make it a lot easier to look at inks!
    Here are my guesses:
    1. Sailor Oku Yama
    2. Diamine Eclipse
    3. Noodler’s Tiananmen
    4. Diamine Salamander
    5. Sailor Shigure
    6. J. Herbin Cacao du Bresil
    7. Noodler’s Turquoise
    8. J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie
    9. Rohrer and Klingner Blau Permanent (though I don’t think it’s really permanent)
    10. Diamine Autumn Oak
    11. Waterman Absolute Brown
    12. Rohrer and Klingner Alt Goldgrun

  8. Jessica W (@jwrekso)

    Wow, this is definitely a lot harder than I first thought! At some point, most blues looks the same O__O;;

    Here are my guess:
    1. J. Herbin Rouge Hematite (2nd formulation)
    2. Sailor Yama Dori
    3. Noodler’s Black Swan in English Roses
    4. R&K Verdigris
    5. Sailor Tokiwa Matsu
    6. J. Herbin Lie de The
    7. Waterman Mysterious Blue
    8. Diamine Amber
    9. Noodler’s Upper Ganges Blue
    10. Diamine Autumn Oaks
    11. Diamine Ochre
    12. R&K Alt-Gold Grun

  9. Kate W

    I know some will be wrong, but here are my guesses!

    1. Sailor Oku-Yama
    2. J. Herbin Blue Ocean
    3. Diamine Monaco Red
    4. Sailor Shigure
    5. J.Herbin Vert Olive
    6. Noodler’s Polar Brown
    7. Waterman Mysterious Blue
    8. Noodler’s Apache Sunset
    9. R&K Blau Permanent
    10. Diamine Autumn Oak
    11. Diamine Ochre
    12. R&K Alt-Goldgrun

    The second one is driving me nuts! Great contest!

  10. J. C.

    This was really fun! I hope that I got a bunch of those right!

    1. Noodler’s Burgundy
    2. Sailor Blue
    3. J. Herbin Orange Indien
    4. Diamine Demin
    5. J. Herbin Stormy Grey
    6. Waterman Absolute Brown
    7. Sailor Souten
    8. Noodler’s Apache Sunset
    9. Rohrer & Klingner Blau Permanent
    10. Diamine Autumn Oak
    11. Diamine Ochre
    12. Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrün

  11. sue

    Took some time to do the guesswork! Here’s my go at it-

    1 Noodler’s Nikita
    2 Noodler’s Navy
    3 Diamine Monaco Red
    4 Sailor Jentle Blue-Black
    5 Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu
    6 Waterman Absolute Brown
    7 J. Herbin Emeraude de Chivor
    8 J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie
    9 Rohrer & Klingner Blau Permanent
    10 Diamine Autumn Oak
    11 Diamine Ocher
    12 Rohrer & Klingner Alt Goldgrun


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