Category: Ink Swabs

Dominant Industry Inks

Everything Calligraphy sent me some samples of the newest brand of inks that they will carry on their site. It’s a Korean brand called Dominant Industry. I had some time to swatch the standard inks last night and I must say, they’re quite pretty. I already have a few favorites picked out. I also have a few samples of their Pearl line of inks, but I haven’t had the time to swatch those yet. Needless to say, reviews coming soon!

Vinta Neon Edition

The other half of the new capsule collections that Vinta Inks released recently is the Neon Edition. I decided to review the whole collection in one entry because they really look good together and I think that it’s such a cohesive collection.

The Neon Edition features three colors: Pop!1993 (Magnetic Blue), Tagpuan 2046 (Electric Pink), and Astro 1980 (Android Teal). These are bright colors that are surprisingly saturated enough to be legible. They can be used for main journal entries, but they also provide great contrast to dark-colored ink. I usually use these in my journal entries with black ink, they pop out of the page like crazy.

My favorite of these three is the Astro 1980, which I must admit is quite a surprise because it looks a little candy-like at first but it really grows on you. Here’s a closer look at the three colors in the Neon Edition:


This color is a happy, vibrant baby blue. It has some pronounced shading on it, even using a fine-nibbed pen, though the shading is just a tad darker version of baby blue. There’s no noticeable hints of red or any other color on it, just straight up shades of baby blue. I was a little nervous that it wouldn’t be legible but it actually is, although I love to pair this with darker colored ink because they pop so well on the page that way.

Compared with the other blue ink in this capsule release (Peregrino), this one flows a bit dryer and dries faster. I’d say it’s pretty well-behaved, as I’ve been using it for the past weeks in my journals and planner and it hasn’t dried up on me. Here are a few close up shots of the writing sample:

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Ink Swab: Pink Rose 1973 (Binibini)

I was really excited to learn that Vinta was including an ink that looks like old rose. I’ve always wanted to have this kind of pink in my collection but I’m always worried they won’t be legible or suitable for daily writing. I used a fine-nibbed Platinum Prefounte to try this one out and was pleasantly surprised that it was still very much readable.

It’s a dusky pink, quite muted in color. I think it gets a bit darker after leaving on a page a few days. The purplish undertone shows up more after leaving it to dry. I can say that this is my favorite color among all the new inks in the Vintage and Neon collections. It also makes it to one of my favorites in all inks I have in my collection. Now this is a pink ink I wouldn’t mind using for daily writing.

Performance wise, I think the flow is pretty good. I’m glad it flows a bit wet because that makes it easier to use on fine nibs. Even when I reversed the nib of the Prefounte, the ink is still very visible as can be seen in the line drawing. It dries up pretty fast at a little over 10 seconds. Also, look at that gorgeous, expressive shading. I think I need more bottles of this.

Here’s a few more close up shots of the writing sample:

Pen used: Platinum Prefounte, Fine
Paper used: Tomoe River

Vinta Pink Rose 1973 (Binibini) will be launched on April 7, 2021 at Vinta Inks.

Ink Swab: Vinta Pilgrim’s Blue 1970 (Peregrino)

Like Blaze 1970, I like the significance of the name the Vinta team picked for this ink — Pilgrim’s Blue. It’s in remembrance of Pope Paul VI’s visit to the Philippines in 1970. The color is a homage to the iconic habits of the nuns who bravely held the line against advancing troops and tanks during the first EDSA People Power revolution. I really like that Vinta made room in this collection for statements on activism and standing up against tyranny.

At first glance, Pilgrim’s Blue reminded me of Vinta Lucia, one of my favorite inks and the only color that I have three bottles of right now. A closer look shows that Lucia is more powder blue, lighter than than Pilgrim’s Blue. It’s a happy blue that makes me want to wear blue jeans and go out but wait, we’re on ECQ again. Deja vu. Here’s a comparison with Vinta Lucia (from the first collection) and Pop! 1993 from the Neon Edition:

I used this ink with a fine-nibbed Platinum Prefounte, a bit nervous at first that it won’t be legible but it was sufficiently saturated and easy to read. It’s a happy-colored ink, suitable for daily use. The shading is quite pretty. Performance-wise, it dries up pretty quick with a fine nib on TR paper, about 10 seconds. On a fine nib, it flows pretty well. I didn’t need to prime my nib to keep it going.

Here’s a few close ups of the writing sample:

Pen used: Platinum Prefounte, Fine
Paper used: Tomoe River

Pilgrim’s Blue 1970 (Peregrino) will be released on April 7, 2021 at Vinta Inks.

Ink Swab: Vinta Blaze 1970 (Silab)

I love the significance of the name Vinta picked for this color. Blaze 1970 commemorates the “First Quarter Storm”, an early wave of student-led demonstrations against the administration of dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The name certainly fits this fiery, red-orange ink.

I’m not really a fan of orange ink, I think I only have one in my collection. As far as orange inks go, this one’s pretty good. It really pops on the page. I’ve been using it on my planner as a contrasting ink to draw attention to overdue tasks and for important notes. It complements black, blue, and green inks pretty well. I know it’s part of the Vintage Edition but I think it has a neon-like quality to it.

It’s highly saturated and the red component of the ink stained the cartridge that I used to write the review above so I would not recommend it if you’re using a demonstrator that is easily stained.

Performance-wise, it has a nice flow. Not too dry, not too wet. It does have some shading but it’s not too noticeable because of how saturated the ink is. It also has a subtle gold sheen, though I would not classify it as a monster sheener. The drying time is moderately quick, at around 15-20 seconds.

My only gripe about this particular color is that it doesn’t seem to fit the other two colors in the Vintage Edition (Peregrino and Binibini). It’s a nice color, but I think an old-timey green would have been a better fit.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

Pen used: Kaweco Fox, medium nib
Paper used: Tomoe River

Blaze 1970 (Silab) will be released on April 7, 2021 at Vinta Inks.

Vinta’s Vintage and Neon Editions

Our good friends at Vinta sent us a set of their new capsule collections ahead of the official launch on April 7, 2021. The two new editions are Vintage and Neon. The colors of this new collection are remarkably happy and bright ones. I guess it’s fitting and helpful, considering the times we are living through right now. I have been using the inks these past few days to see how they hold up to daily writing.

Here’s a roundup of the reviews I’ve written so far (to be updated as they become available):

Blaze 1970 (Silab)
Pilgrim’s Blue 1970 (Peregrino)
Pink Rose 1973 (Binibini)

Pop! 1993 (Magnetic Blue)
Tagpuan 2046 (Electric Pink)
Astro 1980 (Android Teal)

Ink Swab: Vinta Laguna 1605

Next up in my review of their Heritage collection is Vinta’s Laguna 1605 (St. John’s). The name is from St. John’s Parish in Calamba, Laguna which was built in 1605. The church is known for its brick red exterior and baroque architecture. The color of the ink reminds me more of rose petals. Those blood-red roses which has petals that go from dark red (almost black) to rich, velvety red. I think this color reminds me of De Atramentis Thomas Alva Edison or Red Black, except it’s redder. This is the kind of red that’s suitable for daily writing.

I would put the flow at moderate to slightly wet. It’s nicely saturated, and at first look it doesn’t look like it has shading, but it does. It doesn’t have any noticeable sheening. I like that it dries up in a color that’s dark cherry red, not like magenta or oxidized blood. I would say it’s a true red black. I’ll go back to this page a few months later to see if it changes color over time.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

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Ink Swab: Vinta Makopa 1938

I’m catching up on my reviews of Vinta’s new ink collection. I barely had the chance to do anything fun like this during quarantine. Today’s review is of Makopa 1938 or Malayan Apple. Also called rose apple or java apple, I believe. Its scientific name was first pubished in 1938, hence the number on the Filipino name. I had to Google what makopa looked like because I had already forgotten about it, but there was a time in my childhood when we ate this fruit every week. We attended a church with makopa trees planted around it and the fruit was plentiful. We just picked them up and ate them with salt.

This ink color is a bit hard to pin down, at first it looks like dark purple, but under certain lights and as it dries up, the pink really shows through. It ends up being somewhere between purple and pink, and with a beautiful gold sheen. The sheen is even noticeable in Midori Cotton paper, which is what I used for the writing sample above. When you mix water with it, it really shows the light pink, red, a bit of yellow. It’s nicely saturated so it doesn’t show off a lot of shading except if you use Tomoe River paper. It flows wet too, so the nib just glides on paper. I think the color is close to Pilot Iroshizuku Yama Budo. This one will be legible even with fine or xf nibs. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

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Ink Swab: Vinta Romblon 1582

This next Vinta Ink from their Pamana collection is called Romblon 1582 (Black Onyx). The name is derived from the province of Romblon, which is the marble capital of the Philippines. The name was given by Spanish chronicler, Miguel de Loarca in 1582. This is a nicely saturated, wet-flowing black ink with blue and gold sheen. The combination of the sheen on Tomoe River paper looks a bit reddish, though, as you can see from the photos below. Some people may ask why fountain pen users would even think of getting different kinds of black inks when black is black is black. The answer to that is simple, black isn’t just black. There’s a color bias even for black inks, and of course there are differences in saturation and they way they look when they’ve dried on paper. This particular black ink looks like a warm shade of  black, although a closer look will show that the base color itself is a cool shade of bluish grey. The sheen gives it a layer of complexity so that it looks warm under certain kinds of light and cool in others.

This ink is pretty wet-flowing, but it dries fast (about 10-15 seconds on Tomoe River paper, using a medium nib). I think it’s pretty well-behaved. I love that Vinta came out with a black ink that’s great for daily use. For people that like to use fountain pen ink for art, you’re in for a surprise once you add water. The ink explodes from black to pink and teal. It’s so cute. Of all the Vinta Inks that I used for art, this is the easiest to use. That’s worth considering if you’re interested in making art journal entries.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

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Ink Swab: Vinta Pamana 2018

The next ink I tried in Vinta’s Heritage collection is Pamana 2019 (Heritage Brown). The color’s name is to commemorate the first anniversary of Vinta Inks and their commitment to sharing Filipino culture to the world through their products. The dark, reddish-brown ink reminds me of the color of pear wood. It has a very subtle greenish-silver sheen to it, but the sheen isn’t what you’d call very noticeable. The shading is gorgeous–dark orange, red, dark brown. It’s a warm color, and nicely saturated too so it’s great for daily writing. While wet, the ink is decidedly dark brown, but it lightens to its reddish shade after a few minutes. The flow is a tad wetter than moderate, and it takes about 15-20 seconds to dry with a medium nib.

Here are a few close ups of the writing sample and a comparison with Fortaleza and Damili:

Pamana will be available at Vinta Inks soon.