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Do You Feel Guilty Sending A Letter In Black Ink?

black ink letter penpal

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114 replies to this topic

#101 jazztonight

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 04:49

I haven't posted to the FPN forum for a while, but this topic grabbed my attention.

 

I have three pens (all Pelikans), and they're all filled with one ink: Waterman Black. 

 

After using a variety of colors and different brands in the past, I decided that it was the content of my letters that mattered most to me, and that I was perfectly happy using just WM black ink. 

 

I'm happy to receive letters from my correspondents in whatever colors they love--many letter-writers change inks on each successive page. That said, I've never had anyone complain that I use only black ink. Why would they? Most people are very pleased to receive a letter they know has taken 30-60 minutes to compose. I know I am. 


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#102 radellaf

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 10:06

Wouldn't expect to hear someone complain that I'd only used black ink, but I'd imagine (personally, not as fact) that color would add to a letter.  It's not so much that one in black would be disappointing, but it would fail to provide a little extra something.  Same with decorated envelopes (even just a few lines or dingbats) or other creative additions at a modest level, far from "mail art" levels (washi tape is a good threshold that I feel no inclination to cross).  This, of course, is for penpals, not general correspondence to muggles or business anything.

 

If I have colors readily at hand, I feel remiss not using them at least a little.  And I always have them.  Unless I'm away from home in a situation where I only brought one pen.  Which is the situation that led me to start this thread in the first place.

 

I'll stick to electricpowerman's opinion and be fine with writing in black so long as it's not multiple letters.  Honestly, if the letter is more than one page, I can't imagine not using more than one ink.  Even if it's just for a signature, page numbers, or some decoration like section divider horizontal lines.

 

If you can be perfectly happy using just one ink, much less black, in all your inked pens then... WelI, I can accept that, but: I have serious trouble understanding it, and could never identify with it.  No color just isn't me.  Now, they don't have to be bright colors, even if they usually are.  A black with a tint of green, blue, purple, or even brown, is just fine.  I have the FP inks for that, but thought it was brilliant when some UniBall pens came out in "BLX" colors like that.


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#103 FinScherlis

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 13:35

Haha! No! Absolutely not! Today I wrote a black letter and I'm feeling great because it was intended to be in black and it plays with the effect of black ink on TomoeRiver paper.



#104 qvxb

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 02:03

Try Bic black ink in a Bic Cristal 1.6 mm ballpoint. Fast-drying and waterproof. :)

#105 Dr Dan

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 02:39

No, I don't feel guilty. As old as I am I still have an older sister and brother and black is easier for them to read then any other color.



#106 estie1948

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 10:23

In this day and age, the fact that someone sends a handwritten letter is much more impressive and important than the color of ink they used. In my humble opinion. Anyone I write a letter to that is displeased because I've used black ink will, I hope, quickly inform me of such, so that I can remove them from my address book.

 

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#107 radellaf

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 22:13

It's not a matter of them being _dis_pleased, but of missing the opportunity to make someone extra-pleased.

 

 

Also, to be more precise about the thread-topic I probably should have prefaced it with:  "You usually write your letters with more than one color of ink."

 

 

If you _always_ use only one color, especially black, then the whole question doesn't really apply.  It would then equate to "do you feel guilty writing a letter?," and where's the sense in that...


Edited by radellaf, 25 June 2017 - 22:20.

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#108 Orpilorp

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 10:41

Very dark black inks such as Aurora have their own character that I like, and I would consider a blackish-gray ink to be a 'colored' ink rather than a true black. I would only feel guilty sending a letter if writing in a brightly colored inks such as yellow or lime.

#109 radellaf

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 18:27

At some point black becomes gray enough that you'd have to call it "gray" instead of black, but it's debatable where the threshold is.  And, as with everything on the paper, it depends on the pen.  I used to use Aurora exclusively in the '90s, but have been into Noodler's Black for the last decade.  Or Borealis if I specifically _don't_ want waterproofness.  But, in pens wet enough to make Quink or Pelikan 4001 black look "black," I'll still use those.  Grey inks are completely not my thing, though I had a bottle of Sheaffer Grey, and still have 29mL left out of a 30mL Herbin Gris Nuage bottle somewhere.  Diamine Graphite and the discontinued Chesterfield Antique Raven are dark enough I call 'em black.   Good comparison article: http://www.jetpens.c...n-pen-ink/pt/20

 

I did once send a letter in Noodler's Yellow.  In a padded envelope.  With a blue LED keychain light (makes yellow look black).   To someone who I thought would enjoy the novelty.

 

I discovered that trick working at an ink cartridge refill store.  We'd test cartridges to see if any nozzles were clogged.  It was easy to see the test grid for magenta and cyan, but a blue light really helped to see if there were any gaps in the yellow pattern.

 

I once used Diamine Apple Glory for one side of an A5.  It's dark enough to read, IMHO, but a whole letter of it could be annoying.  It's best, I think, with a broader nib for a few lines in a greeting card.  Anything lighter than that I'd only use for decorations, if at all.

 

Pink or magenta require discretion, as well.  I have once each used: Noodler's Ottoman Rose, R&K Solferino, and Iroshizuku Yama Budo.  But, no, as with black, I wouldn't send the same person frequent letters in such lower-contrast or eye-searing colors.

 

I have sent (and received) Bay State Blue letters and am OK with those.  That _is_ pretty bright, depending on how cool your light source is (not bad with incandescent or 3000K LEDs), but plenty of contrast to be readable.


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#110 aworldofsnailmail

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 21:54

I gave away my bottle of Diamine Apple Glory - a nice shade of green but not for me and my letters. It went to someone who likes to draw with fountain pens - it would be a leafy colour. 

 

As for black - not sure if I actually have any - barring a very small bottle and perhaps the free sample cartridges from Diamine. I might rectify this when I do my next Diamine order (so far, about 8 months overdue as I was going to get some before Christmas). 


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#111 radellaf

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 22:41

Apple Glory may have been a bit darker when I used it than fresh out of the bottle.  The Montegrappa Micra doesn't seal all _that_ well and it had been a few weeks since I filled the cartridge.

 

Diamine has some nice black and near-black inks, if nowhere near Noodler's "what's the diff?" array.  Eclipse is my favorite - black unless you look closely.  The darkest Onyx and Jet, or the lighter Quartz or Graphite, I find kind of a toss-up.  JetPens review finds a surprising amount of difference that I assume comes out when they're applied lightly (or with a drier nib?).  I typically use a Pilot 78G medium (same nib/feed as Metropolitan & few others), which isn't juicy by any standard.

 

They also find Noodler's regular Black and Heart of Darkness to be noticeably different, which I haven't been able to discern.  The 4.5oz HoD and Borealis have really pretty bottles, though.


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#112 Dr Dan

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 23:38

Reading redellaf's most recent comments leads me to add this my original comments posted above.

 

Yes, I do use other colors of ink in writing letters, not just black. The various colors of ink can convey an immediate mood/tone to the reader with respect to the contents of the letter. I also have found that the choice of color that is used finds different receptions from different readers. It really is not hard to determine which color of ink finds the greatest reception for the reader and stay with that hue for future letters. Black in my opinion conveys a vary business straightforward approach. Or as noted above, for my older brother and sister it is easier for them to read so I use black. For others I specifically pick out colors to convey the mood of the letter and who the letter is going to. So to answer your question literally, my answer would be "Yes" I would feel guilty just writing in black without giving some consideration as to choice of other inks. If one takes the time to consider what thoughts they will include in a letter than choice of what color ink is certainly something that I consider. The same holds true for cards. Symphathy I would probably use black. Christmas, birthday, graduations, etc., no black.


Edited by Dr Dan, 26 June 2017 - 23:38.


#113 radellaf

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 22:17

Yec74us.jpg

 

Quink black in an italic Sonnet, but maybe got a bit diluted before writing, vs the black border and a Nova black cartridge in a Jinhao 992.

 

Just because the ink is black, doesn't mean the writing ends up that way.  I do love italic nibs.  Might even use one, and black ink, for a sympathy or other non-fun card.


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#114 Quill1

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 08:47

Nope, Black ink has its place, as with all the other colours,  I chose and write as I feel, to compliment emotions, paper colour, season, topic, friend :)

 

Sending and receiving handwritten letters, notes, the pleasure is in the content and the friends.


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#115 radellaf

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 21:49

With all respect, if the pleasure was in the content and the friends alone, using computer messaging would be just as satisfying.

 

The pleasure of the content and friends is clearly added to by any or all of: writing, reading handwriting, mailing stuff, tuck-ins, using pens, using your handwriting, expressing yourself with ink and paper choice, and enjoying how your penpals express themselves.

 

If you like any of those things about exchanging letters... then some of the pleasure is in those things.


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