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Good Color Inks For Cheap Paper


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Hello everybody, hope you are doing well, I'm quite new to this forum and to fountain pens in general. I'm a highschool student who recently got into fountain pens after my mother dug up a bunch of her old Pelikan pens (she lived in Germany) and I absolutely loved it, problem is that it bleeds on almost EVERY paper i try. I recently decided to get a higher quality one, since my mother told me that it was pen meant for young grade school, it was not extremely high quality. So I decided to pick up a Platinum Plaisir with a converter and was wondering if any of you experienced folks happen to know of a good ink which is an alternate color, as I have seen noodlers xfeather and bulletproof, but I don't really want to write in black all the time. For me black/blue inks get quite boring and i would prefer a nice green, teal color, or something like Noodler's Apache Sunset(the color on that one I really enjoy, just don't know how it bleeds and don't know if my teachers will enjoy reading my essays and homework in an orange hue :D ), overall the most important thing is that it doesn't bleed on cheap paper, and of slightly less value is that it doesn't feather too much. So in short, I'm looking for a way to circumvent my problem of inks that bleed on cheap paper, but also trying to fulfill the goal of having a nice, exciting ink. Also as a side note, if anyone knows of a better starter FP that is on the cheaper end that has a fine nib I'd be extremely glad to hear any recommendations :D

Thanks in advance!


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  • Epicsockzebra


  • ac12


  • PatientType


  • dothgrin


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Writing experience is affected by 4 variables; the pen, the ink the paper, and the writer (you). Change any one variable and you can go from good to crummy. Similarly, you can go from crummy to good by changing one variable.


IMHO you CANNOT totally compensate for the bad quality of the paper by the ink. At some point you will have to use paper that is fountain pen friendly. And this is not a real big deal. Staples has filler paper that is made in Brazil. This paper is pretty decent for the price, I use it. And the price is even better in the 'back to school sale' in July/Aug. The other alternative is pad paper that is made of sugar cane (at Office Depot). This is more expensive than the filler paper, but is also better quality paper.


You CANNOT put any ink into any pen and expect it to write well. You have to match the flow characteristics of the pen and ink. And there are some combinations that just will NOT work, without adjusting the nib. If your pen is writing WET (lot of ink on the paper), you need to either switch to a dryer ink, or adjust the nib to write dryer (less ink on the paper). The more ink you put on the paper, the more likely it will feather and bleed. In your case, your mother's Pelikan pens are generally wet pens. This is because they are designed for Pelikan ink, which is a dry ink, and the two complement each other. If you use a wet ink in a wet pen = LOTS of ink on the paper, and you get feathering and bleed through.


As for colored inks.

Use your bright colorful inks on stuff that you do NOT turn in to your teacher.

Speaking as a former college level grader, you do NOT want to use bright color inks on anything that you turn in for grading. Mid tone or DARK ink in a calm color is my recommendation. A grader and your teacher has to read a LOT of papers. And bright ink is difficult on the eyes. Were I grading your papers, and if you used a bright ink (bright orange), if I could not find the answer quickly, I would not spend a lot of time looking/digging for the correct answer or partial answers. In other words you will loose points for a wrong answer, or loose partial credit points. And that could cost you a level in grade, so rather than an A you might get a B, or instead of a B you may get a C. You may not like it, but that is a fact of life. So to get maximum points, use an ink color and shade that is easy on the eyes to read. There are a lot of dark greens and dark blues to choose from.


As for pens:



  • Pilot Metropolitan with a Fine or Medium nib, about $18. includes the converter. A Pilot Medium = Pelikan Fine.
  • Pilot 78G with a Fine or Medium nib, between $10-25. includes the converter.
  • Lamy Safari with ExtraFine or Fine nib, about $30 + $7 converter. The Lamy EF nib is similar to the Pilot F nib.


  • Parker 45, with a Fine nib, anywhere from about $20+ The Parker Fine is similar to the Pilot Fine.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California


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I would think that a brown ink might also be an acceptable alternative for your teacher than the stodgier but very readable dark blues and blacks. I use Noodler's brown and Noodler's Burma Road brown with no issues. Most of my writing is on cheaper paper, either bagasse lined notebook paper that I buy at Staples or standard notebook paper. These inks don't seem inclined to bleed on that media. Albeit, as AC12 mentions, there are other factors to bleeding such as the flow of the pen you're using. My nibs tend to be on the wet side but are not gushers, either.

Edited by PatientType
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Go to Staples and grab any notebooks or paper that are Made in Brazil. You will find gold and be able to use a variety of colors instead of opting for poor quality color inks. More and more teachers are opting to allow students to use more color as they learn more of handwriting and color for retaining knowledge. I allow students to use most colors for notes but blue, purple or black for major handwritten assignments. They can use red or orange for editing.

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Thanks for the feedback guys, is Noodlers Xfeather considered a wet ink? I believe that the Plaisir is a dry pen, but I have no way of referencing either.

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