Gray ink? Usually when people try to describe something bland or “blah” they call it gray, so why would a blog that focuses on cool office supplies want to write about gray ink? Well, I was hesitant to do it initially, but I figured I should give the ink a chance and see how it looked on paper.
When you open up most darker color fountain pen inks, they look pretty black, and with this gray ink from Noodler’s thats REALLY the case. Not to worry though, this is not a dark ink at all when you actually start writing with it.
My first writing sample with this ink is in my Levenger Cirica Junior Size notebook. I was anxious to try out this ink on any Levenger paper because I thought it would look interesting to use a gray ink on paper that has gray lines. You can see in the scan above that first of all, the ink is nowhere near as dark as it looks in the photos of the bottle above. The ink has a nice light shade to it that shows a slight bit of darker shading in certain instances. I do like how the gray blends into the lines on this paper, it didnt look quite as cool as I thought it would, but hat may have more to do with my handwriting not being as neat and perfect as Id like it to be. This ink did show a bit of bleed through on the other side of the Levenger paper, but the dry time was almost instant, so it is a bit of a trade off in terms of what is more important to you and your writing style.
When I tried the Noodler’s Lexington Gray on some 90g Clairefontaine paper, I was surprised by the difference in performance as compared to the Levenger paper. In both writing samples you see pictured above, I used the same pen and nib, so the only difference is the paper. I was surprised to see how much thinner the line looked on the Clairefontaine paper as compared to the Levenger paper. I guess the Levenger paper absorbs the ink a little bit more so it kind of spreads. It also looks to me like the shading that you get with the different tones of gray are a bit more evident on the Clairefontaine paper. Dry time on the Clairefontaine paper is however much slower than on the Levenger paper, but on the flip slide (literally) the bleed through is much more minimal, and the way the color contrasts with the violet colored lines on the paper is pretty nice.
I was glad I gave this ink a chance because although my initial thought before I used it was that it would be bland and boring, I really dont think thats the case. This ink has a nice muted tone, and is easy on the eyes. It stands out in its own way by not being black or blue, but by also not being something loud like red or purple.
I picked this ink up from Goldspot.com, and they are always generous in offering a small discount to me as a blogger, so I feel that disclosure is always worth repeating. Their service, pricing and selection are fantastic, and even before I started writing this blog and getting any kind of discount from them, I was a satisfied customer of theirs.