Lamy Red fountain pen ink review bottle

Ink of the Week – Lamy Red

John Bosley Fountain Pen Ink 12 Comments

I knew it would happen sooner or later. An ink came up that I am just not excited about. This week we’re going to take a look at Lamy Red. I received this bottle of ink at the 2022 Pelikan Hub. I’m not sure if everyone else around the world got a bottle of this as well, but I know that everyone who attended the Pelikan Hub in Denver did. While I appreciate the gesture, red ink can be difficult to use for regular writing. To be honest, I made assumptions about this ink and how much I would (or would not) like it before ever trying it out, so this week I put those assumptions to the test and inked up my pens with Lamy Red.

Lamy Red

To start, let’s take a look at the ink itself. It is not an intense red. In fact, I’d say it is borderline pink in color. I personally prefer a much darker red like Montblanc Corn Poppy Red. If I was going to use a pink ink, I’d either want something a lot more intense, like Lamy Vibrant Pink, or with more shading, like PenBBS Rose Quartz. Despite how light this ink is, it still shows a bit of gold sheen with writing and a green-gold sheen with heavy splats. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to make this ink any more interesting to me.

Lamy Red fountain pen ink review color detail

This is a well-behaved red ink

Lamy Red doesn’t show any color separation when exposed to water. It just fades out into a lighter pink, which isn’t very interesting. It is not a very waterproof ink either. When writing gets wet, it just smears and washes together. I’m afraid if a page of writing got wet, it would just turn into an unreadable pink mess.

Lamy Red fountain pen ink review chromatography

There isn’t any color separation in this ink

This ink has surprisingly good dry times. I was able to write in my Tomoe River journal and not have to wait for very long at all before turning the page. I’ve used other red inks that take forever to dry. If you have to use a red ink and need faster dry times, this might be a good option for you.

Lamy Red fountain pen ink review sheen

Here you can see the sheen this ink has

The Pens I Used

Each week I choose five different pens to fill with the ink I’m testing. My goal is to get a variety of nib sizes and styles, as well as a mix of modern and vintage pens. Here are the pens I chose this week and some writing samples from each:

Lamy Red fountain pen ink review pens used

This weeks pens (L-R): Pelikan M205, Lamy Al-Star, Esterbrook J x 2, Sailor Fude de Mannen

Pelikan M205 – F nib

This combination actually wasn’t too bad. The fine Pelikan nib helps keep the ink from looking too pink and washed out. If it were a Japanese fine, that might be a different story, but this Pelikan nib is just wet enough that it works with this ink.

Lamy Red fountain pen ink review fine nib

Writing sample with fine nib

Lamy Al-Star – M nib

This nib isn’t the wettest M nib that I own, but it is still reasonably wet. It's also a Lamy, so I figured I had to have at least one Lamy pen/ink pairing. The ink looks bland and washed out with this nib, which is not usually the case with other inks in this pen.

Lamy Red fountain pen ink review medium

Medium nib writing sample

Esterbrook J (vintage) – 9968 B nib

Writing with this pen was also enjoyable. The ink looked darker than with the other pens. I’ve always liked this nib and it’s no surprise to me that it made this ink more enjoyable to write with.

Lamy Red fountain pen ink review broad nib

Broad nib writing sample

Esterbrook J (vintage) – Waterman flex nib

Writing with this pen was a pleasant surprise. The ink looks a lot darker than it does with the other pens. I initially thought there was some leftover ink in the nib that was making it look so dark, but once I started writing with it and gave it some flex, it came out looking just fine. It was really just when I wrote in block caps that it looked so dark. When I write in cursive, it looks a bit lighter, but still not as light as with the other pens I used this week.

Lamy Red fountain pen ink review flex nib

Flex nib writing sample

Lamy Red fountain pen ink review flourish

Flex nib flourish

Sailor Fude de Mannen – fude nib

Why did I ink up a pen with a fude nib to try this ink? To be honest, I’m not really sure. I haven’t used this Sailor for writing before, I’ve mainly just played around with it. I didn’t enjoy writing with it due to how careful I felt I needed to be to keep the line width fairly consistent. As for the ink in this pen, still boring.

Lamy Red fountain pen ink review fude nib

Fude nib writing sample


On cheap copy paper this ink did pretty well. Even with wet nibs and heavy flexing, it didn’t feather or bleed. On fountain-pen-friendly paper it did really well. I observed no feathering or bleeding. I think this ink could be used with any type of paper.

Lamy Red fountain pen ink review g lalo

Writing samples on G Lalo Verge de France paper

Lamy Red fountain pen ink review leuchtturm

Writing samples on Leuchtturm paper

Cleaning The Ink Out Of Pens

Cleaning pens is usually the most painful part of using a red ink. While this red is not as saturated as many that I’ve used, it’s still red ink and tends to stick around a little more than other colors. While I didn’t have any issues cleaning it out of the pens that I used, I wouldn’t use it in a pen without a removable nib or coverter.


I hate being right about an ink that I assume I’m not going to like, but in this case I was right. I hoped that after filling a few pens and writing with Lamy Red for a week, I’d find some redeeming qualities that I’d like about it. In this case, I didn’t find a single thing that I liked about this ink. It is just not a color that I enjoy or would ever want to use. I try not to be biased and give this equal consideration, even if it isn’t a premium ink. I don’t care what this cost or how fancy the bottle is, I wouldn’t want this color. So does it have anything going for it? Dry times are not too bad. It does have a bit of shading. It’s not very expensive. It is a well-behaved ink. Just because I don’t like the color doesn’t make it a bad ink. If you like the color, this would be a great ink for you, but I’d imagine the majority of people out there would prefer a more interesting color of ink.

Comments 12

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  1. I don’t care for the ink either, but I like your all-caps printing. If fits so nicely in the dot grid space. I have a permanent grudge against ascenders and descenders (oh, the level of nerddom here).

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  2. I’m not a fan of writing with red ink either. Bright pink yes, red, no.
    It is interesting though to see the variations of this ink with the different nib types. Thanks!

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  3. There are some reds I like – Diamine Red Dragon or Diamine Inkvent Raspberry Rose or even Herbin Larme de Cassis. This one feels kind of boring.

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