This week we’re going to take a look at Visconti Blue. When I purchased this ink I was looking for what I considered to be a “pure” blue ink and I think this really fills that role. As you probably know, there are many different shades of blue out there. With such tough competition, how do you choose? I’ll give you a few reasons why I chose this one and enjoy using it so much.
To start, let’s take a look at the ink itself. As I mentioned, it is what I consider to be a true blue color. When you look at it, you probably won’t call it a light blue or a dark blue, blue-black, or teal. It’s just blue. But blue doesn’t have to be boring! In fact, I think this blue is fairly exciting. It has some shading and also shows some red sheen. It is quite saturated and really jumps off of the paper.
When exposed to water, there is a bit of separation in the dyes. I observed some light blue and violet colors. Intrigued, I tried a bit of ink on toilet paper like I did with Lie de Thé in an attempt to really see those colors better. Sure enough, I saw more of the violet.
This ink is fairly waterproof. Some dye will wash off of the surface of the paper and smudge things up a bit, but writing is still legible.
This ink has decent dry times. As you’d expect from a saturated ink with sheen, it does have longer dry times than some inks, but it shouldn’t hinder your writing flow too much. Once it dries, it will smudge a bit if you rest your hand on it for too long. It’s not as bad as I would have thought, though.
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:
Parker 51 (vintage) – F nib
I really enjoyed writing with this combination! The Parker nib is wet for a fine nib and it made writing and doodling with this ink a pleasure. I don’t normally reach for fine nibs, but didn’t mind using this one a bit.
Pilot Metropolitan – M nib
This was another nice combination for both writing and doodling. This Metropolitan nib is a finer medium, but still fairly wet.
Jinhao 100 – M nib
I’d consider this Jinhao nib to be a pretty average medium nib. It showed some shading and still gave this ink some sheen. While I didn’t mind it, I ended up using this pen the least this week.
Lamy Studio – B nib
This Lamy nib was the driest of the week and ended up showing the most shading. This combination really made the ink look a bit lighter. In fact, it felt a lot like writing with Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium. If you want this ink to shade a lot, stick with a drier nib.
Platinum 3776 – C nib
As always, this big Platinum nib wasn’t the best for writing in this 5mm line spacing, but that’s not the fault of the ink (or even the nib). It’s a wetter nib than the Lamy so the ink looks darker and has a bit less shading.
On cheap paper, this ink bled, but I didn’t see a lot of feathering. On the Leuchtturm paper, I also saw a bit of bleedthrough. On the other two papers everything looked great. As with any saturated ink, stick with good, fountain-pen-friendly papers and you should be fine.
Cleaning The Ink Out Of Pens
For such a saturated ink, this cleans out of pens fairly easily. I didn’t have any issues getting it out of any of the pens I used, even the Parker 51. Of course, with saturated inks it’s not a bad idea to use them in pens that are easier to clean, but I would probably use this ink in any pen that I own.
Visconti Blue is one of my favorite blue inks. It is what I reach for when I want a bold, pure blue ink. The sheen adds a touch of interest and beauty, while the shading just looks great. The slight smudging can be a little annoying, but it’s not nearly as bad as what I’ve experienced with some other saturated inks. While it performs very well in a variety of nibs, for me, the color of this ink is the star of the show. I know that there are a huge number of blue inks available to choose from… probably more than any other color of ink. Still, this has got to be one of my favorites.