fountain pens, paper, and ink

Launching the ink database

2024-05-18 Edd Wilder-James

I have catalogued my ink collection and placed it on this web site in a searchable database. As well as browsing the inks, you can use the database to find similar inks, or suggested palettes based on an ink.

To whet your appetite, here’s an example use of the search page.

My ink collection

For some years as I’ve been buying inks, I’ve been swatching them and scanning the images. I’ve been able to organize these and host them on this web site. You can use the search bar from the top menu, or head to the inks search page. Each ink has its own page, with details and recommendations.


Typically, I try to test inks in multiple ways. Usually I will swatch on the Col-o-dex card and also on Tomoe River 52gsm paper. And then have fun splashing down more ink on Rhodia, Bank, Midori, or Cosmo Air Light paper.

Not every ink is sampled on every paper, but I make an effort to do the Col-o-dex and Tomoe River samples for every ink.

Over time I want to add more reviews and example images to each ink page.

Recommendations and similar inks

Where possible, I also include suggestions for related inks from my collection, including:

  • Similar inks: this could be good if you like an ink and are looking for something similar.
  • Palettes: I present several suggested palettes based on a starting ink.

There’s a fair bit of fun computer programming behind creating all this, and one day I’ll write about it in more technical detail. However, if you have a large image database of your own inks and are interested in collaborating around some of the computer vision and image processing I’ve done in order to match and recommend inks, drop me a line.


  • I have not catalogued all my ink collection yet.
  • There may be missing images for inks I own.
  • Some of the image scans are a little dirty, sorry.
  • Only some of the inks are broken down by their parent series, e.g. Sailor Manyo. Hopefully this will improve over time.

You’re welcome to send me ink to review and swatch, contact me by email, however I cannot guarantee how quickly I’ll be able to process them.

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