This is the first in this batch of ink reviews, which will focus on the Cult Pens Deep Dark series. This review is for Cult Pens Deep Dark Blue ink.
The Cult Pens Deep Dark series of inks are manufactured by Diamine in the UK – even if this wasn’t mentioned on the Cult Pens Website it would be obvious for the bottle and box which are exactly the same as those described in the review of Diamine Crimson ink. No surprise either that Cult Pens is the sole supplier of these inks, hence the direct link. For the avoidance of doubt, I bought the inks, they were not supplied for the purposes of this review. They all cost a shade under £6.00, the typical price for standard 80ml bottles of Diamine inks, so I would class these as low priced.
The only differences between the standard Diamine 80ml bottle and this example relate to the labeling. The normal front label has been replaced with a bespoke one showing the name of the ink. The Diamine logo is also present. There’s an additional label on the back of the bottle (not present on standard inks) which gives the volume of ink. the country of origin, a link to the Cult Pens website and the slogan “The write stuff”. Both of these labels look like small shipping labels, which may have been printed and added later, and haven’t been tailored to the arched side of the bottle, unlike the standard Diamine labels. The silver label on the cap which is normally the only indication of the ink in the bottle is missing in this case, although there is one on the box. This is inconsistent across the series – some have one or the other, neither or both. The label on the box obviously makes it possible to determine which ink it is without opening the box.
The test pen in this case was the Pilot MR Silver with a medium nib.
Cult Pens Deep Dark Blue showed negligible water resistance, leaving a few faint blue lines when held under running water, and lines were obliterated by water droplets. Cleaning was very easy, and the drying time was around a minute (the longest for this series of inks).
Rhodia Dot Pad No 16
The ink looks almost black in this scan – it’s only in the lighter shading that the blue colour can be seen. I wrote that that the blue looks “steely” but to clarify I mean that it’s reminiscent of the range of blue colours produced by tempering.
By Zaereth – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19914298
The Cult Pens website also indicates that the ink has hints of purple, which I can see now it’s been pointed it out, but possibly wouldn’t have otherwise.
Ryman Memo Block 9cm x 9cm
Barely a hint of blue left in this scan.
Interestingly the yellow seems to bring out the contrasting purple here.
Field Notes – Pitch Black
The spread brings out the blue here.
Mnemosyne Word Card
Very dark here, and there’s even a reddish sheen towards the bottom of the swab. This didn’t appear in any of the writings samples though. It would be interesting the try this ink with a very wet pen to see if it does appear in normal use, but the drying time could then be an issue.
Cult Pens Deep Dark Blue – Conclusion
I do like this ink and it’s one of my preferred blue-blacks. Despite my comments in the Rhodia Dot Pad sample, this ink does hold some surprises regarding the colour, but on different papers ranging from almost black (with a red sheen), dark grey to purplish blue. The ink itself is a good performer overall, albeit with the slightly longer drying time, and to use my stock phrase again – more water resistance would be welcome.
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