Ink Flight #87 Reveal, April 2024

I was very close to making this box one of the most impossibly frustrating April Fool's Ink Flights ever. Then, I thought better of it.

See, in years past, the April Fool's Ink Flight Box would involve some sort of puzzle or game. The box recipient would have to figure out the identities of each ink. More often than not, the puzzles were difficult, leaving most subscribers guessing until we officially reveal the colors later in the month.

This year, I was playing with the idea of making anagrams out of each ink color name. Instead of trying to reverse engineer a puzzle of my own making, I asked ChatGPT to do it, figuring a computer would be way better suited to create a word soup than I.

It just didn't work.

ChatGPT would repeatedly add letters and subtract letters from the puzzle, rendering the whole entire puzzle useless. My prompts were super specific - I told it to only use this many letters, only the letters in the prompt I gave it, so on and so forth. It was especially bad for the Kuretake inks.

So, I abandoned the idea of making impossibly hard anagrams for you to solve just to find out the ink names. I think most of you will breathe a sigh of relief.

Now that you know a bit of the backstory about this month's Flight, we have a sampling of three different ink brands, two of which are new to this box - Tom's Studio from the UK and Kuretake from Japan. We previously featured Germany's Octopus Fluids in Ink Flights #70 & #81. In this selection, you'll find a variety of bold hues that have shading and sheen - some with intense sheen!

April 2024 Ink Flight Box #87 Color Selection

Tom's Studio "Forest Green"
This lush green with a hint of sheen draws its inspiration from New Forest in Southern England. I actually mislabeled this one, as I realized that this ink's name is really "New Forest Green." I thought the "New" was in reference to a new formulation, not a reference to the "New Forest" in Southern England. I hope you'll forgive the slight error!

Tom's Studio "Damson"
You'll want to pick this deliciously juicy dark purple ink once you see its sweet shading.

Octopus Fluids "Phoenix"
This super-sheening ink seems to set the page on fire with its orange base and brilliant gold sheen.

Octopus Fluids "Medusa"
You might turn to stone if you stare too long at the reflective green sheen of this purple ink.

Octopus Fluids "Dragon"
The impressive Dragon reflects a deep, reddish glow from its dark teal scales.

Kuretake Meiji No Iro "Shimbashi-Iro"
A bright cyan blue that was popular in Geisha fashion back in the Meiji era of Japanese history.

Kuretake Meiji No Iro "Ebicha"
Ebicha is a soft brown like that of traditional Japanese pants (Hakama) worn by women.

Tasting Notes:

Although this Flight contained a mix of inks from different brands made from different parts of the world, they all complemented each other well. The Octopus Fluids Inks from Germany brought the intense sheen. Dragon was my favorite. I was a bit nervous to put Phoenix in my pen since the ink sample vial has a permanent tint, so I've only dipped it so far. It'll end up in my Kaweco Sport soon, as that pen is my designated "stunt pen" for inks that seem troublesome or prone to staining.

On the other end of the saturation spectrum, we have the super shady turquoise hue of Kuretake's Shimbashi-iro. It felt like a perfect match to fill it in my Leonardo Mediterranean Celluloid pen. Ebicha, the other Kuretake ink, had a richer saturation but still displayed smoky shading.

In the middle are the two Tom's Studio inks - the purply Damson and New Forest Green. Both inks have some shading qualities. In my opinion, the hues themselves weren't all that exciting, especially when compared to the other inks in this month's Flight.

April's Box Extras

Wonderland222 A5 Size Notebook

As your nibs dance upon the silky smoothness of the legendary 52gsm Tomoe River paper by Tomoegawa, it will feel like you've entered a writing "Wonderland."

This A5-size notebook contains 192 pages of lightweight, ink-loving paper laid out with a lightly-printed grid ruling. Use this as an undated daily planner, bullet journal, or free-form notebook for all your thoughts, ideas, and sketches.

The lightweight notebook has a thin profile and sewn, lay-flat binding for comfort and convenience.

I've been using my notebook as scratch pad, idea pad, and sketch book for a fantasy novel I'm writing. It's so satisfying to flip the thin, crinkly pages after a decent brain storming session. 

Decorate your journal or daily planner using the Midori stickers included in this month's box. CUTE! These stickers add a touch of whimsical charm to your everyday writing, to-do lists, and scheduling.

This month's Ink-spector Holmes sticker features the sleuthing cephalopod drawn by our talented pen pal, Eric (@e_bear_ink on Instagram).


If you're interested in joining our next Ink Flight box, go here to see if we have available spots open for next month's shipment. If we don't, please email us so we can add you to our wait list.

Also, it might be possible we have previous Ink Flight boxes available to purchase without committing to a subscription. 

If you'd like to check out the contents of previous Ink Flight boxes, check out the archive here.