Ink Flight Reveal #54, July 2021

Faber-Castell is not only one of the oldest pen brands, it is also one of the oldest industrial companies in the world. Founded in 1761 by the cabinet maker Kaspar Faber, the company is now run by the 8th generation family member Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell. The Graf von Faber-Castell collection is renowned for its premium quality and high performance. These indelible, dye-based inks are water-resistant, smear-resistant, and lightfast.

As if the introduction didn't seem bougie enough, taking one look at Graf von Faber-Castell's ink bottles (and their price tag) will certainly give the impression of refinement and prestige. The large glass bottles with metal screw-on tops seem like the types of inkwells that royalty would use to dip their feather quills back in the old days.

Since we only ship the inks in sample vial form, the packaging theatricality is lost. We're only left with one question - is the ink good, or not? This month, we explore Graf von Faber-Castell fountain pen inks and find out.

Graf von Faber-Castell ink review ink flight

Here's a rundown of July 2021's Ink Flight Colors:

Graf von Faber-Castell Yozakura
This lightly saturated pink ink has good shading that is best seen with a M (or thicker) nib size.

Graf von Faber-Castell Burned Orange
This bold orange has ample shading and a juicy flow.

Graf von Faber-Castell Viper Green
Boost your creativity with this fresh, shading ink.

Graf von Faber-Castell Gulf Blue
Float on a sea of tranquil thoughts with this light blue ink including violet undertones.

Graf von Faber-Castell Stone Grey
This classy, medium-toned grey is a good option for a conservative workplace environment

Graf von Faber-Castell Garnet Red
Fall in love with the rich purplish-red hues of this sensual ink.

Graf von Faber-Castell Violet Blue
A favorite color of Ottalie von Faber, this purple ink has subtle blue undertones

Tasting notes: This set of inks intrigued me from the standpoint of water resistance. As you can see in the "Currently Inked" page out of my Endless Tomoe River (68gsm) Paper journal, I tried a little water test on each of the colors. For the test, I placed a small droplet of water on the broad color swatched. I sang the "Happy Birthday" song in my head (a habit now ingrained thanks to Covid) to let about 20 seconds pass. Then, I absorbed the water droplets using a paper towel.

Although most of the inks, especially the saturated ones, lifted a majority of their color, they did not fully disappear from the page. I was especially impressed by Yozakura's reluctance to fade its pink hue. Stone Grey also resisted better than the others. 

While these inks do not have the pizzazz of more saturated, sheeny colors we've explored in the past, they have their own brilliance and depth that make them unique, especially when coupled with indelible characteristics. 

Pilot Kakuno fountain pen for beginners with con-40 converter

Box Extras: Pilot Kakuno Demonstrator Fountain Pen

At first, the Pilot Kakuno might seem like a children's fountain pen. True, the packaging does state that the Kakuno is "simply the best choice for your 1st fountain pen!" But, you'll be surprised by just how fun and well-made this Pilot pen is.

The completely clear demonstrator barrel and clipless cap allow the writer to see the inner workings of the fountain pen. The Kakuno fills using Pilot proprietary fountain pen cartridges (1 included) or bottled ink using the CON-40 converter. The CON-40 can be a little tricky to fill - you may have to employ a blunt needle syringe to fill it up all the way.

Pilot takes great care in producing quality pens no matter the price level. Even though the Kakuno is a "starter pen," Pilot fits a reliable, iridium-tipped stainless steel nib on these pens. To help appeal to kids (or the young at heart) the Kakuno's nib has a whimsical smiling face engraved with the point size.

This month's sticker is a commissioned design from our friend, illustrator, and fountain pen enthusiast Thales Medeiros (@untaughrod on instagram). A symbol for American patriotism, the bald eagle grasps an American-made Edison fountain pen.

Let's chat about this Flight

We invite you to join hundreds of kindred spirits in the Ink Flight Lounge Facebook Group to talk about this month's Flight Box. Likes? Dislikes? Favorite pairings? We'd love to read what you thought about the contents of this box. If you don't have/do Facebook, please feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Previous Ink Flights (Ink Flight #1 - Noodler's, Ink Flight #2 - Robert Oster Signature, Ink Flight #3 - KWZ, Ink Flight #4 - J. Herbin, Ink Flight #5 - P.W. Akkerman, Ink Flight #6 - Papier Plume, Ink Flight #7 - Platinum Mix-Free, Ink Flight #8 - Franklin-Christoph, Ink Flight #9 - Organics Studio, Ink Flight #10 - Monteverde, Ink Flight #11 - Krishna, Ink Flight #12 - Caran d'Ache, Ink Flight #13 - Rohrer & KlingnerInk Flight #14 - Blackstone, Ink Flight #15 - Colorverse, Ink Flight #16 - De Atramentis, Ink Flight #17 - Aurora & Montegrappa, Ink Flight #18 - Krishna, KWZ, Papier Plume, Ink Flight #19 - Diamine, Ink Flight #20 - J. Herbin, Ink Flight #21 - Robert Oster Signature 80's Collection, Ink Flight #22 - 3 Oysters, Ink Flight #23 - InkJournal Holiday Blend, Ink Flight #24 - Taccia, Ink Flight #25 - Kyoto TAG, Ink Flight #26 - Kaweco, Ink Flight #27 - April Fool's Surprise, Ink Flight #28 - Pelikan, Ink Flight #29 - Sailor, Ink Flight #30 - Straits Pen Honest Inks, Ink Flight #31 - Colorverse, Season 5, Ink Flight #32 - Inks by Vinta, Ink Flight #33 - Troublemaker, Ink Flight #34 - Monteverde Sweet Life, Ink Flight #35 - Taccia Inks Pt. 2, Ink Flight #36 - Sailor Manyo, Ink Flight #37 - P.W. Akkerman, Ink Flight #38 - Waterman, Ink Flight #39 - April Fool's Suprise II, Ink Flight #40 - Lamy, Ink Flight #41 - KWZ, Pt.2, Ink Flight #42 - Robert Oster, Pt. 3, Ink Flight #43 - Pure Pens, Ink Flight #44 - Kiwi Inks, Ink Flight #45 - Sailor Manyo, Pt. 2, Ink Flight #46 - Colorverse Ink Project, Ink Flight #47 - Van Dieman's Ink, Ink Flight #48 - L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio, Ink Flight #49 - Pennonia, Ink Flight #50 - Jacques Herbin Essentials, Ink Flight #51 - April Fool's Surprise III, Ink Flight #52 - Colorverse, Season 7, Ink Flight #53 - Private Reserve)