Ink Review: Montblanc Golden Yellow

Ink Review: Montblanc Golden Yellow

Montblanc Golden Yellow was released about the same time Lucky Orange came out this spring. Yellow inks are hard to make usable. Golden Yellow turns out to be an exception to this rule.

I had the ink in my TWSBI Mini for several months and was tickled that, even with an EF nib, the ink was a deep enough shade to actually be visible. Really.  I took my sample to two pen shows and let other people try it who were also suitably impressed with the performance. To be honest it is the first and only yellow ink that has ever survived past  the swatch-and-sample phase for me.

Montblanc Golden Yellow writing sample

When tested with a dip nib, it definitely leans towards a more orangey shade and in a wider nib it also gets a bit “orange juice”-like. There’s shading in the color because it is so light but no noticeable sheeening.

Note to self: be sure to thoroughly and completely clean your nib and feed before switching ink colors because any contamination will be evident with a color as light as Golden Yellow!

Montblanc Golden Yellow Swatch Comparison

The only colors I had in the swatches that were comparable were from Robert Oster Signature. The Yellow Sunset from his line was probably closest in color if a bit more ruddy. Yellow Sunrise was more yellowy and Olive Green was browner.

Montblanc Golden Yellow is a limited edition color so its definitely one to grab while you can if its a color you like. I’m partial to it but as with all Montblanc inks, it is premium-priced.


DISCLAIMER: Some items used in this review were sent to me free of charge for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

News: Art Goodbye, Art Hello.

Art News

In sad news, Art Supply Posse recorded its last episode last week. Heather and Kathy said farewell with their favorite podcaster, Brad Dowdy. I don’t think it will be the last time we’ll hear from either of these ladies as they will both be going on to pursue other audio endeavors.

In happier art-related news,  Art Supplies in Action is a new community-based forum to share artwork, discuss art in all forms, art supplies, and art history. The goal is to create a real threaded forum that allows for discussion that’s not ephemeral like much of social media currently available. If this sounds like something you might be interested in participating in, sign up today. Hopefully, with community support and participation, Art Supplies in Action could become a useful, searchable (and active) resource that is inclusive and friendly.

Pen News

Daly’s Pen Shop in Milwaukee is closing after 93 years. Bummer. While Daly’s retail store front is closing, his online sales will continue with a thriving business buying and selling vintage pens through his site and Ebay. Times, they are a-changin’.

D.C. Pen Show

There are just two weeks until the D.C. Pen Show and folks across the country are in preparation for the show. Here in K.C., we are madly making Col-o-ring Ink Testing Books so that they will be available for all who want them in D.C. I will be helping at the Vanness Pen Shop table this year so come by and say hello.

col-o-ring in process

I know that many other folks are also frantically preparing for the show– getting their goods in order, packing boxes and putting the final touches on their wares to make everything perfect.  I’ve been watching as all the hype surrounds Comic-Con in San Diego this weekend knowing that in the pen community, we are all preparing for our own version just weeks away.

Last minute prep on couture fishing vests, anyone?  Fishing vest fashion show this year?


Link Love: Asserting Pencil Dominance This Week




Paper & Notebooks:

Other Interesting Things:

Ink Review: Montblanc Lucky Orange

Ink Review: Montblanc Lucky Orange

I have been using Montblanc Lucky Orange in my Franklin Christoph Pocket 45 since the beginning of April. Since it’s an eyedropper filler with a fine italic nib, it could possibly take me a whole year to use up all the ink but I will likely enjoy using it the whole time. I haven’t been a buyer of Montblanc limited edition inks until this year. I missed out on a few of the limited edition colors last year and I ended up kicking myself about it so this year I decided to just buy them. The Lucky Orange was only $19 for the 35ml 30ml bottle. Maybe I have blinders about the pricing  now but with Oster inks at $19 for 50ml bottles in plastic, I feel less bad about spending $19 for pretty Montblanc bottles even if they have less ink in them.

Montblanc Lucky Orange Writing Sample

Since getting the Pocket 45, it’s only had two inks in it. First, was the F-C Brown 732 which made me refer to the pen as the “pudding pen” because it looked like vanilla pudding on the outside with chocolate pudding on the inside. Now, with the Lucky Orange ink, it reminds me of a Creamsicle, which is a name that might stick. Next up? Maybe a warm red and it can be Strawberries and Cream?

But back to the ink color which was why you’ve read this far, right? Lucky Orange is a nice crisp orange ink. It writes beautifully and definitely chases away a grey day which was perfect for the cloudy spring we had here in K.C. It is a completely legible color, even in a fine nib. I confess that after all of Myke’s waxing poetic of his love of orange ink, it had not been a color I had given much thought to using. Lucky Orange has definitely given me pause to reconsider. I consider it my gateway orange.

Montblanc Lucky Orange Swatch Comparison

I do have several other orange inks in my collection but I can’t say that I’ve ever done more than swatched or maybe dipped a pen with them. Maybe I just needed the right pen to make orange a color I could use regularly. I don’t think I’d want to put orange ink in an orange pen. That would be a little too much orange for me. Other people, for whom orange may be their favorite color might feel differently. Alternately, orange in a green pen seems a terrible idea. But in a neutral colored pen, orange gets to be the star and I think that’s a great plan.

Lucky Orange is a bit brighter and poppier than Fuyu-gaki which is a bit more reddish-orange. However, if you already have a bottle of Sailor Apricot or Kin-Mokusei, you may not need a bottle of Lucky Orange. That said, doesn’t everyone need a little luck in their life?


DISCLAIMER: Some items used in this review were sent to me free of charge by JetPens. I bought the ink from Anderson Pens with my own money though they are a sponsor of this blog. Please see the About page for more details.

Notebook Review: Field Notes Byline

Notebook Review: Field Notes Byline

Review by Laura Cameron

Sometimes, we discover there are great items that have been around for quite some time that we never got around to reviewing. This is one of them.

I am a consummate list maker. You name it: groceries, to do, vacation packing, craft projects; I’ve got a list for them all.  Half the time I write items on the list just for the sheer joy of being able to cross them off later (it’s sad but true).

So when I saw the Field Notes Byline, I thought it was pretty much a notebook made for me.

Byline is Field Notes 31st Edition which came out about a year ago for Summer 2016. Byline was born out of customer requests for a reporter notebook.  It consists of a grey cover, printed on the inside with all sorts of useful information including a legend of common proofreading marks, and some specs and guidelines for the intrepid reporter.  Byline has 70 pages of college-ruled paper, and an inside pocket.  The whole notebook is 3 ¾” x 8”.

Field Notes Byline

When I received a Byline (compliments of “the Desk”) I immediately tested out my favorite pens and inks.  As you can see, the Byline is perfect for lists and might even work for a smaller bullet journal system. 

Field Notes Byline Writing Test

I found that the paper did ok with fountain pen ink; there is definitely some show through and a bit of bleeding on the opposite side of the page, but the ink doesn’t feather on the page.  I tested out a variety of pens and inks and was happy with most of them.  If I really wanted to use the notebook to maximum efficiency, I might stick with ballpoints, rollerballs and pencils but, given the format, I don’t mind only getting to use one side of the page.  I think it would bother me more if it was in a traditional notebook format, and I constantly had to stare at the back of pages.    

Field Notes Byline writing reverse of stock

Overall, I really enjoyed getting to test this one. Sadly, it looks like it is sold out now and I don’t know if they’ll ever reprint it but, with 70 pages, I suspect that this notebook will bring me many happy lists.

Field Notes Byline Writing close-up

Field Notes Byline Writing Test

(Ed. Note: The Front Page Reporter’s Notebook is  the open edition of the Byline and is essentially the same notebook with cosmetic changes. The cover is the same 120lb card stock paper, but in a lighter shade of gray. The writing paper is the same Cougar 70lb text weight, but bright white college-ruled with light gray lines. The wire binding is black rather than silver. A 2-pack is available for $12.95.)

Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.

Books for the Desk Set: Type & Lettering 2

Handmade Type Workshop by Charlotte Rivers
Tips, tools & techniques for creating custom typography

The book is divided into character creatin and font creation and then further divided into analog and digital creation with specific examples of how illustrators created their designs. With profiles and actual tutorials, I found this book far more useful than many of the hand lettering books on the market today. While not all the stylings might appeal to you, it certainly lifts the magicians curtain on how many styles are created.

Luckily, the information in the back about Fontographer and FontLab is short since its very dated since both of these font development programs are arcane and no longer industry standard. The rest of the book is very interesting and useful.

Get LetteringRian Hughes Says Get Lettering
If you are at all familiar with comic books, then you may already be familiar with the name Rian Hughes. He’s done the logo headers for many DC and Vertigo titles for years. If not, fret not. He’s a British type designer who is not as widely known in the US some of our homegrown heroes like Jessica Hische, Mary Kate McDevitt or the gang at House Industries. But he’s got the same great eye for pop culture, vintage signage and hand lettering.

His Get Lettering workbook is a little bit House Industries and a little bit Martina Flor (see below). It’s a playground for all sorts of lettering styles from mosaic tiles to graffiti, from monograms to superheroes. Well worth a peruse.

Golden Secrets of LetteringThe Golden Secrets of Lettering: Letter Design from First Sketch to Final Artwork by Martina Flor
The Golden Secrets of Lettering is one of the most beautiful, amazing books about lettering I have ever owned. And no sooner did I get it and gaze at every single page lovingly, that I took it to work to share with my co-workers who I knew would most appreciate it. My cubemate admitted to already owning a copy but another pal asked to borrow it briefly. I have not seen it since. So, cautionary tale. This book is that good. That if you show it to other people, they might not return it.

The chapter titles are handwritten in pencil which are stunning and the introduction is brilliant and funny and, really, who ever really reads the introduction to a book.

So, go buy yourself a copy and maybe an extra copy to loan out because you won’t get it back. This book is that good.

New Modernist Type by Steven Heller & Gail Anderson
I picked up New Modernist Type on a whim. The cover has white, blue and metallic silver lettering with the words “New” and “type” built out of triangles. I always think Steven Heller’s books are going to be high-brow, academic tomes that make me roll my eyes but this book ended up being a coffee table book of lovely design, mostly made up of sans serif (largely Helvetica-based which does cause me to roll my eyes a bit) designs. It’s grouped by three major categories: Old Modern, Playful Modern and Meta Modern and then sub-divided into smaller categories within each. With 269 pages of content, I found much of it intriguing and inspiring.

The use of color, pattern, and composition in design is shown to great effect in some of these simple designs. They are vivid, communicative and striking. The books includes packaging, signage, wayfinding, posters, business cards, book covers, page layouts, advertisements, fonts and more.

If modern type and design is of interest to you, then this is definitely an eye candy book for you. If you want more explanation about the appeal and the reasoning behind the resurgence, there is not a great deal of editorial in the book, just two pages of introduction and on the acknowledgements pages. Its indicated that this is the third book in a series starting with New Vintage Type, New Ornamental Type and New Modernist Type being the last (or is the latest, I suppose we’ll have to wait and see?).

Fashionable Friday: Letter Writing Club

In preparation for tomorrow’s Letter Writing Club hosted by Wonder Fair at Decade Coffee Shop in Lawrence, Kansas, I thought I’d theme this week’s Fashionable Friday in the “postal way”. If you’ll be at the event, please say hello!

  • “Good Mail” Diamond Rubber Stamp $10 (via The Well-Appointed Desk Shop)
  • MT Patterns Washi Tape – Sharkskin Kaki (Persimmon) $3.50 per roll (via JetPens)
  • Air Mail Postcards (Set of 4) $4 (via
  • The Typewriter: A Graphic History of the Beloved Machine Book $45CAD ($36USD) (via Uppercase Magazine)
  • G. Lalo Verge de France A5 Tablet in White $12.50 (via Anderson Pens)
  • TerraCycle Upcycled Messenger Bag $59 (via Timbuk2)
  • Caran d’Ache Idyllic Blue Ink (50ml Bottle) $32 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever Stamps Sheet of 16 $7.84 (via or at your local Post Office)
  • Letter Writers Alliance Membership Starter Kit Gift Set $25 (via Letter Writers Alliance)
  • Taccia Spectrum Fountain Pen in Merlot Red $159 (via Federalist Pens)
  • Caran d’Ache 849 fountain pen in Sapphire Blue €55 (€45.45 Outside EU) (via Fontoplumo)
  • Fresh Stock Bundle Box $49 (via Fresh Stock Japan)
  • Waterman Perspective Omlum Fountain Pen, Medium Nib $94.50 (via Pen Chalet)
  • US Mailbag Dopp Kit by TerraCycle $19.95 (via