Colorverse Inks Overview

I thought I’d start my massive review series of the Colorverse Ink collection ($36 per set) with an overview of the product. If you’re not familiar with Colorverse inks yet, they have recently come onto the pen and ink scene by way of Korea. The original series of inks, Season 1, started as a Kickstarter and then a Season 2 line of colors was added. In January of this year, the most recent Season 3 colors was launched a set of six companion sets of colors.

One of the most notable things about the Colorverse Ink collection is that each box comes with two bottles of ink. In the Season 1 & 2 sets, its a matched set of 65ml and 15ml bottles of the same color. In Season 3, this becomes a large 65ml bottle of a focal color and a 15ml bottle of a “special” color — maybe a shimmering metallic, a pigment ink or just a contrasting dye-based ink.

The packaging for the Colorverse Inks is amazing and if you are the least bit science or space-inclined, you’re going to be hard-pressed to pass up a box or two of these inks. Inside each box is star char graphics, a brochure featuring the rest of the lines of ink and sticker and accessory pack.

The accessory pack includes stickers, a paper bookmark, a foldable paper pen stand and a branded napkin for clean-up. The first reaction for many about the Colorverse ink collection was the price but I think these little extras prove that they are definitely making it worth the slightly higher price. Caran d’Ache inks are almost the same price and you don’t get stickers or toys in the box. Nor do you get an extra bonus bottle of ink that you can share or keep at work.

The one thing I did discover about the smaller bottle is that the opening is not particularly conducive to larger pens or dipping a dip pen into the bottle as most holders are too large to fit into the opening. So, the smaller bottle will require a pipette, a syringe or other transfer method to be used efficiently. The larger bottle has an opening that is much bigger and accommodates most pens easily. Whether it will be easy to get the last drops from the bottom of the bottle is still something I’ll have to determine but I think it will be a long time before I need to worry about that.

I wanted to give a size comparison of the bottles with some commonly recognized bottles for scale.

So… ready to see some of my early color swatches?

The colors I’ll be reviewing this week will be grouped into color groups: blues, pinks, browns, and then I’ll do the other colors and finally the Season 3 colors so there will be only six or so posts instead of 14.

I did some initial color swatches in a couple new sketchbooks I picked up this week. One is the Canson XL Mix Media Sketchbook and the other was the Bee Paper Super Deluxe Mixed Media Paper. The Bee Paper has two distinct surfaces to their paper on each side so I was able to play with the rougher and smoother sides. The Canson XL is smoother overall and a classic heavyweight sketchbook paper.

These are the colors on Canson XL.

This is the Bee Paper sketchbook. It’s 6×9 (close to an A5 size). Above is the rougher, cold press watercolor side.

This is the Bee Paper smoother hot press side.

Colorverse provides a lot of great information in their brochures and on their website about their inks. They include RGB comparison numbers, HEX numbers, Pantone numbers and a Ph level. All of this provides a great deal of information not often given to ink consumers. I don’t know a lot about what the best Ph number is for ink for longevity but knowing that Colorverse took the time to research and provide the information makes me feel better about the purchases.

As a design nerd, I cross-referenced all the Pantone numbers to the inks, so you’ll see those later. I agree with most. Some, I don’t.

If you want to get into the spacey ink land I’ve been in the past few weeks, I recommend anything related to The Expanse.

Huge thanks to Vanness Pens for shipping these inks over to me tout suite!

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11 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Thank you for this intro to these complex but lovely inks! I have been wondering. What are the chances that Neil DeGrass Tyson has already gotten or been given some of these, fountain pen nerd that he is?

  2. I’m curious about the constellations pictured in the box. SomeI recognize, but at least one seems odd. In the top left corner of the first photo of the box, I recognize the stars that make up the constellation Orion, but the lines do not connect in the way that I am used to seeing. Any insight?

  3. The Southern Hemisphere does get a different view than the Northern. Orion shares time between the two.

    I would love several of these as I have some space nerd in me. Just need to get over the $36.

    But thank you Ana for showing the extras, because you are right about the extras meaning something.

    Question: Vanness shows Morning Star writing showing 2 distinct colors (green and either brown or burgundy). Is that your experience?

  4. I should have noted that Orion and several other constellations straddle the celestial equator. Some zodiac ones do as well. A web search shows Southern Hemisphere specific constellations (Bayer group).

    I might get samples of 4 of the Colorverse inks that are in stock at Vanness. I used the link from this blog to see what Vanness has in stock. There are a few bottles of ink I regret getting, but not many, without sampling first.

    1. Thanks for the info, Lori! Bob did a bit of research about the constellations too and agrees with your findings.

      As for samples, Vanness is hoping to have more Colorverse ink in stock soon.

  5. Can you explain what is particularly special about Colorverse inks, I guess compared with others?

    I think the colors are beautiful–and the little extras are very cool–but why is the ink itself so pricey?


    1. The inks are imported from Korea (so some of the costs are related to customs fees and such) plus each ink comes with TWO bottles — a 60ml and 15ml bottle so it is considerably more volume, packaging and material than a standard ink. The value to you as a consumer is still up for debate.

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