Franklin-Christoph. New Ink. How on Earth did I miss two of my favorite things intersecting?
I was only able to attend the first few hours of the Raleigh Pen Show this year, although it was long enough to see the prototype tray set out and find an amazing 45L pen in a Sky Blue Loi material from Jonathan Brooks. Amazing. But I was in such a hurry afterward that I failed to notice a new option when choosing the color of ink for my new pen.
Graphite 4B was offered for the first time at the Raleigh Pen Show, but with very little fanfare. True to the Franklin-Christoph way, Graphite 4B was set before the public to earn its own name in the world.
Although it is not a current offering on their website, Graphite 4B will soon be available to order in either a 1-ounce bottle ($8.25) or a 2-ounce eyedropper bottle ($12.50). The photo above shows the 1-ounce bottle.
My first impression of the ink was the name. Why 4B? It brings to mind the Bungubox color 4B (which stands for Bungu Box Blue-Black). However, after speaking with Scott Franklin, the owner of Franklin-Christoph, I found that the color of the ink was modeled after the color of the lead in a 4B pencil.
Knowing that story, I naturally had to add 4B pencil to my Col-O-Ring swatch card. You can see the pencil in the lower left and lower right of the written portion of the swatch card above.
I used a Tombow Mono 4B pencil for comparison and found the color of the ink to be warmer and slightly darker than the pencil, although it absolutely brought pencil lead to mind. Kobe #59 might be a closer match to the color of 4B lead, however, Graphite 4B has a more even coverage with less shading, overall closer to what I would expect of a pencil.
That’s not to say that Graphite 4B doesn’t shade. There is plenty of that, especially when printing rather than using cursive.
- Papers: Birmingham Pen Company A5 Slim Notebook ($8.99)
- Swatch cards: Col-O-Ring ink testing cards ($10)
- Ink: Franklin-Christoph Graphite 4B ($8.25 for 1-ounce or $12.50 for 2-ounce eyedropper)
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