Ink Review: Diamine Evergreen

I’ve mentioned Diamine Evergreen before, but it was generally in comparison to other inks — not a “review” as such.

Let me explain why I’m revisiting my ink collection. I recently had an epiphany that dark greens, greys and blacks are my go-to colours for note taking. I have plenty of other colours — from nice bright ones to fairly traditional colours. But I’ve now settled on colours I will regularly use, and the others have been tucked away in a little box under my shelves.

Colours got lopped off the A-list for a number of reasons. Some are subjective (just don’t like the colour so much), but others are objective — and will become my review criteria. In no particular order:

  • Contrast: general legibility and ease on the eye
  • Flow: how well the stuff comes out of the pen, avoiding hard starting
  • Lubrication: how well the ink lubricates the nib on a given paper
  • Bleeding and showing through: whether the ink soaks through to the other side of certain papers
  • Feathering: a sort of spreading effect along the paper fibres (undesirable)
  • Cleaning: does the ink hang around or does it go after a few flushes?
  • Water resistance: if I spill my water glass, are my notes gone?

I’m writing about Evergreen because it scores very highly in all of these (for me), and I like the colour a lot. This is the benchmark I may use for other inks in the future. ———

Subjective: why I like Diamine Evergreen

  • it appeals to me from a wet and a dry pen, fat and thin lines
  • nice and calm like a mid-grey, but much better contrast and more interesting with the green
  • warmer and perhaps not as in-your-face as some other green-blacks (e.g. Diamine Sherwood)
  • the benchmark I would use for lubrication, flow, and ease of cleaning
  • great VFM, UK manufacturer

(Relatively) Objective: my Review

Pens

  • Pelikan M200 Fine
  • Lamy Safari Charcoal with OM nib (dry writer)
  • Lamy Safari White with OB nib (wetter writer)

These are my “workhorse” pens, each with their own issues. The Pelikan and the broad Lamy can be hard starting with some inks and papers, and the Lamy Broad can also really drag on paper without lubrication. The Lamy Medium is much drier than the others, and really shows up some inks.

Workhorse1 Workhorse2

Paper

As noted before this ink changes colour over 24 hours from a sort of blue/green-black to a proper evergreen — the scans are of the final colour (top) and just-dried (bottom).

 Clairfontaine paper — top is after 24 hours, bottom is just dried

Copier paper — top after 24hr, bottom just dried

24 hr Just Written

Filofax Flex

The Clairfontaine paper can drag a bit, and the glossy surface can punish hard starters. I had neither problem with Evergreen. Printer paper feathers more but still no bleeding. Filofax flex cream paper is for a bit of fun — it shows. The ink looks like teal, verdigris or blue-black on this paper. Suspect it would do the same with other cream papers. All in all pretty good. I think the ink looks best on white paper, and for cream I’d choose a proper grey like Diamine Grey.

Bleeding, Feathering

Doesn’t really bleed through any papers I tried, though threatens to with the fat Safari nib on printer paper. Feathers a bit with the Safari nibs on cheaper paper, but the Pelikan is very well behaved. Shows through a bit on thinner paper, but doesn’t affect legibility. I’ve also used the Charcoal Lamy with Field Notes which tend to be hit and miss with fountain pens. With this ink everything is legible, no bleeding, feathering or show through. The line from the Pelikan is a little tidier, so I think that’s an effect of the nib, not the ink.

Lubrication and Flow

Great. A real pleasure to write with. The fat Lamy OB glides over papers. Pretty much a benchmark fountain pen experience, even with the dry Lamy.

Water resistance

Good luck with that. If this ink left the tiniest residue I’d be happy, but any kind of soaking will make writing illegible.

Cleaning

Great, cleans up quickly, doesn’t hang around (er, see above).

Summary

This ink ticks a lot of boxes for me, both colour-wise and with performance. Works in several different pens, on several different papers, and colour is to my liking in all cases.

This is pretty much the benchmark I would use to compare other inks. Not all inks I have (Diamine and other manufacturers) are as lubricating, or easy to clean, or look good both wet and dry.

However, there is no water resistance. That’s a lower priority for me than the actual writing experience and my ability to read notes I made a few days ago (anything important gets transcribed).

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