It's not very often that we see something totally new come to the fountain pen ink spectrum, so this is pretty exciting news! New from Monteverde for 2023 is the Color Changing Ink line. With the help of the clear "Color Changer" you can add layers of design to the ink you've already put down on the page. Some of the color combinations are quite striking!
We will have a bit of a different format for this review / overview because there are a grand total of 9 inks in this set, with a total possible 18 colorations when you include the Color Changer. Read more to see how we like it!
What Is It?
Well, it's ink of course! 9 colors in total. Each color has a base, which is referenced on the package and in the name - Purple to Yellow for example, is a purple ink in the bottle. The fun comes when the ink and the Color Changer meet on the page. When applied to the dried ink it will change the base color to that secondary color; in this case it will blaze a bright yellow line through that nice purple tone. It also works if you write with the base ink over the Color Changer, but more on that later.
How Does It Work?
Honestly, we don't really know but it is fun! The Color Changer is totally clear but otherwise looks like ink, smells like ink, and behaves just like ink in a pen. For most of these examples I had it in a TWSBI ECO with a medium nib but I did use the Kakimori Dip Nib for a few lines here and there.
Note: The Color Changer doesn't do anything to other brands of inks.
- Varied - Each ink dries at a different rate, which is normal for differing colors even from the same line or family of inks in a brand. From our testing the darker colors dried very fast and caused feathering on Tomoe River and most other paper. The Fuchsia To Yellow and Red to Yellow seemed to have much longer dry times and produced significantly less feathering.
Medium - Surprisingly enough, most of these inks are mildly water-resistant. The two blue and one black colored fared the best while the brown, green, and red were the worst. So, a bit of variance across the line.
- Medium – These inks all have a nice color to them but only a few stood out as highly saturated, the Deep Blue to Pink and Black to Green. The rest were more toward the middle of the road when for saturation; nothing too crazy!
Ease of Cleaning:
- High – No issues here cleaning out all of these inks!
- Low – These inks all dried too fast to deliver much in the shading department but that really is made up for by the magic of the Color Changer
- High – All of the inks feel very wet in a pen and they flow very quickly. Some feel that way due to their quick dry time and tendency to absorb while others feel more like a highly lubricated ink.
Packaging and Aesthetics:
- The bottles are Monteverde's standard short glass bottles but the ink has a very descriptive box that lets you know exactly what color combo you're holding. The box set is quite nice and keeps them all together perfectly!
Tips and Tricks
I really didn't want to put these inks down because the possibilities are really endless here.
- You can lay down the Color Changer on the page and let it dry and then write/swab over it and see your words appear on the page; it's got a very "invisible ink" kind of feel to it.
- In usage the color change happens faster if the inks on the page are totally dry. When slightly wet you can see the Color Changer go on and slowly bring out that secondary shade
- The secondary color shows up best if the main color isn't laid down too thick. How much ink you put down will have an effect on dry time and the paper can only hold but so much ink
- You can lay two main colors next to each and write over them with the Color Changer — the result is a space where two colors instantly turn into 4 different shades
- You can apply the Color Changer in various ways. I used a fountain pen, dip pen, and a q-tip but the world is your oyster with this one
- It's a lot of fun to add secondary design —You can draw over a doddle or design to add depth, texture, and a contrasting color.
If you're interested in similar colors or want to see these all in one space, check out our Swab Shop where you can compare colors side by side.
What an interesting new idea from Monteverde. I can't say I've seen it before but it does remind me of color-changing markers from my childhood, but turned up to 11. The base ink colors are nice and could be great by themselves for people who want faster drying ink. Add in the Color Changer and you're looking at hours of experimentation. It's oddly satisfying and calming to watch the change happen and I hope your experience echoes ours!