Color Coding Ink Palettes


I have few talents in life, one of them being the ability to make something super simple into the most complicated. What can I say, it’s a gift. I use a color-code system when I study to keep different concepts straight in my brain. I usually use 10-11 different colors and use basic black and blue black as neutrals. I decided a while ago that I should use different inks each month for my colors, but to make simple things complicated, I wanted the colors to “go” together instead of just random inks that color. So due to my craziness, you get this-a color palette of 12 inks for each month of the year.

Black Inks

To start off, I’ve only found a few basic black inks I like. I always have one of these inked up.

  • Sailor Kiwa-guro

  • Kyo-no-oto #1 Nurebairo

  • Rohrer and Klingner Sketch Lotte (I like using this one if I’m using any watercolors since it’s water resistant, but it requires higher maintenance since it’s a pigment-based ink).

  • Waterman Intense Black

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Take-sumi

  • Pelikan Edelstein Onyx

  • Sailor Jentle Black



  • Robert Oster Thunderstorm

  • Diamine Chopin

  • Robert Oster Motor Oil

  • Diamine Syrah

  • Robert Oster Dusky Pink

  • Papier Plume 011

  • Bungubox Ebisu Gold

  • Sailor Jentle Tokiwa-matsu

  • Robert Oster Velvet Storm

  • Sailor Jentle Blue

  • Robert Oster Evening Sapphire

  • Robert Oster Summer Storm



  • Sailor Jentle Blue Black

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun

  • Robert Oster Caffe Crema

  • Diamine Oxblood

  • Robert Oster Pinky

  • Diamine Autumn Oak

  • Kobe #21 Taisanji Yellow

  • Robert Oster Peppermint

  • Diamine Cool Green

  • Robert Oster Carbon Fire

  • Robert Oster Fire and Ice

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Ajisai



  • Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-kai

  • Diamine Silver Fox

  • Monteverde Moonstone

  • Robert Oster Whisper Red

  • Papier Plume Garden District Azalea

  • Robert Oster Peach

  • Robert Oster Honey Bee

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-rin

  • Robert Oster Pacific Ocean Teal

  • Diamine Kensington Blue

  • Robert Oster Grey Seas

  • Robert Oster Viola



  • Lamy Blue Black

  • Diamine Silver Fox

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-ho

  • Diamine Maroon

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Kosumosu

  • Monteverde Topaz

  • Private Reserve Buttercup

  • Robert Oster Sublime

  • Diamine Soft Mint

  • Robert Oster School Blue

  • Robert Oster Torquay

  • Diamine Amazing Amethyst



  • Aurora Blue Black

  • Diamine Silver Fox

  • Robert Oster Marrone Mustard

  • Sailor Irori

  • Dobe #30 Oji Cherry

  • Papier Plume Sazerac

  • Robert Oster Yellow Sunset

  • Robert Oster Opal Green

  • Papier Plume Lake Michigan Summer

  • Monteverde Sapphire

  • Robert Oster Australian Sky Blue

  • Sailor Jentle Fuju-musume



  • Rohrer and Klingner Verdigris

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri-same

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-guri

  • Monteverde Ruby

  • Diamine Coral

  • Sailor Jentle Apricot

  • Bungubox Sweet Potato Yellow

  • Robert Oster Ryde Green

  • Kaweco Paradise Blue

  • Robert Oster Blue Sea

  • Diamine Aqua Blue

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki-shikibu



  • Sailor Sei-boku

  • Diamine Grey

  • Robert Oster Toffee

  • Diamine Wild Strawberry

  • Diamine Flamingo Pink

  • Diamine Gerbera

  • Diamine Sunshine Yellow

  • Diamine Apple Glory

  • Diamine Marine

  • Diamine Florida Blue

  • Lamy Pacific Blue

  • Waterman Tender Purple



  • Bungubox 4B

  • Diamine Grey

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-guri

  • Robert Oster Clay Red

  • Lamy Vibrant Pink

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake

  • Diamine Amber

  • Monteverde Hope

  • Robert Oster Tranquility

  • Papier Plume Calle Real

  • Robert Oster Blue Water Ice

  • Akkerman Parkpop Purple



  • Diamine Blue/Black

  • Diamine Graphite

  • Diamine Ancient Copper

  • Sailor Jentle Oku-yama

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Tsutsuji

  • Montblanc Lucky Orange

  • Robert Oster African Gold

  • Robert Oster Jade

  • Robert Oster Marine

  • Monteverde Ocean Noir

  • Diamine Havasu Turquoise

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-budo



  • Monteverde Blue Black

  • Robert Oster Graphite

  • Robert Oster Golden Brown

  • Robert Oster Astorquiza Rot

  • Kaweco Ruby Red

  • Robert Oster Ng Special ‘16

  • Robert Oster Gold Antiqua

  • Robert Oster Eucalyptus Leaf

  • Robert Oster Deep Sea

  • Diamine Sargasso Sea

  • Robert Oster Bass Straight

  • Diamine Grape



  • Robert Oster Blue Black

  • Montblanc Oyster Grey

  • Robert Oster Bronze

  • Robert Oster Maroon 1789

  • Monteverde Garnet

  • Robert Oster Terracotta

  • Robert Oster Gold Antiqua

  • Robert Oster River of Fire

  • De Atramentis Mint Turquoise

  • Diamine Oxford Blue

  • Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-peki

  • Robert Oster Barossa Grape



  • Diamine 1864 Blue Black

  • Monteverde Smoke Noir

  • Robert Oster Melon Tea

  • Robert Oster Australian Shiraz

  • Robert Oster Cherry Blossom

  • Monteverde Fireopal

  • KWZ Old Gold

  • Diamine Sherwood Green

  • Sailor Jentle Yama-dori

  • Diamine Majestic Blue

  • Sailor Jentle Souten

  • Monteverde Charoite

From creating these palettes I learned that I really need to find more good yellow and grey inks. It’s hard to find yellow and grey inks that are dark enough to be read easily. Do you use any type of color-coding in your writing? Let me know in the comments below!