Since starting my blog about a month and a half ago, I have really jumped down the rabbit hole that is fountain pen ink. I've learned a lot about the different companies that produce ink, and I've learned a lot about how they release and promote their product. When you learn something new, you tend to compare your new knowledge to the things you already know. My background is in cosmetology-I'm a licensed cosmetologist, so I'm very familiar with hair products and nail polish. Nail polish companies do a great job of releasing and prompting product, so I though I would do a comparison of sorts between a nail polish release and a fountain pen ink company.
Most ink companies do advertising about their newest inks, but rely upon retailers and bloggers to do most of the advertising and promotion. The releases of new ink are unpredictable and spotty. Most new inks are released either all at once or one at a time. DeAtramentis for instance, released a new collection recently, containing 30 pearlescent inks, according to their website, 10 themed each toward Gold, Copper, and Silver. I heard a little bit about them when Vanness started carrying them recently, but other than that I haven't seen any promotions or reviews about them. It's the first time recently that I've seen anyone talking about the German company besides the random picture on social media. On the other end of the spectrum, Robert Oster, a Australian company, releases ink one color at a time. They are always fabulous, he does a great job of creating consistent outstanding work. Retailers are constantly advertising for his newest color, so there is a constant flow of advertising about the brand. Robert Oster themselves are very active on social media, and interact well with customers. It seems with ink companies it is either feast or famine, constant advertising or almost none. To my knowledge, there aren't any companies that match ink collections to seasons of the year. I might be the only one who matches their fountain pen ink to the current season, so I might be the only one who cares about that.
Diamine is a fountain pen ink company located in Liverpool. They have been producing ink since 1864. They have a lot of stand-alone colors, 105 in count, some of which were made for special occasions. W.E.S. Imperial Blue, for instance, was created by request, for the 25th anniversary of the Writing Equipment Society. They do run a few themed collections, such as their two collections of Shimmertastic ink, their music collection of ten inks named after composers, and their flowers collection containing ten inks named after flowers. They also now have two collections of 150th anniversary ink colors, made up of 8 inks each. There are a few colors you hear about frequently, such as Marine or Soft Mint, other colors like Scarlet you never hear about. They are not active on social media, except occasionally through their retailers. Again, it goes back to the feast or famine advertising model.
Nail Polish companies tend to do quarterly releases of nail polishes, in collections containing between 6 and 13 polishes. Each collection is themed with a name, and tends to match the season of the year they are released in. For instance, Zoya released their Wanderlust collection in June 2017, containing 12 bright colors for summer. They have a lot of advertising and promotions involving this collection, then after three months, the colors dissolve into their permanent polish line and can be purchased individually. Eventually, if a color isn't selling, they retire the color from their permanent line. They are guaranteed advertising and reviews around each of the new collections, and then in between their old popular colors get attention. This keeps the brand fresh and advertised at least 4 times a year, but not constantly to where it's overwhelming. They are also active on social media, and interact well with customers.
ILNP is the short name for the company, I Love Nail Polish. ILNP is a boutique nail polish produced in small batches in Las Vegas. I am very picky about nail polish, and I have always been happy with nail polish from ILNP. They release four quarterly collections, themed to the season, and they occasionally release another one or two themed collections throughout the year, such as their recent Real Magic Toppers Collection, which is a collection of 8 nail polish toppers. Seriously, if you haven't checked out their company, you should. I love that they are very transparent about their ingredients and process. They interact with their customers on social media and do a great job of keeping their customers happy.
So, here's my two cents: I wish fountain pen companies would start releasing steadier collections of ink, quarterly. This would help customers predict and budget for new collections, and keep their brand fresh, without being overwhelming.
This is ILNP's summer 2017 collection, Summer Jellies. You can find this collection here. The collection is made up of 7 jelly nail polishes is bright colors. (This collection has been on my wish list since it came out). I wanted to choose inks from one brand of fountain pen ink, and create my own "summer 2017" collection of ink from their permanent line. So let's create a Summer Diamine 2017 ink line, just for fun (which really shows what a nerd I am, but I think that ship has sailed already).
I reviewed each of these inks in the past week. I tried to match inks with sheen to the polish collection, since it has holographic sparkles in it.
The best thing about polish collections is that you can wear one color on your hands and one on your feet and you don't have to worry about them matching each other. They don't exactly match, but they "go". I would use any of these two inks together on the same page and wouldn't worry about them matching.
I love collections that go together, and nail polish companies to a great job of that. What are your thoughts about fountain pen ink collections? Leave a comment below!
Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself, and all thoughts and opinions are my own. The pictures of ink swabs are mine, the pictures of nail polish came from ilnp.com, and were shared with permission. This post does not contain affiliate links, and I was not compensated in any way for this post.