Ink Review #140: PenBBS 139 Phoebis Philea Johansson


PenBBS is a new brand to me, and since Vanness Pens started carrying some of them, I wanted to give them a try. They are made in China. The first one I'm trying is #139 Phoebis Philea Johansson, which is a really long name for an ink, but that's ok. For the purpose of this review, I'm just going to call it Johansson. I have no idea how they come up with the numbering system for their inks, or even how many inks total they have, since I've had a really hard time finding any information about this brand. You can find this ink at Vanness Pens


The color...

Johansson is a really light, bright yellow.


When the ink is pooled it almost looks orange on the edges.


Dry time: 32 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: None

Show through: Low-Medium

Bleeding: None

Other properties: Low shading (only in the broad and flex nib) and no sheen

On 32 pound copy paper, the ink behaved well, but is really hard to read, just because the ink is so light in color.

Ink swabs for comparison, left to right (top to bottom for mobile RSS): Diamine Yellow, PenBBS 139 Johansson, and Robert Oster Yellow Sunset. Yellow and Johansson are very similar in color.

PenBBSPhoebisPhileaJohansson2 - 1.jpg

The ink is easiest to read when used on white paper. On off-white, ivory or cream paper, the ink is closer to the color of the paper, and therefore harder to read.


Longer writing:

I used a Pelikan m800 Brown Renaissance, medium nib, on Tomoe River paper. I didn't have any flow issues, the ink felt average in flow.

Overall, the ink behaves ok, but the only time I would consider using this ink would be as a highlighter. I know an ink is too light when I find myself unconsciously pressing harder to get more ink out to make the ink look darker.

Disclaimer: This ink was provided by Vanness Pens in exchange for an honest review. All photos and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links on this page.