Too Many Purples?

The Fountain Pen UK group (FPUK) recently commissioned a couple of purple inks from Diamine. After a number of rounds of polling on colour, then specific sample variant, it became apparent that just one of the purples would not be enough. Thus, once the final naming poll was complete, two purples went into production and Scribble Purple and Monboddo’s Hat were born.

©Bernardo Gomes

In case you are wondering about the ink names, they refer to Scribble Monboddo, FPUK member, writer of the Too Many Purples blog, amongst others, and a tireless quester for the perfect purple ink.

I’m something of a fan of purple myself (Monboddo’s not the only one with a purple hat, or two), so I’m always happy to try out a new purple ink and I must admit that Monboddo’s Hat is very much the shade of purple that I favour. It’s a gorgeous, deep, floral purple of the type that you might find in Pansies, Petunias or African Violets. It looks beautiful on the paper too, with the depth of tone varying slightly with line width. I could happily use this as an everyday ink.

Scribble Purple, on the other hand, is a much darker shade of purple, almost verging on black. In my initial swatch test it had such a high golden sheen that you couldn’t see the purple at all. Whilst I do like sheening inks, I prefer fine nibs, which really don’t tend to do sheen inks any justice whatsoever.  The sheen is hard to spot unless you lay the ink down in a fairly thick line, but it is definitely there.

That said, despite an initial presence for Monboddo’s Hat, I spent September using Scribble Purple for my journal and I really liked it.  My fairly fine nib shows none of the extreme sheen that is evident if you lay it on thickly and that is fine with me, though normal writing shows some variance in tone. On the swatch above, it looks more maroon, but in reality it writes as a dark purple and I actually rather like it as an everyday ink. It doesn’t scream “I’m purple” and you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a blue-black, albeit one with subversive purple tendencies.

Insane sheen in the right light!

Of the two, I greatly prefer Monboddo’s Hat*, simply because it is such a nice colour. Scribble Purple is an odd one, changing from a dark purple to near black to an almost metallic sheen, depending on how thickly you lay down the ink, but they are both worth additions to your ink collection, especially at Diamine’s prices.

Where can you get it?

Direct from Diamine Inks and also from Pure Pens (80ml bottles only)

At under £3 for a 30ml bottle and less than £7 for 80ml, it would really be rude not to try them out if you’re a sucker for purple ink.

Who is it for?

  • All lovers of purple
  • Goths
  • Alice Walker
  • People who can’t decide between Blue or Red ink
  • Fans of high sheen inks and fat nibs (Scribble Purple)
  • Writers of purple prose

*Revised Apr ’20 – In truth, since I wrote this,  of the two I have found myself using Scribble Purple a good deal more and it’s my regular scribble ink 🙂


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