Monday, August 1, 2011

Ink Review: Diamine Orange

When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out ~ because that's what's inside.

(Internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development.)

The past several weeks have been gloomy and dreary from where I am. A number of typhoons and tropical depressions have continuously dumped enormous amounts of water on most parts of the country; for days, dark rain clouds shadowed us in. But as I stayed indoors, I took out my box of inks and found Diamine Orange -- I got a bright, happy ink color for company!

I received Diamine Orange from the first batch of ink samples that Phil Davies sent to me. I didn't like it at first because it's too bright. Then again I realized, what orange ink won't be bright? Point taken, I found a use for it: underscoring my notes and lesson modules. I began filling my wide-nibbed pens with it and Diamine Orange became one of my two favorite ink colors for underscoring.

Diamine Orange is a bright, brilliant, vibrant ink. It is very saturated, like all Diamine inks, but has excellent, smooth flow. Despite its high level of saturation, feathering and bleeding occurs only on a few types of paper (but note that feathering and bleeding are affected by a number of factors). This Diamine ink is very bright orange while wet, but becomes just as bright when it dries.

Named after the ripe orange fruit, orange is a color between yellow and red in the visible spectrum. After several comparisons, Diamine Orange looked to be having just the right amounts of yellow and red, making it an almost-perfect orange color.

True enough, this ink reminds me of ripe oranges, tiny juicy clementines, fragrant satsumas, freshly squeezed OJ, and cold orange marmalade on top of hot, buttered buns.

I tried very hard to capture this ink inside the plastic 30ml bottle. These tall, rectagular plastic bottles are spill-proof because of a simple mechanism inside the cap. I carried Diamine Syrah in a similar bottle in my bag for a day and though it got jostled and tumbled, the ink did not spill at all.

I also noticed that this ink clings to the inside of the plastic bottle, unlike Woodland Green and Majestic Blue that just runs off. The lovely amber-like, orange liquid is just lovely.

In the photo below, the ink looks almost like a fragrant, sweet syrup waiting to be tasted.

Below is Diamine Orange on Kokuyo graph paper. I love Kokuyo paper and use it specifically for my Diamine ink reviews (here and here) because it is resistant to feathering and bleed. For this review, I used a Manuscript 1.5 crisp italic pen for calligraphy and my cadmium yellow Sheaffer No Nonsense with medium nib for regular writing.

When I did the shoot for this review, I needed to pull down the shades in the room to underexpose the following photos. I had to do that to capture the ink color properly. When shot under normal or bright light, this orange ink glows!

I wrote the quote using a 1.5 crisp italic nib, and though I noticed some very faint shading in the end strokes, I cannot say that Diamine Orange has shading.

And it is just the same in my alphabet set. There is very faint shading in the beginning and end strokes of the letters.

But with or without shading, isn't this the most vibrant, happy orange ink in the world? Here is Diamine Orange from my cadmium yellow Sheaffer No Nonsense with a regular round medium nib. This is a very saturated ink, but flows surprisingly smooth on the pens I used for this review. It also dries fast on Kokuyo paper.

Aside from Herbin's Diabolo Menthe, Diamine Orange is only the other ink I use for underscoring. It's such a joy to see my notes and module pages come alive with the different ink colors I use for underscoring and highlighting, though I mostly use my Pelikan M205 ink for highlighting.

I only have two orange fountain pen inks aside from Diamine Orange, and they are J. Herbin Orange Indien and Caran d'Ache Saffron, all happy colors! Orange Indien has more yellow and I use it to color some of my drawings. Caran d'Ache, on the other hand, has more red, and sometimes I use it to write entries on my diary.

Diamine Orange has just the right combination of yellow and red that makes it a bright, happy orange. On a page of white paper, the color just pops out! Aside from underscoring, I also use Diamine Orange to write headings on my notes and comments on my modules. If I need to write something for emphasis, I'll grab a pen with Diamine Orange!

And just because I got a Zebra Sarasa and Pilot Frixion gel pens with orange ink, I included them here too.

Among the Diamine inks I have reviewed, this is the fastest to dry. Both Woodland Green and Majestic Blue took around 26-28 seconds to dry on Kokuyo paper. Diamine Orange took only 13 minutes to dry, which is just half the time it took for either of the two inks to dry.

I like write-testing an ink on different papers. Doing so makes me see how the ink behaves on different masses of pulp.

Up close, here is Diamine Orange on Kokuyo paper.
There is slight feathering here but the ink did not bleed at all.

On Venzi paper. I'm happy to see how beautiful and neat the letters are. There is no feathering, and definitely no bleed! (Must get more of this notebooks.)

Lastly, here it is on Whitelines paper. It's my first time to use Whitelines paper and though there wasn't any feathering, I noticed that the ink bled.

I don't have favorite ink colors, and as I am drawn to brown, and dark shades of blue and red, I also gravitate towards bright, vibrant colors because they brighten my notebook pages. Diamine Orange is a bright, happy ink that I enjoy a lot and brings a smile to my face every time I use it. It makes reviewing fun for me! And though its brightness prevents me from using it for regular writing, I will always find ways to use it.

Founded in London, Diamine has been manufacturing inks since 1864. Diamine is one of the largest producers of a large range of fountain pen inks as well as the famous Registrar's Ink for permanent records. Diamine fountain pen inks are available from the Diamine site or from the Writing Desk in the UK. In the US, they are available from the Goulet Pen Company or the Pear Tree Pen Company. (I have no affiliation with any of these companies.)


  1. Congratulations on such a thorough review! I love how happy Diamine Orange looks on the page. Looking forward to your other ink reviews.

  2. Another thorough and enjoyable review! Love the oranges in the pictures. I wish I could think of a reason to use orange ink.

  3. I don't even really like orange, but that's definitely a nice, happy colour! :D

  4. Mona: Thank you! I still have a lot of inks to review, both from Herbin and Diamine. :)

    bleubug: I was hesitant to use the oranges, but felt better when I read your comment. :) Use it to underscore the books you read. Thank you for reading the review!

    Penemuel: Bright inks are not really friendly to our eyes for reading, but there are uses for them. :) Thank you for reading the review!

  5. I love orange! :) though i must say i am partial to the saffron ink ...

  6. I love this ink! Here's my review of Diamine Orange if you haven't seen it yet.

    I've noticed in my Lamy that it leaves some residue on the nib when it dries up. Otherwise, it flows great. My impression is that it has zero shading. You can apply multiple layers and it will still show the same flat color.