Saturday, February 19, 2011

Diamine Orange ink review

I don't know what possessed me to want an orange ink but I decided that I needed a shade of orange in my ink collection. My requirements were rather simple: I wanted a very bright and saturated ink. In fact that is generally my mantra in regards to inks: they have to be punchy. I was naturally led to Diamine's Orange which is perhaps one of the nicest shades out there.

I bought the ink from Goulet Pens and you can see what else I got in my first Goulet Pens haul. Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Goulet Pens, I'm just a satisfied customer.

Diamine Orange comes in an 80ml bottle which is equivalent to 2.7oz. The price per milliliter comes to $0.16 which is pretty darn close to Noodler's inks. This makes it very affordable, especially considering that Diamine inks are imported from Britain.

I'm not a big fan of the packaging. The bottle looks bland and I dislike the mottled green cap. There's nothing to distinguish the different colors except for the tiny sticker on top of the cap. Not even the main sticker on the bottle hints as to the color of the ink. That is unfortunate for such gorgeous inks which Diamine produces. I realize that this cuts down on cost but I would have been happy with a color-coded label on the bottle.

Diamine Orange ink

Let me start the actual review by stating that this ink is superb. It is a fiery sort of orange and, evidently, very saturated. The review is written with a Lamy AL-Star fountain pen with EF nib but I haven't been using this ink a lot for actual writing. Instead, I use it for drawing and shading. In all honesty, I'm not sure how many day-to-day writing applications there are for such a vivid orange.

Out of the two writing samples shown at the end of this review, I feel that the one written on Staples journal paper is the more accurate. The Staples paper is slightly yellowish. The sample written on photocopier paper is not as accurate but I tried to process it a little to reflect reality.

Both samples are photographs taken with natural light coming through a window. I have decided against scanning ink samples because my scanner distorts colors badly to the point of making them unrecognizable. You will also notice some variation in contrast and saturation across the paper. This is more pronounced on the photocopier paper. This happens because the paper isn't 100% flat and the light reflects off it at different angles.

Diamine Orange is not only very saturated but also rather flat. There is no shading that I can discern and, to be honest, I like that. Because I use it mostly to color inside very small areas, shading would probably mess up my design. This feature ensures that you can count on this ink to be consistent, regardless how thick it is applied.

Lubrication and flow seem to be very good in my Lamy AL-Star. The slightest touch of the nib on paper brings the ink flowing.

There is no feathering and almost no bleedthrough even on these cheap papers. I sketch on Clairefontaine 90g paper and that one is very resistant to bleedthrough and even more so with the Diamine Orange.

The drying time for Diamine Orange is very good. As you can see, it dries up on both papers tested in under 10 seconds. It is also smudge-proof, which is not the case with another ink that I had high hopes for. (To be reviewed at a later date).

Diamine Orange's weak spot is, of course, water resistance. It doesn't have any. The lower right portion of the sample written on photocopier paper was covered by a crosshatch pattern and in 15 seconds it was almost entirely washed away under a running faucet. You can see what's left.

Diamine Orange is a wonderful, joyful orange ink and one that I enjoy a lot, every time I use it. It gives me reasons to go back to it whenever I sketch or draw something. It might be too bright for use in daily writing but it excels for art purposes. While this ink produces a flat color, I consider this a feature since it can be consistently applied over a large surface. It is very well behaved in that it doesn't feather or bleed through. While Diamine Orange is not waterproof it makes up for it by not smearing or smudging after drying. If you need an orange, Diamine Orange certainly won't disappoint.

Here are the two samples I mentioned, written on photocopier paper and a Staples journal with off-white paper.

Diamine Orange ink review on photocopier paper

Diamine Orange ink review on Staples journal


  1. A very nice and thorough review. Thank you for mentioning GPC as well! This ink is a good one, another great Diamine orange is Pumpkin, which is just a bit darker than Orange. Unfortunately, none of the Daimine inks are particularly water-resistant (except the Registrar's of course!). But if that's not an issue for you, I would second this ink if you're looking for a bright orange.

  2. Wow that was quick Brian! I was actually set on Noodler's Apache Sunset and then I also considered Noodler's Habanero but Diamine Orange won out.