Ink Formula Guide

Birmingham Pen Co. fountain pen inks are manufactured by hand in our workshop using a combination of dyes, pigments, and a series of ingredients to build a vehicle that delivers colorant from pen to paper. A 'colorant' is a dye or pigment that exhibits color. An ink 'vehicle' is a string of chemicals used to efficiently transport colorant from storage reservoir to substrate.

Although we must individually calibrate the vehicle around most colorant combinations, we've built six fundamental colorant & vehicle backbones on which we've produced dozens of beautiful inks with a spectrum of fundamental properties. 


Crisp Formula inks are designed to maximize range and personality while minimizing characteristics such as feathering and bleeding on variety of premium, mid range, and discount papers. See Crisp Inks

Swift Formula inks perform well in essentially every fountain pen we could test. Wetter than average, this formula starts up quickly and performs best on quality fountain pen papers. See Swift Inks

Rich Formula inks are built with a unique vehicle and dye combination to produce vibrant colors and intermittent sheen.  See Rich Inks

Everlasting Formula inks feature a pigmented colorant that produces highly water resistant and archival properties. See Everlasting Inks

Twinkle Formula inks are manufactured using a unique dye and twinkling pigment combination that displays a dazzling luster. See Twinkle Inks

Wishy-Washy Formula inks are constructed for both performance and washability. Colors in this series will clean easily from most fabrics and surfaces with soap and water. See Wishy-Washy Inks