When you have several inks, you quickly lose track of them. A comparison with other inks is then no longer possible, also the choice of the ideal ink becomes more difficult. This is where the ink cards from The Well-Appointed Desk called Col-o-ring can help.

If you own a fountain pen, you also have ink. Mostly even several. And then gladly also not from cartridges.

But what exactly did the ink look like again? And is the new ink so similar to one already owned?

These questions can occur in the life of a lover of fountain pens.

You can easily answer these questions by simply taking a sample of the ink.

But then the question remains: how and with what do you create such samples? After all, you want to compare the inks. In a good notebook, you have the same paper, but a direct comparison is difficult. If you take cards, you have to make sure that the paper is good.

And this is where the col-o-ring comes in.

What is the Well-Appointed Desk Col-o-ring actually?

Basically, this Col-o-ring ink testing book, as it is officially called, is nothing more than a collection of cards with a hole, a book binding ring and two strong cardboards. The cardboard acts as a cover to protect the cards, on which you place your own sample of the ink in question. With the bookbinder ring everything is then connected.

So you can comfortably browse through these cards and look at your inks. Since these rings can be opened easily, you can also remove a card individually. To then write on it, or to put it next to another one to compare them better.

Actually a very simple principle.

So simple?

But the Col-o-ring is not only a simple but good system, it is also a paper which is very well suited for inks.

Because this is where the problem starts. If you want to make such cards, or Ink Swatches as they are also called, you need good paper.

And you can search for a long time to find suitable cards. Or cut in laborious work itself good papers.

Since my search for suitable cards remained fruitless, I have already decided some time ago for index cards. From a manufacturer who uses very good paper. With this I can create sample cards for myself. You know these from the ink tests. This paper is very good.

However, there are disadvantages with these index cards. This is on the one hand the storage and on the other hand the transport.

What is the ideal way to store these cards? Loose never works, cards are sure to get lost, or damaged. Card index boxes went. I didn't feel like doing that here. Another solution is ring binders and viewing pockets, as used by collectors. So these are protected and can be put away well in the cupboard. But unfortunately, taking them with you is just as bad as in a file box. And you might get the idea of taking a few ink cards to a fountain pen meeting or similar event.

This is where the Col-o-ring come in handy. They are not too big, but big enough for testing the ink. Thanks to the compact shape, they are easy to store and also to take with you.

The paper

Above I already mentioned the paper. It is not always easy to find good paper for inks. This is usually noticed very quickly. Not only if you want to produce ink cards for yourself. And you usually want to have little work with something like this, so cutting from good, large, papers usually falls flat.

Until you find a reasonably good paper, time can pass.

Here at The Well-Appointed Desk Col-o-ring, the same paper is always used. Which one it is exactly is not revealed.

But it is a paper with a grammage of 160g/m² and, according to The Well-Appointed Desk, it comes from a European paper mill that has been in existence for around 400 years.

Now whichever paper exactly it is, there were no problems whatsoever in my tests and sample cards. The ink did not feather out. Not even with thick ink application. And of course, it didn't bleed through either. We are talking about 160g/m² paper after all.

Last but not least.

The cards are big enough to function as ink cards. But not too big either. You limit yourself to the essentials and get cards that work really well.

All in all, I can only recommend the Col-o-ring cards.


There is also a video review of this fountain pen on YouTube from me in the channel. Just have a look.


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