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Pelikan Ink Bottle Design Change

December 16, 2011

In a recent post about problems I discovered with some ink bottle caps, I praised the design of my old Pelikan brand of drawing ink, specifically their Drawing Ink “A” Black #17, which happens to be my favorite brand. After all of the drawings I’ve been doing lately it was time to buy more, and when it arrived I discovered they’ve made a curious change to their bottle design.

On the previous bottle design the cap had the same cylindrical shape, but they had switched from a glass bottle to a plastic one. Not liking that change, I poured the new ink into the old glass bottle and threw away the plastic one.


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The new bottle design is still plastic, but the cap no longer contains a rubber dropper. Instead, a pointed tip is attached to the opening for squirting out ink, and it pops off so you can dip pens or brushes inside (it comes with a screw-on cap not seen in this photo.)

At first I thought this tip was permanently attached until I wiggled it off. It popped off and ink drops flew everywhere, so I’d suggest not removing it near your artwork. It snaps back in easily, and to squirt out ink you just squeeze the bottle. The opening is also smaller than before. My bamboo pen won’t fit all the way inside, but all my other penholders and brushes will. I’m not very fond of this change, but it is a clever design. The tip feels kind of flimsy and I’m afraid it’s going to break when I remove it. I’ll likely just keep the tip off altogether, or empty the ink into the old glass bottle as before.

I also wanted to show one of the reasons why I like this ink so much. It’s a nicely dark black India ink that isn’t as thick as some other brands and holds up well when diluted for washes. In this image above you can see the result of the ink being diluted by ten times the amount of water, and the value only dropped a couple of notches. I like to use a syringe to measure my water volume so I can accurately measure the volume of ink and water.

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One comment

  1. Pelikan has always been my favorite too. I’ve used Kohinoor rapidographs for a few decades now, and Pelikan ink is the best. I didn’t know about the bottle design change. At Miller Blue Print I’ve purchased Kohinoor ink made especially for refilling technical pens, however I think it is slightly more transparent than Pelkan. My favorite Pelikan ink: “Bleu” (yes, the French spelling, or maybe it’s German, I don’t know)



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