A technophile lawyer rediscovers the joys of pen and paper

Thursday, September 2, 2010

J. Herbin Orange Indien and the conservative lawyer

I've read so many reviews of J. Herbin's Orange Indien ink in the last few months that I figured I might as well order a sample of it while I was ordering a bunch of other samples from Goulet Pens, even though I didn't otherwise have an interest in an orange ink. I just had to see what all the fuss was about.

Having tried it out, all I can say is: this is going to take some getting used to.

Let me explain why orange ink is a tough sell for me. First, I'm not about to use it in the office. Too flashy. Second, I'm not even likely to use it in correspondence. So, what's left?

Art. And believe me, I am no artist.

Which probably explains why I was less than overwhelmed by this ink. At first, anyway.

The most surprising thing about it is that it initially struck me as a dry-writing ink, unlike every other J. Herbin I've tried. It actually rendered by Lamy AL-Star extra fine nib scratchy on a Rhodia dot pad. Even in my wettest writer, the Pelikan P55 Future, the line was not what I'd call very wet.

The color didn't do anything for me, either. Like I said, I have no interest in an orange ink. I was, however, hoping at least to be wowed by the color. But even evaluated in the abstract rather than for utility, the color was a disappointment.

The lighting in this photo really doesn't give you a very good idea of the shading.

But the second day, the ink flowed more readily. The line laid down was wetter, the color much richer. Maybe some water had been in the feeds when I inked the pens the day before. Whatever the reasons, the richer color on the second day really looked quite nice.

So, I won't rule this out for correspondence, after all. But it's still not likely to get much use around the office, except perhaps for marking up drafts.

I'll do full review some time in the future. If you're reading this, you've probably already read at least one review of Orange Indien, but in case you haven't, here are some you can check out:

Rhodia Drive
Office Supply Geek
Rants of the Archer
Passion du Jour
Seize the Dave (one of the best blog names evah)



  1. Hey, thanks for mentioning my blog here. :)

  2. Thanks for the link to my review! And I'm glad you like the name of my blog. :)

  3. David and Clem,

    I'm pleased to link you. Don't expect hits like you get off of Pen Addict, though! It's safe to say my readership is slightly smaller than Brad's.