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Diamine “Grey”: Ink Review


On Scrively's Ink Reviews - Background Information (click to expand)

Diamine Grey: a nicely shading alternative to blue or black ink

Diamine Grey Ink Swab

Ink name: Diamine “Grey”
Unit capacity: 30 ml (plastic bottle)
Price: ca. 3,35 € (via the Diamine Webshop)
Price per ml: ca. 0,11 €

  Leuchtturm 1917 Standard copy paper
Color  dark grey when wet – fades to a lighter stone grey when dry  stone grey
Saturation  high  high
Shading  very nice shading for such a rather dark ink  flattens out totally
Feathering  none  a little, yeah
Bleed-through  none  some. not on each single letter, but still quite significant
Wetness  moderate-high  moderate-high
Drying time  ca. 10 sec.  ca. 5 sec.
Smudging when dry  no  no
Regular smear test  ok  ok
Left-page smear test  perfect  ok

Handwritten review on Leuchtturm 1917 paper
(scanned @600 dpi with Doxie Flip – click image to enlarge on Flickr)

Diamine Grey on Leuchtturm

Handwritten review on standard photocopying paper
(scanned @600 dpi with Doxie Flip – click image to enlarge on Flickr)

Diamine Grey on Standard Copy Paper

When it comes to ‘official inks’ that can be used at work, in school, or whatever, there is of course the usual suspects of blue, black, or blue-black inks. And these do honestly already offer a quite considerable color-range to choose from. A nice alternative to those colors, however, is grey ink.

My personal favorite ink colors are normally blue, brown and orange. That was until today. I had an eye on grey inks for a while. I like they way they are ‘just there’. Not black, but just a little less than that – if they are not too light. Diamine Grey definitely is such an ink.

Colorwise, Diamine Grey is a solid stone grey, I would say. Nothing overly exciting of course. It’s grey. It doesn’t wanna be exciting. But for such a dark ink, it shades really well on better paper. I really love how it performs on Leuchtturm 1917 paper. There is no feathering, no bleed-through, and a pretty fast drying time (almost like orange inks, who for some reason are known to dry fast) for Diamine Grey being a pretty wet ink.

On cheaper paper that takes its toll, though. I would not recommend the ink for such paper. First of all, it really flattens out totally color-wise and looks more boring than it intends to do, itself. Even worse, there was some quite considerable bleed-through in my case, which is most likely due to the ink being pretty wet.

Pricewise, as with all the Diamine inks, Grey is very affordable. Since I do mostly write on better paper, I will most definitely make sure to always have a bottle home. Not because it is such a great color. But because of its stealthy mode of ‘just being there’ and for all the cases when I just don’t feel like blue or black, but still need something that looks kinda serious.

As for its ‘leftyness’, Diamine Grey is perfect. It has a super fast drying time on most papers and there is no smudging. So: a wholehearted lefty-recommendation.

Lefty approved? Most definitely!







I hope this was helpful – feel free to check out my other ink reviews as well.


  1. Interesting color. I’ve not yet moved into the monochrome, but if I would, I’d go for this one. It’s an interesting looking ink.

    • Scrively Scrively

      Yeah it is. I do really enjoy its simplicity.

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