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Graf von Faber-Castell “Cobalt Blue” (blue): Ink Review

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GvFC “Cobalt Blue”: a deep dark blue with purple hues

GvFC Cobalt Blue

Ink name: Graf von Faber-Castell “Cobalt Blue” (Kobaltblau)
Unit capacity: 75 ml (glas flacon)
Price: 25 €
Price per ml: ca. 0,33 €

  Leuchtturm 1917 Spiral-bound Notepad
Color  Deep dark blue with good amounts of purple  Deep purplish blue
Saturation  High  High
Shading  Very dark ink – almost no shading  Very little
Feathering  None  None
Bleed-through  None  None
Wetness  Moderate  Moderate
Drying time  25 sec.  10 sec.
Smudging when dry  Somehow  No
Regular smear test  Critical  Ok
Left-page smear test  Fail  –

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

GvFC Cobalt Blue

Handwritten review on a Standard Spiral-Bound Notepad
(scanned @600 dpi with Doxie Flip – click image to enlarge on Flickr)

GvFC Cobalt Blue
I have already reviewed two other Graf von Faber-Castell inks, Stone Grey and Hazelnut Brown, and both very quickly became favorites of mine within their respective color spectrum. Unfortunately, I can not say the same for the Cobalt Blue that I review here.

Cobalt Blue is a very dark blue, quite saturated and does contain a good amount of purple. While I do like dark blues, the purple is nothing that I personally really fancy. If you like some purple in your blues, Cobalt Blue might be just for you. I don’t. Plus the purple makes it too playful for any serious (business) contexts, in my opinion. For letter, private note-taking or journaling purposes this is no problem, of course.

Because the ink is very dark, there is not much shading to be observed. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since a muted ink can look really nice, and Cobalt Blue does a nice job in carrying it’s purple hue as what makes it stand out. No need for additional showing-off with fancy shading.

Cobalt Blue is a very well-behaved ink. There is no feathering or bleed-through, even on cheaper paper. It flows nicely, while not necessarily being the wettest of inks. But it also isn’t really dry. Just there. No complaints. For not being an overly went ink, the drying times of Cobalt Blue are a lot longer than I would have expected. Over 25 seconds on less-absorbent Leuchtturm paper and around 10 seconds on a more absorbent spiral bound notepad are definitely not super-fast dry times.

Pricewise, the Graf von Faber-Castell inks are a premium. They range on about the same price as for instance Pilots Iroshizuku inks or the Pelikans Edelstein ink series. The GvFC-ink bottles make a very decorative item on any work or study desk and definitely live up to their price premium. Most importantly, the overall performance of the ink is of very good quality, too.

As for its ‘leftyness’, Cobalt Blue is nothing that I could wholeheartedly recommend. As already said above, the drying times are fairly long. On top of that, the ink does have a tendency to smudge once dry. While this doesn’t fully play out on cheaper (or: more absorbent) paper, where the ink would be fairly usable for lefties, it does come into full effect on better (or: less absorbent) paper.

Lefty approved? No, I’m sorry, there is no stamp for Cobalt Blue.



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

If you would like to compare this color to any other ink color/brand, I would suggest to head over to GouletPen’s “Interactive SwabShop” – a tool that lets you compare over 500 different inks, while the swabs are done under similar conditions. This is a wonderful tool for “cross-color-brand-comparison” that I can highly recommend.

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