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Robert Oster Signature Ink “Red Orange” (orange): Ink Review

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

Robert Oster “Red Orange”: a bright orange ink with red shading

Robert Oster Signature Ink "Red Orange"

Ink name: Robert Oster Signature Ink “Red Orange”
Unit capacity: 50 ml (plastic bottle)
Price: around 16 €
Price per ml: ca. 0,32 €

  Leuchtturm 1917 Spiral-bound Notepad
Color  Reddish orange, but certainly more orange  Brighter orange – into reddish
Saturation  Medium  Medium
Shading  Awesome shading into red hues  Less ‘poppy’ than on LT paper, but still very nice
Feathering  None  None
Bleed-through  None  Might happen on the 2nd pass
Wetness  Rather wet, lubricates very well  Rather wet ink
Drying time  10-15 sec.  8 sec.
Smudging when dry  No  No
Regular smear test  Ok  Ok
Left-page smear test  Ok  –

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

Robert Oster Signature Ink "Red Orange"

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

Robert Oster Signature Ink "Red Orange"

Robert Oster Signature Ink is a fairly new ink brand from down under that is getting available more and more in different countries around the world. My personal perception from within the stationery community is that the inks are embraced very positively, mostly for their rather unique and appealing colors. I have also read some comments on some colors being a bit dull, but color perception, of course, is a highly personal thing anyway. So let’s check out an ink called “Red Orange” in its entirety, starting with the color 🙂 .

As the name of the ink suggests, red orange is just that. But it is certainly a lot more orange than red. The latter mostly appears in the inks shading, which is very nice as well. Color and shading really pop on better paper such as Leuchtturm (especially the ivory paper melts in so well with that particular red orange), but still look nice – maybe a bit more muted – on a common spiral bound notepad. Especially when it comes to color and shading, Red Orange does remind me a lot of the recently released Kaweco Sunrise Orange. However, I do perceive the shading of Red Orange to be more easy on the eye. Sunrise Orange was a bit over the top with that, for me personally.

Otherwise, this Robert Oster-ink is a very well behaved ink. It has great flow and lubrication, no issues with feathering on the papers that I have tested with. You might experience bleed-through on a 2nd pass on cheaper paper – but not in a way, that it would normally affect your everyday experience with the ink, I would say.

Pricewise, I do find the Robert Oster inks a little on the expensive side for what they are – at least the pricing in Europe. They’re brave enough to go in direct price-competition with the likes of Graf von Faber Castell, Pilots Iroshizuku inks or the Pelikan Edelstein ink series. I am not sure if this is the very best strategic move, but this is something the future will tell. The inks seem to be ‘handmade’, which might make them more expensive. But then again, the KWZ inks are handmade as well, and they cost half the money, weighing in at 0,16€/ml. There is no doubt that the Robert Oster ink itself is great ink, no complaints there. But a premium price for a not yet fully established brand – I am not all too sure about that. Also, the inks appearance doesn’t exactly match the price premium. It comes in a simple cylindric plastic bottle with nice color labels and brand stickers on it – all that appears very handmade, which I find nice because it just really matches the brand. The bottles are easy to store in a drawer since they are quite long and slim, while the bottom is still wide enough for the bottle not to be in danger of tipping over when filling a pen from it. Also the bottles opening is comfortably wide. So no issues there. But then again, it remains a simple plastic bottle, whereas the inky lot mentioned above give you a seriously decorative glass bottle for that money. In the end, what you use is the ink. Sure. And the ink is good. But the overall appearance is something that I would have maybe approached a little differently. But that is me personally.

As for its ‘leftyness’, “Red Orange” is good. It’s a relatively wet ink with rather long drying times, even though I had a admittedly wetter but still extra fine nib in use here. So you might expect this time to increase significantly with a broader gusher. Anyway, the dry time is still within a very acceptable limit and once dry, the ink doesn’t smear or smudge, wich is another important criteria for many southpaws. So a go from that side.

Lefty approved? Totally!







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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