Blue Black Fountain Pen Ink Comparison

Once you go blue black, you can’t go back. No, that’s not a typo, blue black is a captivating ink color popular among fountain pen users. Whether by habit or custom, if your fountain pen ink color usage has been limited to black and/or blue, you’ll want to join us on our exploration of their colorful offspring.

Blue Black Fountain Pen Inks

Kaweco Midnight Blue Lamy Blue Black Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-kai Sailor Jentle Blue Black
Caran d'Ache Magnetic Blue Diamine 1864 Blue Black Monteverde Blue Black Diamine Blue Black Parker Blue Black
Sailor Nano Sei Boku Waterman Mysterious Blue J. Herbin Bleu Nuit Pilot Blue Black Platinum Blue Black

Click on the individual swatches to see product details.

There are no official rules or classifications of what is or isn’t a blue black ink, but in general, blue black inks can be divided into the following color groups.

Neutral Blue Blacks

These inks are what most people think of as blue black: a dark blue-gray.

From left to right: Kaweco Midnight Blue, Lamy Blue Black, Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite, Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-kai, and Sailor Jentle Blue Black.

Black-leaning Blue Blacks

Some blue blacks lean more heavily towards black or dark gray, with only a faint hint of blue.

From left to right: Caran d’Ache Magnetic Blue, Diamine 1864 Blue Black, and Monteverde Blue Black.

Blue-leaning Blue Blacks

On the other hand, some blue black inks resemble a medium or royal blue with just a slight cast of black or gray.

From left to right: J. Herbin Bleu Nuit, Pilot Blue Black, and Platinum Blue Black

Teal-leaning Blue Blacks

Some blue black inks look more like a grayish teal blue than a “pure” blue black. Since many of the inks in this color group are made by older fountain pen ink brands, some people refer to these inks as classic or vintage blue blacks.

From left to right: Diamine Blue Black, Parker Blue Black, Sailor Nano Sei Boku, and Waterman Mysterious Blue

Other Properties


Tone (also called value, lightness, or shade) refers to how light or dark a color is.

Darker inks like Diamine 1864 Blue Black provide high contrast, helping words to stand out clearly, while lighter colors like J. Herbin Bleu Nuit can create a more subtle or informal feel.

Water Resistance

Water resistance is the ability of an ink to not fade or spread when exposed to water. Few fountain pen inks are truly waterproof, but many have enough water resistance to remain legible after a brief wetting.

We tested each ink to see how well it would survive being dipped in water for about 30 seconds.

Sailor Nano Sei Boku is almost completely waterproof, and both Pilot Blue Black and Platinum Blue Black have high water resistance.

Inks with moderate water resistance include Caran d’Ache Magnetic Blue, Kaweco Midnight Blue, Lamy Blue Black, Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite, Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-kai, and Sailor Jentle Blue Black.


Shading is the property of many fountain pen inks to pool more heavily in some parts of a line or letter, creating interesting variations in tone and color.

Shading is most common among lighter, more colorful inks, while most black and medium blue inks have very little or no shading. Blue black inks, however, often have just enough shading to add a touch of interest without being distracting. We used Kaweco Midnight Blue in the above demonstrations.


If you’re looking for an ink that will stand out from the crowd while still being appropriate for any occasion, a blue black ink may be just what you need. Do you have a favorite blue black ink? Let us know in the comments below!

Ink Bottle Volume Color Group Tone Water Resistance Price
Caran d’Ache Magnetic Blue 50 ml Neutral $$$
Diamine 1864 Blue Black 40 ml Black-leaning $$
Diamine Blue Black 30 ml, 80 ml Teal-leaning $
J. Herbin Bleu Nuit 10 ml, 30 ml Blue-leaning $$
Kaweco Midnight Blue 30 ml Neutral $$$
Lamy Blue Black 50 ml Neutral $
Monteverde Blue Black 90 ml Black-leaning $
Parker Blue Black 2 oz (59 ml) Teal-leaning $
Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite 50 ml Neutral $$$
Pilot Blue Black 70 ml Blue-leaning $
Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-kai 15 ml, 50 ml Neutral $$$
Platinum Blue Black 60 ml Blue-leaning $$
Sailor Jentle Blue Black 50 ml Black-leaning $$
Sailor Nano Sei Boku 50 ml Teal-leaning $$$
Waterman Mysterious Blue 50 ml Teal-leaning $