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Noodler’s Baystate Blue Ink Alternatives

Many fountain pen users LOVE Noodler’s Baystate Blue ink for the unmatched intensity of its vibrant cobalt-blue color. Others find that this ink is just too high maintenance for their taste especially when it is not paired with just the right fountain pen. Would you like to find another kind of ink with the same intense blue color? Sorry, we haven’t found one yet that can quite compare to the beautiful intense blue of Baystate! Despite this we will attempt to provide a few suggestions as to some alternative blue inks to try.

Scanning ink samples into the computer and viewing them on any one of millions of monitors/mobile devices can’t possibly display ink colors with 100% accuracy, inks look different on different kinds of paper, and when it comes to color each person has their own opinion. The colors in these scans have not been retouched and the samples were all written on Clairefontaine French ruled paper. We will attempt to briefly describe how each ink differs from Baystate Blue as well as display the samples side by side so that you can compare.

Noodler’s Ink Baystate Blue:  The gold standard. Highly intense cobalt blue color.

J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir: This shade of blue is very similar to the shade of Baystate Blue and it has the same kind of “purple-ish” undertone, but it is definitely not as intense or bright as Baystate. It is a cool shade of royal blue. Of all the blue inks mentioned here, when you are looking at handwriting, it looks the closest (in our opinion) to Baystate Blue .

Noodler’s Ink Blue:  Not as bright as Baystate and it looks more turquoise when placed next to Baystate. This is a warmer shade of blue.

Noodler’s Eel Blue:  Looks almost exactly the same as Noodler’s Blue.

Noodler’s Ink Ottoman Azure:  Not as bright as Baystate and it looks more turquoise when placed to Baystate. This is a warmer shade of blue and is similar to Noodler’s Blue.

Noodler’s Ink La Couleur Royale:  Darker than Baystate, with somewhat more of a purple tint to it.

Aurora Blue: More muted and subdued than Baystate and the color of Aurora Blue is grayer when you see it in person.

We are sure there are other intense blue inks out there that we haven’t mentioned in this blog post that you can tell us about. What are your favorite Baystate Blue Ink alternatives?


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Don't forget to include Private Reserve's inks. I have only used a couple, but they are, like Noodler's, very saturated. Tanzanite is one my favorites. Your handwriting is incredible. In fact, all of the letters look exactly the same. How is that possible?

Wow that's some beautiful calligraphy!

I don't think any ink can replace Bay State Blue. They can come close but they won't mimic it exactly. Let's not forget that BSB is also waterproof.

Toaster Pastry - Thanks for your suggestion! I'll have to make it a point to give Tanzanite a try.

Our handwriting really isn't that great. We've been using a decorative font as a guideline and creating the samples slowly and carefully.

Peninkcillin - I totally agree with you. There's really nothing out there currently (that I know of) that can replace BSB. However, we regularly get requests asking for what might come close. My thoughts are if you really like the color of Baystate Blue find a pen that works well with it and enjoy!

What are the creatures on the Baystate Blue label? I have the bottle sitting on my desk, and each day I wonder.... are they catfish? If so, what's the significance?

Hello George,

Yes, those creatures definitely are catfish. Noodler's Ink explains, "The label depicts two giant catfish spitting ink upon the golden dome of the Massachusetts state capitol."

The name "Noodler's Ink" itself comes from a method of fishing for catfish using only your bare hands. You can read about it on Wikipedia if you like.

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