by Mike McNamee Published 01/06/2015
We also tried a Leonardt Round calligraphy nib and a Wm Mitchell Pedigree Roundhand, each with a clip-on reservoir. Most calligraphic nibs are rather too large for signatures; too large an area of black ink is rather dominant in the corner of a print, something a little more subtle is required. A nib size of 51⁄2 is as big as you might wish to go.
Nibs may be obtained from www.penmandirect.com who carry a range of new and vintage nibs. Also you will find lots of materials, inks, nibs and resources at http://www.calligraphy.co.uk. Calligraphic pen strokes are usually slow and deliberate so it is highly unlikely that the signature you bash out with a ball-point at the supermarket checkout is going to be suitable - it needs a much more measured response. You should think about this when you create an autograph.
Some of the issues associated with using ink onto ink-jet paper are highlighted in the single image, shot at a very oblique angle to the sun. The FS Chrome piles the pigment up at the rim of the letter; ImageLife has a shallow 'beach' all around the letter where one of the glycols had migrated ahead of the pigment. Higgins Calligraphy has separated a yellow pigment component and pushed this ahead of the ink boundary to rim the letter.
Ultimately then the best results were obtained with the Brandauer nib using PermaJet FS ink, providing care was taken to minimise the amount of ink on the nib. The Pigma Micron was undoubtedly the easiest to use and the most universal, all it lacks is a bit of character.
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