⟨ Object ⟩

Noodler’s Ink

Plain honesty.

Words / Phaedrus Lam
Illustration / Furze Chan
Translation / Ian Tsang

在鋼筆墨水品牌的光譜裡,Noodler’s Ink是屬於比較叛逆、邊緣族群的一掛,不信的話可以點開他家網站看看,如果你沒有被那簡陋得過火的版面風格嚇到,而且還饒富趣味地想了解更多,那你可以接著讀下去。

Noodler’s Ink是一家來自美國,以生產鋼筆墨水為本業的小公司,而儘管規模不大,卻出產逾百款顏色,以及各式擁有特殊功能的墨水,其以「The smallest ink company in the world with the largest color selection.」為公司標語,一直都是鋼筆愛用者社群裡被熱絡討論的品牌。

「Noodling」,原先是美國南方一項垂釣活動,只是釣者不用釣具,而是用手探進鯰魚棲身的水池,讓鯰魚咬住手指的一剎那「釣」出鯰魚,但鯰魚掙扎時也有機會傷害到釣者。身為Noodler’s Ink創辦人的Nathan認為這是一種「公平的對決」,就把名字借用於品牌,其包裝上屢屢出現的鯰魚形象也來源於此。

公道是Noodler’s Ink的信念,所以你可以看到它們特大的墨水瓶裝,就連濃度也是別家墨水的不知幾倍。然而他們的本領卻不僅於此,像是生產在黑夜中發光的墨水,抑或在極地時不會結冰的墨水,都是只有Noodler’s Ink才會生產,而他家開發的「Bulletproof」技術更是享負盛名,具備防水、防紫外線、防化學劑於一身,說是史上最強悍的墨水亦不為過。

那天在文具店帶走了一瓶最經典的「Eel Black」,搜索枯腸地找了他們家的歷史,以及手上這瓶墨水的故事,發現品牌在2004年時曾發出懸賞,只要有人能從安全支票上移除「Eel Black」墨水寫出的筆跡,即能得到一千美金,並於往後每年加碼一千美金,直至有人成功為止。不知懸賞是否仍然有效?儘管知道這只是宣傳技倆,不過品牌這種童臾無欺的態度,倒是令我對手上的這瓶「鯰魚」增分不少。

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香港九龍觀塘道418號apm商場L4-17A

Within the whole spectrum of fountain pen brands, Noodler’s Ink is counted among the more rebellious and distanced from the mainstream. If you are not convinced, take a look at their webpage. If you are not turned off by its overly simple and dull layout design, but are even intrigued and eager to know more, then you can read on.

Noodler’s Ink, a small-scale American company, primarily produces ink for fountain pens. Despite their small scale, they manufacture ink of more than one hundred different colors as well as a variety of those with special properties. It brands itself “the smallest ink company in the world with the largest color selection” and has long been the focus of friendly discussion among fountain pen lovers.

“Noodling” refers to a kind of fishing activity practiced in the southern United States. Without using any fishing tools, the noodler places their hand inside a catfish hole, and “fishes” it out the moment the catfish bits their fingers. However, from time to time, the catfish might hurt the noodler when it struggles. Nathan, the founder of Noodler’s Ink , regarded it as a kind of “fair duel”, and thus, he decided to borrow the word for naming his brand. This is also why the image of catfish is often featured on their products’ packaging.

Fairness is Noodler’s Ink’s belief. That is why you can find their ink sold in jumbo bottles, and the concentration of their ink is also far higher than that of their counterparts. However, their strengths do not end there. No other brands but Noodler’s Ink knows how to produce ink that glows in dark, or that does not freeze in polar regions. The “Bulletproof” technology they developed is also well-known and well-regarded for being able to resist moisture, UV and chemicals at the same time. It is not an exaggeration to regard this as the most powerful ink in history.

That day at a stationery store, I bought a bottle of Eel Black, the most classic one of all. I tried to took desperately for the brand’s history as well as the story behind this bottle of ink. I found out that in 2004, the brand offered to reward USD 1,000 to anyone who could erase the handwriting on a cheque written with Eel Black, and an extra USD 1,000 was added to the sum for each passing year, given the absence of a winner. I wonder if the offer is still valid at present. Despite knowing that it was no more than a gimmick, their plain honest attitude has gained a lot of points in my heart for this bottle of “catfish”.

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L4-17a, apm, Millennium City 5, 418 Kwun Tong Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong