How do you organise your inks and swatch cards?

A great question. All of my sample vials are colour coded, labelled and organised by brand in foam vial mats. These are then stored in a box to prevent light deterioration.

All of my swatch cards are kept in ring binder albums organised by brand and colour. This helps keep them pristine and out of direct sunlight for longevity.

That’s not to say my way is the right way! How do YOU do it?


10 thoughts on “How do you organise your inks and swatch cards?

  1. That is a really good way of organizing things! My vials are also color coded but organized by color and I keep my swatches in maruman ring where the ABC cards I use to swatch then on came in. The swatches I have organized by brand.

  2. Well now…THAT is utterly brilliant, right across the board! I am organized chaos by nature so I am in awe. You aren’t by any chance a Virgo ..hmmm ?

  3. This looks like a dream! I’ve got a hot mess of vials in baggies in a drawer that is becoming too small. It’s loosely organized by brand, but some by color and a Mnemosyne Word Book with some swatches. I’ve got my bottles in a wooden box and that’s not a problem. I’m feeling inspired to find a box for the vials now :). Great image Nick!

  4. I have the Mnemosyne cards on a ring, and I write the name of the ink and do one big pass, then go over half of it again for a second pass. I also have a sketch book where I do something similar. Oh, and the Ink Diary, although I’m almost out of pages. Whenever I fill a pen, I write the name of the ink and the pen/nib on the back page of all of my notebooks so I can see how the inks perform on all different kinds of paper.

    I have the Goulet sample vials and the vial holder for storage, and I use those page reinforcement stickers on the top to test the ink and for easy identification.

  5. Beautiful system, Nick! I’ve been doing my swatches on business card sized pieces of Clairefontaine Triomphe, and then putting them into those little clear business card sleeves in an open file Rolodex, sorted alphabetically first by brand name, and then by colour name. I’m reasonably happy with the system, except that I have already run out of room in the file, and had to remove the plastic cover that closes over it. So, now I have to purchase another Rolodex and transfer some of them over to the new one, but I’m left wondering if this is the system I really want to continue using. Before I keep purchasing more Rolodex files and the clear refills, I want to make sure this is THE system for me. My other complaint with it, is that it takes up a fair bit of room. One Rolodex isn’t too bad, but two of them, (and possibly more) is making me rethink the storage component of this system. I can’t help but thing your system makes more sense. Do you mind sharing with me the details of what you use as far as binder and refills? Are your swatches the size of hockey or baseball cards? Thanks so much for sharing your swatchy secrets with us 😀

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