Robert Oster Signature – Direct Sun

Robert Oster Signature inks are fairly new in the fountain pen inks world, but thanks to many positive reviews the new brand quickly became recognisable and is popularity is growing.

When I tried first time some of his inks during London Writing Equipment Show in 2016, the intensity of these vibrant inks really brought my attention and since then Robert Osters inks were on the top of my ‘to-test‘ list . Luckily being part of the collaborative group of enthusiast here in UK under United Inkdom project I obtained samples of some Robert Oster Signature inks to be played with.    

So, the first one I would like to share my opinion of is Robert Oster SignatureDirect Sun ink. The name of this ink and the colour itself intrigues me. For me a ‘direct sun’ represents very bright yellow or yellow white colour, whereas Robert’s ink is intensively red and may suggest something burnt by the sun, like my European paleish  skin instead :).  According to the quote from Robert Oster webage 
“Robert Oster Signature originates from one of the most famous wine producing regions of the world, the Coonawarra district of South Australia, an idyllic setting with great influence on the senses.”

I asked him about inspiration and it turned out that Direct Sun suppose to represent an Australian direct sun but just above the horizon in the summer before sunset, which colour wise it makes much more sense now.

I found Direct Sun to have exceptionally original colour which I failed to compare with any other red, red-orange or red-brown ink I tested so far. The first ink I related to was Diamine 150 anniversary – Terracotta, but when I compared these two inks side by side it was obvious that Diamine ink is contains much more brown tones, whereas in Robert Oster Direct Sun, red is a dominant base colour, but not that red as for instance Diamine 150 anniversary – Carnival or KWZ – Thief’s Red. There is some gentle brownish, carmel like feel, especially noticeable on yellow toned paper, but obviously the paper colour influences it (the colour mixing rules apply here too). To me Direct Sun represents colour of very specific type of bricks (in the sun) my grand dad village house was built from. This may explain why I related it initially to Diamine Terracotta, but again they are different inks…for sure.

Rober Oster Signature – Direct Sun seems to be very well balanced ink. Is well saturated in terms of dyes, but even with wet nib the colour is not too dark. It is also well balanced in terms of ‘wetness’ . It feels right. The writing experience I had was good and I had no problems with quite broad range of nibs I used for testing. It may feel a little on the dry side with fine nibs but in my opinion it was still OK. I prefer to use with this particular ink wet, broad or flexible nibs which produce darker, more saturated line. However, with lighter strokes, line shows nice degree of shading (or colour gradation), which I always appreciate. On more absorbing paper this effect is lesser. On ink swatches there is a little bit of  grey/black  sheen (mostly on smooth paper), but I could not find any during writing.

Direct Sun behaves well on all paper types I tried, with no feathering on bleeding throughout the paper. It behaved pretty well on standard copy paper too, but sporadically some show through or bleeding my occur.  This is usually related to the paper quality.    

Direct Sun is not water resistant ink at all and few passes of water wash it out. However, cleaning pens when you done with it is very easy. It does not has any distinct scent which is good.

Direct Sun comes with 50 ml bottles. It costs around $ 16.0 in US or £ 15.0, which is a little expensive, however in my opinion this is very good ink and I will be happy to purchase the whole bottle.

Robert Osters Signature inks are not widely available, however popular online fountain pen and stationary retailers have them already. For details please check the list of resellers on Robert Oster web page.

In the UK, Robert Osters Signature inks are available from who kindly shared with United Inkdom free sample of the ink  I got.  


(*) Disclaimer/ I have no affiliation with the all brands and companies mentioned above and this short review reflects only my personal views and findings about the product.


  • Frank Limper

    Great Review! Great Swatches!
    Frank- Federalist Pens (US Oster Dealer)

    • admin

      Thank you Frank. Appreciated.

    • clumsypenman

      Thank you Frank !

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  • farmkiti

    Great review! I just ordered a bottle of Direct Sun after testing a sample. I found it to be very wet and lovely to write with. It looks a little different in various nibs, e.g., a fine point vs. a stub. I like this difference; it really plays up the unusual color of this ink. I, too, thought of my sunburnt skin when I compared the color with the name. Boy, I’ve had some bad sunburns in my time…! Anyway, I just love the reddish tone of this ink with the subtle brown tones mixed in. It’s way more subtle than an online swab would suggest (but isn’t that usually the case?). Once I tried it, I realized it’s the reddish-brown color I’ve been searching for a couple of years now, so I’m very happy to have discovered it.

    • clumsypenman

      Thank you for reading my revs. I hope you enjoy Robert’s ink. It is quite different from the other ‘red’ inks. I appreciated, that you got a sample to try before you got a full bottle. Inks are always risky business and the way they look on particular screen is usually a bit different than in reality. It is always goo idea to try it first on paper you use every day with pen you like. I have seen some reviews of Direct Sun where on pictures ink was more like standard red. The sample I had was definitely a red with brownish undertones. Best, Mateusz