I was just getting rid of some old documents from my office when I came across three sheets of paper I had written on in 2010 – one with pencil, one with rollerball and one with fountain pen.
The squared paper in the middle shows the rollerball. I am not sure which rollerball this was, but seven years later the text is hardly legible. The once red rollerball is now just a light shade of yellow.
On the right you see the writing from the fountain pen. I am not sure which ink was used, but the writing is much lighter than any ink I would have used at the time. I assume this must be either because of the ink’s properties or the paper or both. The fading can’t just be down to age. I have school notebooks from the early 1980s (ink: Pelikan Royal Blue) that still look great.
On the left you see text written with a pencil. Still as good as on the first day. OK, graphite isn’t darker than black ink, but look how light the ink has gotten in seven years. Maybe in another seven it will be hardly legible while the graphite will still stay dark.