There is more to how a bottle of ink look than the pure aesthetics of it, even though I probably enjoy a good looking bottle more than most people. But, there are also some practical concerns that are really important when it comes down to how much of the ink you’ll actually be able to use.
One one side you want something that looks good, and a design that lets you use as much of the ink as possible. But you also at the same time want to have something that is as cheap as possible, because you’ll only use it once.
A potential solution would be a ink well that was designed to let us use as much of the ink as possible, but I think that’s kind of unpractical for most fountain pen geeks, since most of us have a few bottles of ink.
There are two different factors that have a important role when you are looking at how much of the ink you will be able to draw from a bottle. The width of the bottle determines how much or little ink is wasted: wider means more and narrower means less. And then you have the shape of the bottom.
The problem is that you need to submerge a certain part of the nib of your pen in order for the pen to be able to draw ink into your pen. This means that a tall and narrow bottle will be better than a wide and low bottle. Some bottles have a “hole”(in lack of a better word) in the middle, to lower the lowest point and therefore make it easier to use more of the ink. It does help, but isn’t completely without problems. You need a thicker bottom(Pilot Iroshizuku) or some ugly plastic thing to balance the bottle(Lamy).
What Lamy and Pilot are doing, together with many other companies is less wasteful, but what I am wondering is: what cost me as a consumer more to produce fancy bottles or the wasted ink?