Ink Analysis


This will allow the type of writing instrument to be identified whilst colour comparisons under high magnification can also be of considerable assistance.

The forensic analysis of ink to identify the same or different inks on a document or documents is a frequent requirement in casework. Two approaches can be adopted for this type of work.

Non-destructive Analysis of Inks (infrared luminescence/reflectance, visual luminescence)

  • To differentiate between different inks
  • To decipher obliterated writings where the obliterating ink is of a different composition from the original entry
  • To identify alterations to writings made with a different ink from the original entry etc.

Chemical Analysis of Inks

This is available if required although this is a destructive test requiring a short length of line to be removed from the document and written permission of the Court or the owner of the document is therefore required before any such work can be undertaken.

It is unusual to be able to identify a specific pen as having written various entries on a document. If inks cannot be differentiated one from another by any of the above examinations, that observation will give rise to three possibilities:

  1. The same pen has been used for the entries, or
  2. Different pens containing the same ink have been used for the entries, e.g. two pens from the same manufacturer, or
  3. Different pens have been used for the entries which coincidentally contain inks which have identical visual and infrared properties.

In most instances it is not possible to determine which of the three above possibilities represents the truth of the matter although on occasions, significant defects within the writing implement may allow the identification of a particular pen to be made.

What We Offer

We offer a free of charge:

  • Estimate of likely costs 
  • Initial brief discussion of the case with potential instructing solicitors over the telephone
  • Outline of other potential examinations that may be available to extract the maximum evidence from the documents available

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