I’m trying to figure out the PMS colors of my ink so that I can use the colors of the ink that I have when designing on my computer. A lot of it is VanSon and some of them have PMS#’s, but others have the VanSon # and color name. I can’t seem to find anything on the web. If anyone knows this information or where I can find it, I would really appreciate the guidance. Here are a few I’m having trouble finding:
VS341 Navy Blue
VS311 Amazon Green
VS343 Oriental Blue
Waterman 550

Thanks so much for your help! :)

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I don’t think these colors will have exact Pantone matches, but if you have a Pantone swatchbook you should be able to compare them for the closest matches.


I suppose I would have to print something with each of them to be able to match it up?

Yes. Though depending on how you ink the press, you’ll hit the color correctly or miss it completely.

Van Son has a little book called “Printer’s Digest Printing Reference Guide”. In the book is a list of the named Van Son colors and the closest PMS matches. (The book’s product number is V9924. I don’t know whether it is still available or not). From the list in the book:

Navy Blue…..PANTONE 273 is the nearest match
Amazon Green…..PANTONE 3298 is the nearest match
Oriental Blue…..PANTONE 285 is the nearest match

These are the nearest match, but are not exact matches. In the list, when the matches are exact, it says that they are.

They also say that many of Van Son’s colors are made using pigments which are not used in the PANTONE Basic Colors.

They allude to the point that this could be important because if you match the same colors but use different pigments, it opens up the possibility of metamerism. Metamerism is when colors match under one light source, but don’t match under another light source. (Some of the different light sources can be incandescent light [light bulbs], warm white fluorescent, cool white fluorescent, daylight fluorescent, or actual daylight). So, for example, if you match a color to a swatch that you have, under sunlight at a window, it might not match under artificial light in a room.

You can also put a tiny bit on a finger tip and tap it out to the correct amount you would have printed. That will give you a very good example of its color. Computer screen will most likely never match your color sample. There is a system that can match your screen to your samples, so what you see is what your getting. Thats a bit more than you want to spend, just to match what you have.

I was cataloguing some Van Son inks, and also wanted to know the equivalent (or equivalentish) Pantone colors — here’s that list from V9924 in spreadsheet form: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1R3hWf1tka-9CE5CqhLs2oskdUZlCphv4...

Colors in the second column are hex values from the Pantone website for the PMS near/exact matches.

Many thanks to the community for setting me in the direction of what I needed!

image: vanson_pantone.png


If anyone knows where to order VanSon Rubber base inks, please let me know! The official website of the manufacturer (or distributor) unfortunately does not respond to letters …

Valley Litho Supply has Van Son Rubber Base inks:


Best to call in your order.

Nickel Plate Press

2Nickel Plate Press

I will contact them

Previously, I worked on the Rubber series inks, but a couple of years ago, a local supplier of materials informed me that the rubber series is no longer produced… And today I learned that it is still produced, but not exported to Russia!

And this is sad…