Transparent white shipped off-colour

Hi everyone!

I’m looking for information on what a batch of transparent white rubber-base ink is supposed to look like.

I order my inks from Presstek and so far have received two brands - the Presstek house brand and a can of VanSon.

When I received my first can of Presstek house brand, the ink was a dark caramel colour, consistency nothing like any of the other inks - almost runny, and the smell! I asked around a few local press operators and was told it’s not supposed to look like that. Presstek shipped me a second can and it was even worse - a dark caramel, almost a sickly yellow, same consistency, and same horrible smell. I’ve included photos of both batches below.

I was able to mix a few batches of custom colours with opaque white (was printing on darker papers, so had to regardless).

This morning, I received the VanSon can and upon opening the colour seems off again (photo below). The ink is definitely off-white again, closer to the yellowy colour of condensed milk. Ink also had a film of yellow oil on top, though I was told by the supplier that was normal and I just need to mix the ink. I tried mixing, but the creamy colour is consistent all the way through.

My question - is the transparent white supposed to be off-colour like that? If so, will it affect the colours that I use it to mix? Could the ink have somehow become damaged in shipping?

Thanks so much for any advice.

image: Presstek house brand - Can 2

Presstek house brand - Can 2

image: Presstek house brand - Can 1

Presstek house brand - Can 1

image: VanSon batch

VanSon batch

Log in to reply   6 replies so far

Have you tried drawdowns after mixing with your color? Have you tried printing with it?

this is transparent white/extender

Looks like transparent white to me. As Haven suggests, mix up a Pantone color per formula and you should be fine.

It will still be clear in use , one company may produce tranny that looks exactly like carpenters varnish (syrup colour) another it may tend towards brown , some are almost grey ,they are much different in the way they actually look but the end results are fine .
They can vary in colour dependant on what oil is used and the dryer in it may be grey or reddish and that too will look different but no ill effect in the end result.
If you have time try a mix of each and do a test it is good practice as you will gain prefences for certain makers inks and chemistry and its keeping consistency in your supplies choice that takes some of the snags out of this trade .
What i may like to use you may not ,if i set a job off ,and it can happen to all of us ,it will most likely be in using a new type of ink or different manufacturer from the norm .
As you will often see here in solving any problem only make one adjustment or change at a time this applies to your inks as well as your press adjustments !

That’s fantastic advice, thanks everyone!

I was starting to wonder if that’s the colour it’s supposed to be, given that I’ve had 3 different cans already, but figured I would check first, before mixing and wasting ink.

I’ll give both brands a try and see what the difference looks like.

Yes, often people who see “transparent white” are freaked out by the ‘yellow’ tint to the stuff in the can and in mass.
They think “Oh no this stuff isn’t clear or white why why why”
Then they start using it and realize it’s effects are not as drastic as might seem.

It’s not really something I’ve seen to affect the color of things in a meaningful way, though I suspect if you expected the vehicle most of the ink you are already using was in to be clear and brilliant, and you saw it as it was being made/in separated state, you’d be quite shocked to find out that in fact it too has a yellowy tint in large quantities as well.
Then again, so do most oil paints.
Fortunately, it’s a natural character of the substance and we should be laying it on so thin it doesn’t seem to matter really all that much.

I wonder how many people have made this mistake/had this misconception, though…. Rest assured you are not the first to ask, nor will you be the last. Good luck.

Nothing to see here, move along folks….. ;-)