Feedback on Gans Ink

Has anyone used Gans Ink? I’m using polymere plates on an old C&P. I’d like to try their rubber based ink and am wondering if it’s comparable to Van Son rubber plus. Any feedback would be great!

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I had a can of Gans dense black I used for years — that was a really good black. But I don’t know their other offset inks except by reputation — they had a good one.


They make an excellent letterpress black (only from the LA plant I believe), and I think they also offer a red. The only experience I have is using their oil-based inks, I bought a full set of process colors for a class I taught. Their opaque white ran thin for my taste, but the ink worked well on Vandercook presses and a table-top C&P.


It’s stiffer than Van son usually, by comparison. The 29995 black is excellent. It’s tacky and dense.

Their rubber base ink is a tack of 18-19 usually, which is pretty stiff/tacky as far as letterpress ink goes. I have got a full compliment of colors and I absolutely find them to be some of the best ink I’ve used.

(It also incidentally is one of the best ink sets for Waterless Lithography, for you printmakers on here.)

Curious about something here. I know Gans carries some great ink. They have a gold that actually looks like gold!!!

A long while back I bought some Handschy Stone Litho Crayon Black, and out of curiousity ordered three of the same ink form varied sources, from Handschy, from New York Central Art Supply, and from Gans. Same ink label. But the Gans can had dryer in it (which the others did not). So I came to the assumption that Gans just sold other folks inks, altering them for their specific market.

Made me wonder about that gold.

Did like the Tootsie Rolls though. The UPS guy would kind of hang around, “you going to open that shipment?”


Have used Gans for at least 30 years off and on. It compares to all the other top brands of printing ink. Found they do have really good customer service at the local level and their sales people usually come from the trade and they do know what they’re talking about. Yes the Tootsie Rolls are a reason to order.

posted twice.

many years in offset shops
now and then used Gans inks
worked fine
always oil based

rubber based ink is for quick print shops

I have used Gans rubber based inks for some time now. I really like them. I live 40 miles away from their shop but they have a sales rep that lives close to me. I gave the rep samples of the paper we use and he gave them to the people in the shop. We will occasionally ask for a drawdown of a praticular pantone color on our paper and the rep will bring it by our shop when he comes home from work that day. The rep worked as a pressman in a local print shop for 30 years so he is very helpful. One thing I have noticed is that the tack can be quite variable from one ink color to the next. I agree with devils tail press, their opaque white is thin but it worked out well. I also agree with HavenPress the 29995 black is great. Tacky and dense as described.

Thanks for all the great feedback, everyone.
I don’t have great temperature control in my shop and it gets pretty cold in the winter. Gans rubber inks have a tack rating between 18-19 vs. Van Son rubber ink… 11.5-13.5. It’s difficult as it is to print in a cold shop, and I’m afraid the extra tack of the Ganz will only add to the difficulty.

Work it for a few minutes with an ink knife. Then a well directed small heater should solve at least most of the problem. We are in a studio that is at least pretty cold to start each day, but we often just jump in and start printing. We’ve used rubber-based Gans Ink for the past 10 years with no complaints at all. They also do a nice job of mixing colors if you need that.

Corbin, I’d think you could also just grab a small bottle of their reducer and add small amounts to the ink to decrease tack. It’s simple stuff to use and frankly I rarely pull ink straight from a can and have it just ‘work’ on press, but the great thing about my use of Gan’s ink is that you pretty much don’t have to stiffen it. Just reduce it until applicable amount of transfer is occurring.

(to me, it’s easier to reduce than to stiffen, yah dig?)