UV Invisible Ink

I’m trying to do some research on UV invisible ink that I can use for letterpress. I have an upcoming project that I REALLY want to be invisible until it’s under a black light. I did a bit of reading on the discussion about glow in the dark inks and I’m not really wanting to spend $160 on Gans ink for one project, so I’m trying to find somewhere I can get UV powder or glow in the dark power that isn’t super expensive but can be mixed with oil based inks and not harm the press at all. Any suggestions? I’m also looking for places in the US or Canada because I’ll need to get going on this soon to make the project deadline.

Log in to reply   7 replies so far

While I have no experience with what you want to do exactly, I do have experience with GID pigments and dayglo/fluorescent pigments.

GID pigment will not be invisible, unless you print it on something that is the same color as the pigment. So don’t bother buying the ink unless you’re ok with it being somewhat visible.

You should research “SECURITY INK” and specifically add “UV REACTIVE” to the google search for other results.

Here are some things which fluoresce (from a Google search):


My recommendation would be to start with transparent white because it will not be as glossy as press varnish and therefore more “invisible.” Then go to the ink maker which made the transparent white, and get the correct fluorescent additive for it…..it is much safer all the way around.

How about this, as a start anyway (from another Google search)? This is a “base”, not a finished ink. However, if you call them and tell them what you want, they could probably furnish you a can of finished (completed) ink, or they could probably tell you where to get it.


Laundry starch glows bright white under ultraviolet — maybe you could mix starch powder with clear overprint varnish, which would give you a pale white that probably wouldn’t show much on white stock. Or the starch might become essentially transparent in the varnish.


Or you could ask the Ink in Tubes guy…

Although not included on my color list, I actually do have two colors (yellow and green) of UV Invisible Ink available.

And for everybody who wants visible colors of ink, my 2014 “Ink in Tubes” color list includes well over 150 Pantone ink colors available in convenient “quarter pound” (actually about 5 oz.) tubes, and I’ll be happy to send you a list if you e-mail me: Ink(at)Orchidesign.com

Thanks! Dave (the Ink in Tubes guy)

Well, I guess our problem is solved……..and we didn’t even think to patronize our resident ink supplier……shame on us! I’ll be emailing for your list, Dave!

Dave, that is AWESOME.