Gold Ink

Hello! I’ve got a client asking for gold ink (not gold foil). I’m still pretty new and printing and have never ordered special colors. I’ve seen gold ink used on the internet so I know it’s out there. Any suggestions on mixing or where to purchase a small amount? Also, I found this (url below) on Amazon. Any experience with these inks? Thank you!

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I have no experience with the ink you found so I can’t comment on it directly. It may be perfectly good ink, it may be total crap. There are other options, however. Dave Robison (Ink In Tubes) is an excellent source. You can contact him at [email protected] or he may even chime in on this thread as he’s a regular BP contributor. A third option would be checking with any local offset printing companies you may know. If you bring in a small, airtight container they may be willing to sell you some gold ink.

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

Awesome! Thank you, Michael.

I had no idea you could use offset ink on the press. Thank you!

Most offset places throw out the leftovers at the bottom of the ink bucket and order a new one. But, for our purposes, there’s still enough inky goodness to last us for decades! There are other benefits from getting friendly with a local offset printer. Used offset blankets, cutting services, paper trimmings, platemaking, hot foil scraps…

One thing to keep in mind: gold ink is not going to be really shiny like gold foil, and the rougher the paper you are printing on, the less it will look like a shiny gold. If I were you, I think I would do a little test print with any design you have around, and show it to the customer before printing the whole job. It might save you from having the job rejected.

One other thing: if the design consists of only fine lines and/or fine line type like some scripts, it becomes even harder to see a metallic effect.

One suggestion - possible first pass with yellow ink to help seal the sheet and provide a flatter surface for the gold ink to be on top of.
Ted Lavin - Artificer Press

I’ve seen that Quickutz ink on eBay as well — it’s for a ‘crafters scrapbooking’ machine. If anyone has tried it for real letterpress it would be interesting to know whether it’s any good.
Litho printers can sometimes be only too happy for someone to take away their old, almost empty, ink cans without charging them waste disposal fees.

Drat — double posted by accident, now can’t delete it.

My suggestion is not to use L letterpress ink. It dries too fast and doesn’t print well on the L, let alone on a real press. I second getting in touch with Dave who sells ink in tubes.

Definitely see if you can get in touch with local printers and see if there is any gold ink you can get from them instead of resorting to something by Lifestyle Crafts.

I may or may not own an L and I may or may not have tried to use their ink before. It’s horrible.

I’ve used the L letterpress ink on a Vandercook and a Platen. It’s ok, not as nice as offset gold. Go with offset/oil based ink. It’s got a better concentration of metallic pigment.

I recently purchased some gold ink from Dave (ink in tubes) and used it to print some wedding invites. It turned out very nice! I recommend it without hesitation!

Thanks for all the tips! You guys are great!!