Van Son inks, metallic and day glow inks…

Is anyone using Van Son Metallic and Day-Glo inks for letterpress printing? We have read that these are “pasty” and work perfectly for letterpress applications… though we are just starting out and would otherwise tend to use their Rubber Base Plus pms-colors as oil-based versions of the basic pms-colors aren’t available here apparently…?

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Metallics and Fluorescents are only available in oil based ink.
I can’t speak to the availability of those in soy-based as I haven’t looked. (Also, at least from Van-Son)

I just printed 3 colors of metallic tonight Van Son 877, 874, and 876 love all 3, decent coverage as well.

Only used the orange Day-Glo, it was also pretty decent.

Sounds great, thanks for the reply. Those Metallics and Fluorescents by e.g. Van Son are basically standard/regular offset-inks used for letterpress, correct? Just asking as the rubber base seems to be mixed especially for letterpress?

I don’t think there is any ink made for letterpress anymore, most offset inks will work just fine for letterpress, I’ve only used either oil based or rubber base inks.

Note that soy-based ink is simply a kind of oil-based ink. Traditionally, the oil was linseed but soy oil is now often used because soybeans grow much faster and produce a great deal more oil than flax. Plus, they’re a major world crop grown around the world. Either base is an oxidizing oil, though.

As for ink availability, Southern Ink says they produce ink specifically for the letterpress community. I don’t have any experience with their products, though.

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

Thanks, everybody!

If you are wanting to use an ink straight out of the can, the CML Oil Base VanSon inks are generally stiff enough for relief printing without having to add a stiffener.
Just remember when using the rubber base inks, THEY NEVER DRY! So will still smear or transfer when cutting a stack even a week later. Of course if you are one to not use dense color, but only light/pastel printing image, you will have less problems. I for years had an ink company mix inks to my manufacture, but to do so I had to purchase 5 pounds of a color. So all the base colors and then mix any pms that I wanted using electronic scales so I could mix smaller quantities.