VanSon rubber base ink equivalent

I want to revive the discussion about inks!
VanSon has been sold, their website is disabled. I find them now hard to find unless you want to pay premium price or need very large quantities.

I am used to working with rubber base VanSon. It has a great stickiness that helps the paper stay in place.
I have use it with linocuts as well and I liked the result.

What’s a great equivalent for rubber base? What inks do you use? Where to get them? Anyone makes their own ink using pigments?

I am looking to get more colors, and specialty colors: neons, metallics. I don’t need large quantities.

- VanSon (in large quantities and special order) : (do they sell in only 1 lbs can? or do we need to buy 4x 1 lbs?)
- Pigments:


Log in to reply   7 replies so far

I have been using Gans ink in Anaheim California ask for Lori. They also build some special mix letterpress inks for us. They letterpress blends can be pricey but have a heavy pigment and high tack build. They make a snowwhite ( white ) I use for mixing. I also use soy inks from zipset.

For Rubber Base, Oil Base, mettalics
Call my friends at MixMasters Inc.
Lynn MA 781 593 3593
Tell em Ted from Artificer Press
Sent you

Ted —

Which ink from MixMasters do you use — Patriot, Classic or Ideal?

I’ve tried Southern, which I like printing with, but haven’t figured out mixing with — it’s a darker scale than Vanson. I’m not a fan of their 1# plastic cans, but their 8 oz metal cans are great.

I’ll throw one more mention in for Gans- really great ink.

This discussion is very important to me as a long time user of Van Son inks. I buy my “main” inks in 2.2 pound cans so they last me a year or so except their Intense Black in oil base which I always keep two on the shelf which last me a about six months. So Van Son is out? And Gans is in? I began my career with Gans almost fifty years ago in SoCal. Even had dinner with Bob Gans way back then. I just ordered more Van Son ink a coupla days ago and I have not been advised of this turn of events regarding Van Son. I will look into this …

I just checked with Van Son - they say they will have a new web site soon. Phone number is 800-645-4182. My supplier for Van Son is Valley Litho Supply in Wisconsin.

As a note here, yesterday Friday June 29 I received my order from Valley Litho Supply of a 2.2 pound can of Van Son Intense Black ink and two one gallon cans of Hurst 104 Quick Wash solvent. The Haz-Mat fee on the Quick Wash is out of this world. United Parcel Service fee is $35 a pop - not cheap. My inks are oil based. However rubber base inks are great because they stay open on your rollers and or ink disc or drum {Heidelburg}. But I never leave a press overnite with ink on it.