New Ink for Mixing

I’m looking to buy a new set of mixing ink for the shop. Does anyone have recommendations for USA sellers of ink for mixing? I’ve only had Vanson.

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I like Southern Ink in Austin, TX

Oldham Ink

Call Debbie Petrosky directly at 217-391-1401 or email inquiries to [email protected]

On a slightly different but related note, out of curiosity, are you looking for the Pantone (R) bases? Do you mix with trans white, or opaque white, or both? If you don’t use the Pantone bases, what colors do you mix with?

I think it is very interesting to hear of different peoples’ ink mixing and color matching procedures.

I’m getting set up for the new Pantone book, and the additional colors. I use transparent mixing white, unless for some reason I’m guided to otherwise. I’ve had a lot of ink in the shop that’s come from many other shops, and I would like to just have a consistent, new, set of inks.

I am leaning towards Southern Ink, because of their 1lb Pantone deal. It’s very reasonable.

Southern Ink will mix custom colors for you and sells 5 oz. tubes, or at least that have in the past.

That sounds like a great approach Gerald.

As I’m sure you know, it’s not easy to get rid of old inks, especially mixed colors, that you don’t want. Disposing of them can be expensive. Print shops can be more than willing to give them away for this reason.

However, perhaps to get rid of them you can find an old pioneer or heritage village with a print shop, or someone who prints just for fun, to take them.

Ink mixing is a thing of interest to me. Since my letterpress apprenticeship in the 1960’s I have mixed ink, sometimes in a large mixer that could take up to about 56 lbs. My trade exams ( 2 letterpress and then 2 Litho) involved colour matching, and for some reason always shades of brown from 4 colour process inks.. now I use just 4 colour process inks plus both opaque and transparent white. To help I sometimes use the pantone geobridge book which gives the colours using the 4 colour set. I was lucky recently to be given some pantone green and I purchased a tube of warm red.
Happy mixing
Being in the UK I use Sun inks and purchased 2.5 kilo tins( about 5lbs) and shared them out within our printing group. The tins almost cost the same price as the tubes.

Frank….very interesting comments. I think color matching, and color theory in general, are fascinating. For instance, the cones in our eyes (the cells which sense color) can only see 3 colors: red, green and blue. If you look at your TV screen with a magnifying glass, there are only 3 different colored spots on it: red, green and blue. White is made by turning on all 3 of those colors at the same time.

There is actually no such color as yellow. When you see equal amounts of red and green (with the blue spots on the TV screen shut off), our eyes interpret that as yellow. You can prove that in another way as well. If you take a circular disc and drill a hole in the middle, and paint half the disc bright green and half bright red, and chuck it in a drill and spin it fast, it will turn yellow!

That is additive color matching, where we start with nothing and add the colors we need. Inks, on the other hand, use subtractive color matching, where we start with white light from the room which contains all the colors, the inks absorb (or subtract) what we don’t want, and reflect back out the colors which we want to see.

As I have said, in additive color matching, red and green make yellow. In subtractive color matching, if we mix red and green inks together, we get a muddy brown. This is because the red ink absorbs all but the red, and the green absorbs all but the green, so if you mix them together, everything is absorbed. The only reason why they don’t make black is that the pigments are not perfect absorbers of the wave lengths involved.

Well, Ive gone on too long already :)

Geoffrey, thanks for the comments, always remember seeing 3 flood lights with red green and blue filters overlapping to give white.