Inks Printers Use
Printers typically have refined and considered opinions about their favorite typefaces, block materials, papers, and presses, but those same printers, myself included, often incline to head scratching when asked about ink.
When I set up my first shop, I used Van Son inks because those were the inks my teachers used. A few years later I worked for a printer whose shop was in the same building as a Gans ink distributor so I began using Gans inks. It was not long (though also too long) before I noticed that the colors I printed with Van Son and Gans inks tended to fade if hung on the wall. I then asked Gaylord Schanilec what ink he used and, like him, I began using Daniel Smith Litho inks. Before then I had never experienced such vibrant pigmentation, perfect viscosity, or reliable lightfastness. But I had not actually learned anything about ink, I just found an ink that worked for me by asking another printer.
After Daniel Smith stopped making inks I switched to Hanco inks and have been happy with them ever since, except that they don’t overprint as evenly as Daniel Smith inks did.
So lately I have been asking other printers what inks they use, and how they modify them, in the hope that I would learn how to get the same results I used to be able to get. What I’ve found is that most other printers have had similar experiences to mine. They ask friends and colleagues, and then they just mess around until they get the ink to do what they want it to do. This is an essential methodology of our craft—you just figure it out. When you can’t, you ask a friend. This book is the result of asking a bunch of friends, and friends of friends, what inks they use and how they make their ink work for them.
Joel Benson/Dependable Letterpress, Inc.
Ben Blount/Blount Objects
Rebecca Chamlee/Pie in the Sky Press
Julie Chen/Flying Fish Press
Jan & Crispin Elsted/Barbarian Press
Jen Farrell/Starshaped Press
Philip Gallo at The Hermetic Press
Barbara Henry/Harsimus Press
Michael Hepher/Clawhammer Press
Max Hoyt Koch/Koch Printing
Peter Koch & Jonathan Gerken/Peter Koch Printers
Art Larson/Horton Tank Graphics
Peter Malutzki & Ines von Ketelhodt
Graham Moss/Incline Press
Pat Randle/Nomad Press
Patrick Reagh/Patrick Reagh Printers
Felicia Rice/Moving Parts Press
Gaylord Schanilec/Midnight Paper Sales
Richard Seibert/Richard Seibert, Letterpress
Jessica Spring/Springtide Press
Richard Wagener/Mixolydian Editions