When trying to decide what letterpress inks to use for your print requirements, it can be a confusing task to endure – what type of ink should I choose? What colour option do I choose from such a vast range? Here at Profoil we’ve decided to offer only rubber based inks as this is the most suitable for general letterpress purposes and offers a high-quality, consistent finish.
Well, the 3 most common ink types are rubber based inks, oil-based inks and acrylic based inks and each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of rubber based inks
- Slow drying ink; unlike other ink types it won’t dry out if left on your press overnight or for extended periods of times. This means you won’t have to waste time cleaning and re-applying ink on your press all the time.
- Rubber based wont skin in the tin! As mentioned, they’re slow drying inks and don’t dry out by oxidation like oil-based inks. Therefore, when you receive a new delivery, it will be ready to use and in its best condition.
- Longer shelf life than acrylic based inks; acrylics tend to go hard if left in the tin for too long meaning their shelf life isn’t as long – not ideal for those special occasion colours you have to print with! Therefore, rubber-based inks are a better investment over time.
- Colours are deep and vibrant with a wide range of pantone colours available.
- These inks dry by absorption which means on uncoated, drier paper stocks the ink dries quickly – this is particularly useful on most letterpress stocks where a good quality weight stock is often used.
- They save time and money by less of a requirement to clean the press with expensive washing chemicals over and over again.
- They offer faster turn-around times from start to finish because the dry quicker, which keeps your customers happier in the long run!
- And finally, because the ink doesn’t dry on the press, it’s perfect for long print runs and also great for when you have multiple jobs using the same colours as the ink can be left on the press in-between.
Van Son Inks
We’ve decided to sell the Van-son range of rubber based inks as Van Son are the number one choice on price, quality and most importantly consistency in print. Van Son rubber-based inks offer flexibility in the print process for all of the above reasons; perfect for when you need extended breaks from the press to maybe also undertake some hot foil stamping in between! For those times you do need to clean the press and change the colours we’ve also got a selected range of letterpress cleaning products and supplies to help you keep on top of your machine.
Did you know you can convert a Heidelberg platen letterpress machine to print AND hot foil on the same machine? If you would like to know more about the possibilities for hot foil stamping use as well, see our hot foil stamping conversion kit.