Need dark brown ink

I need to get some dark brown ink, Van Son I have been told is best, but to get dark brown it would have to be a special pantone mix order…at least $50 …..I wanted to know if there were any cheaper options??

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I notice that NA Graphics lists a 1/4 lb. tube of Brown oil-base ink for just over $10.00. If not dark enough, simply add just a very small pinch of black ink to the color and it will darken up quickly.

NA Graphics also lists a Dark Brown in 1 lb. can of Rubber Base Ink at $16.50. That might do for you as well if you use rubber based ink.

The prices are from NA Graphics website at:

If you already have cans of red and green ink on your shelf, add a bit of each together and see what it makes. Again, darken it with black if needed.

If you’re not too critical in whether it is a warm or cool brown, this may be the way to go. If, however, you must match a particular PMS color, mix it up with the ink company.

John H.

Van Son makes a mixed Pantone Buffalo Brown that is really dark… or Pantone number 439 will also work.

Contact Dave Robison on Briar Press. He does ink in tubes if you don’t need a whole pound.

You could call Accent Ink 323 268 1807. They have oil-based ink formulated for letterpress and they can custom mix whatever PMS you need for pretty inexpensive - maybe $20 a pound?

Do you need a specific shade, or just a “dark brown” ink? How much ink do you need? What stock will you be printing on? Maybe an offset printer in your area will have some leftover ink they would give you.

If a quarter-pound tube is enough and we have a color that will work for you (you can add black, as suggested, to darken), then your next least expensive approach is get a tube either from NA Graphics or myself. If you have to have a specific PMS color mixed, I think $20 is about the minimum charge, but if you tell us the Pantone number you’re looking for I may have it or be able to special order it. I know I have PMS 470 ($7.50), 476 and 478 ($10 ea.), and also a Toyo brown that is so dark it might as well be black (almost, anyway!) and probably a few others I could put in a tube for you.

Dave (the Ink in Tubes guy)

Ink in Tubes guy/Dave, :)
My “dark brown” is not a specific shade, although your tube of PMS 476 would probably be perfect.

I am new to letterpress, and will be printing approx 130, 5x7 invitations (text only). I would think that a quarter tube would suffice, what do you think?

I will be printing on 32lb Lettra (as it will backed on other paper).

So what are your thoughts? Again though, I think 476 will work

thank you, thank you

You might as a local offset shop if they have any they mixed for another job that is just sitting around. Some keep the leftovers but it tends to be not enough for them rerun a job. A little goes a long ways typically for letterpress.

You’ll only need a small amount of ink to print your job, well under an ounce (unless you are using a rather large press and need a lot just to ink up the press!). E-mail me at Ink(at) to order the 476, or for a list of the ink I have in tubes, or if you want to know more about specific colors or inks I have.