Letterpress compatability with inkjet/laser printers

I’m working on a project for someone that involves letterpress printing a design then running the paper through a printer. I am wondering if they ink I use will be compatible. I am not worried about the inkjet as much as I am the heat from a laser printer. I currently use rubber based inks. Do you think this would be an issue or should I switch to oil for this project?

Also, the item needs to be letterpress printed first as it is a gift for someone who will print the extra information later.

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Hello chopsockey,

I have printed things using both letterpress and inkjet, and they’ve turned out great. What paper are you planning to use? I’ve used Moab Entrada Rag Bright 300. It’s a little pricey (it’s intended for fine art and photographs), but it takes letterpress so well that I’ve also used it for letterpress-only projects, especially halftones since the surface is so smooth. I’ve used it with both soy-based and oil-base inks, and both seem to work out fine. You might just have to experiment.


Inkjet printers should pose no problem.

Laser printers/copiers, with the heat, are a whole different issue. Soy base ink is probably the best for this use, as it seems to be the most heat-resistant, and is recommended specifically for this, but any oil base should be okay with adequate drying time.

Rubber base is NOT recommended, as it may never really “dry” (just being absorbed into the paper) and the heat could cause some ink to transfer to the insides of the laser printer - probably not ideal!

Dave (the Ink in Tubes guy)

thanks for the tips. Can you suggest any places online to buy soy based inks?

Van Son CML & Quickson claim to be laser safe after 72hrs drying time. Never tried it, though I find both to perform very well with letterpress.

Actually, I should have said “soy- or veg-base inks are recommended” as there are some inks made with other vegetable oils in addition to or instead of soy oil, but they all seem to share the hard-dry heat resistant characteristic.

What colors of soy base (or veg base) ink are you looking for, and how much do you need? I do have a very few colors available in tubes, and will work toward more if there is enough interest.

Dave (the Ink in Tubes guy)