some ink questions

Brethren and sistern…..
Seems lately any time I am having press trouble that defies solution, it has to do with inking the form. I’d like to seek your expertise on a few questions….
1. Does anyone have a reliable method for “reading” the color of a mixed ink from the mixing glass? Looking for a galley proof press, which I think would solve this, but haven’t found it yet, so I’m trying—sometimes with success, sometimes not—to determine whether the ink I’ve mixed will be the right hue, tint, shade etc. once it’s actually on the press. Anybody have a suggestion?
2. Anyone have successful techniques for maintaining consistent color on a run? This seems to crop up particularly when the ink is mixed with white, which these days is nearly every color run.
3. Can someone discuss the relative merits of mixing with transparent white or opaque white? I love the color tone I get with the transparent, but using the opaque seems to give me a more consistent color through the run. I may just not be up to speed on when one uses one or the other.
4. (We are using a C&P job press.) Would an ink fountain help with the consistency issue? Seems like that would maintain a more even application of ink on a long run or one with big coverage areas, but I guess I’ve always been terrified by the thought of cleaning the fountain. Anyone have the benefit of experience on this?
Thanks, shipmates, for any advice you can provide. We’ve been at this for the last 52 years, but still learning new stuff every day.
Ben Sargent, Austin

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I proof mixes on an adana if the mix is going in the mail ,once sent is difficult to adjust !!
I avoid where possible the use of transparent white and substitute with opaque ,reason being the tranny white so badly affects the ink body and solids tend to look a wee bit blotchy , there are times when you have to live with using it but for the general arty prints you can mostly get away using opaque where transparent is in the mix.. The weights for the mix are different but the pigment colours ratio remains the same as the guide you only take a small quantity of the pigment mixed to gain the same result as the guide but the amount of mixing white is greater . I usually would advise people to mix a small amount of pigment (mixed )and then add in tiny amounts to the opaque till the desired shade is reached.
The advantage with opaque is that it is opaque and the paper does not show through the ink ,with transparent it does show through and tends to look a wee bit blotchy .
Letterpress and tranny dont go well but opaque does , in litho the reverse is the case ,opaque doesnt litho so good but tranny white does .!!!
As for consistant inking you need the duct as addind with a roller onto a disc is a very iffy practice if you want an even run .

I’m no expert but here are a few things I was told by the experts. To test a color on the glass they would always scrape a sliver out flat onto a bit of the final stock or rub in on with a finger

As for consistent color, I have the same problem constantly. I have to triple clean the press and then run a pure opaque white run before any bright color. The white ink reactivates and picks up any leftover color that has sunk into the rollers and gathered on the edges. Then once you clean the white off you should have better luck. The white run makes all the difference no matter how well I clean the press it seems to be a needed step when trying to print orange, yellow, or pink.

All my mentors used opaque white over transparent white. I once did a special test with transparent white. I printed ten prints each with a different proportion of transparent white 10% - 90% and found the more you use the blotchier the ink becomes - it seems to separate into a strange texture - which in certain cases may be appealing. It does help when you are overlaying colors to optically mix them but other than that I always suggest opaque white.

this is an old thread, but I learned last night to not rely on transparent white when mixing ink when the formula requires a large percentage to be used. to make up for the blotchy mottled look that transparent white creates, do you just replace that percentage of transparent white that would have been used in the formula with opaque white? for example, formula calls for 97% transparent, so should I just use 97% opaque white instead?

print and learn…