Zipset printing inks?

Has anybody used Zipset? It’s cheaper than VanSon and readily available at Kelly Paper here in San Diego.
From their website I’ve gathered that it is “vegetable based”

image: InkCans-1.jpg


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I use zipset, cleans up easily enough with mineral spirits and applies nicely. I went with zipset because it was veggie based instead of soy (hard on rollers and really only a trendy selling tactic anyway) oh and the price point certainly helped sway me.

I purchased cmyk +transparent white and opaque white.
Time will tell if I should have went the PMS route instead.

At the outset, I want to make it perfectly clear that I have no knowledge of Zipset inks, and the following comments are not meant to, and do not, refer to Zipset inks.

In printing inks generally, pigments are the most expensive component. It is possible to make less expensive inks by using less expensive pigments. Less expensive pigments may not be as lightfast (fade resistant) as more expensive pigments.

If your printed products are likely to be kept for a while, and especially if they will be kept in the light (e.g. a calendar on the wall as opposed to the pages of a book), you might want to make a simple light fastness test before choosing a specific set of inks.

Make some prints with a large amount of ink coverage (or draw out some ink on paper with a putty knife blade). Put the prints in an area which gets a lot of light, like a sunny window or other brightly lit area. Cover half of each print with something opaque (like a piece of chipboard, or a piece of boxboard cut from a cracker carton, or even a ceramic coffee cup). Periodically check the sample and compare the covered and uncovered portions. If the uncovered portion has faded more than you can tolerate, look elsewhere for inks. (To start with, I would check the samples after one week, two weeeks, etc.).

While we are on the subject, the same goes for paper. I have seen paper samples in a cash and carry paper warehouse where the samples which were posted on the racking (so that customers can see each type of paper), have faded. You could test paper samples the same way as described above.

That is a great idea Geoffrey, thanks.

What would be a satisfactory duration of light fastness for your typical applications?

For my main applications, invitations or business cards, I cant imagine them being exposed to any significant amount of UV light.

danielheff, you’re probably right about business cards and invitations, unless someone pins them to a bulletin board or a puts them on a refrigerator door. And even if they did, the item would probably fade uniformly over long a period of time, so it wouldn’t be very noticeable. I would say off the top of my head, to test them leave them in a sunny place for a few weeks and see what happens.

Also, it may not be just UV light that makes them fade. Fluorescent light, and maybe even incandescent light, might affect them also.

Just for the sake of mentioning it, ink company central laboratories often have machines called fadeometers (to precisely measure fade resistance), and weatherometers (to measure both fade and weather resistance like rain).

From years of experience printing show posters, I can assure you that the only color that won’t fade is black. There are semi-permanent pigments available for colors, but it takes some research to find out what the pigments are. I have special ordered light-fast inks and assure you they can be quite expensive, especially if it is not made with a pigment your ink makers regularly stocks.


I use zipset fairly often. GP-1 as a dense black, and I’ve had some custom mixes made by Kelly Paper (Kelly has a zipset mixing lab on-site and will do custom colors). Performance is quite good in my view, particularly the black. I use the oil based, can’t really vouch for the rubber based.

I’m looking into using Zipset from Kelly Paper and was wondering if there is any chance of damage to composite rollers and if anyone has cleaned it up with vegetable oil alone? I’m a new printer and I’ve only ever used soy ink from VanSon which I understand to be hard on the rollers. Any info would be appreciated.