Acrylic Ink

I’ve been searching the archives about acrylic ink and I can only find good comments - doesn’t skim, dries hard, keeps vibrant color… only bad thing I’ve found is the minimum order seems to be 2 pound cans.

Two questions:

1) am I missing something here? Is there a down side to acrylic ink that I haven’t heard? If so… please inform me.

2) if it is really good, then I’m considering buying a Pantone set but I don’t need all that ink. If I do this, would a few people like to buy a half pound of the inks? That way, four of us would each have a half pound… at 1/4 the price (plus a small amount for a new jar and shipping).


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See what you can find out about shelf life. In my very limited experience with acrylic ink, some years ago, it was fine to use. But a partial can that was put aside was found to have become far too hardened to be usable only two or three years after purchase. (Of course, if you can use all you buy fairly quickly, that’s not a problem!)

Dave (the Ink in Tubes guy)

P.S. — For anyone interested in small quantities of traditional oil base ink in Pantone basic colors (or many Pantone mixed colors), I do have them available in “quarter-pound” tubes (no skinning in tubes!) and I’ll be happy to send a list, e-mail me at “Ink(at)”.

Yes, that is the reason for a group purchase… Everyone gets enough to use up in a year or so (your mileage may vary)

Anyone interested?

I have a set of pantone mixing bases in 1# cans from Gans Ink in Los Angeles that are acrylic. Total cost for the set was around $300 I think. When I bought them, the local Gans distributor in Northern California didn’t have them and I had to have them shipped out of Los Angeles.

Generally, I love them and have no complaints.

Like Dave notes however, after a few years, the top of them thickens. So far I’ve only noticed it on the blue ink, but it’ll probably happen to the others. You can scrape it off and the ink underneath is good, but it seems a bit wasteful. Interestingly enough, I seem to have that problem more with Van Son Infinity acrylic than Gans acrylic.

You might call Gans and see if you can buy 1# cans instead.

Ink formulations are getting better and better (despite the lament of loss of true letterpress inks) and you might consider other alternatives.

Tokyo Ink (zipset) now makes pantone mixing bases in oil, that can be formulated in a non-skinning formula. These transfer to tubes easily, making long term storage ideal. With the non-skin, you don’t have to worry about skinning on the press, and prices for zipset oil based inks are very reasonable. When I run through my acrylic, this is probably where I’ll go next.




Do you know of any good source for tubes? I cannot seem to find them south of the border.



Make sure you try printing with it first if you haven’t yet!

Having said that…

I’d be interested possibly. This ink system is compatible with waterless (silicon plate) lithography and works really well for that as well as letterpress.

I would ask that you total up the approximate costs and let me know where you’re located Re: shipping costs.

I would also make the suggestion that instead of splitting up the white/black/trans white, you leave those out of the “1/2” lb measures and that anyone putting in on this get their own larger pots of each, as these are the inks you use the most of.


I’ll put my pencil to it and see what it would cost. I live in Michigan.