Where do you all purchase your ink?

Hey everyone!

I was wondering where you guys purchase your ink. I’m used to using rubber-based Van Son inks, but am open to other recommendations! Also, is there a way to buy less than 1lb at a time?


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I believe there is a gentleman here somewhere named dave robison who produces small tubes , I am sure someone else will fill the blanks.

Dave Robison the “ink in tubes” guy is great, I have also purchased ink fro NA Graphics and Holyoke Paper/Manifesto Press and Boxcar also has ink.

There are ink manufacturers all over the country, and I have always recommended that printers should seek out one or two that are close enough to their location so as to deal with problems should they arise. Talk to a large local printer, they should be able to tell you who in the area could fulfill your needs. Sometimes local printers have left-over ink of which they would like dispose. I was able to acquire 350lbs of brand new 5lb cans of oil-based ink just for showing up at a shop one day. I donated ink to a local college program and to another printer, and saved about 100lbs for myself.


Amanda, take a road trip to Massachusetts, I just rescued over 100 cans of ink from a closing print shop, you are welcomed to take some if you pick it up. You should look for a print shop near you, like Paul says most have ink they will give you.

Hey Dick- where are you located again? I was in Deerfield this past weekend for a wonderful bicycle ride called D2R2… wondering if it’s near your neck of the woods?

i’m on the coast near Plymouth Massachusetts. Hanson to be exact.

Ah, not near where I was. But if I’m ever up that way I’ll look you up for a visit.

Not far from us on Cape Cod there are some great bike trails. You are welcomed to stop by, i’m hidden in the woods just a bit, last house on a dead end road, don’t get much off the street business. My daughter loves goats, we are getting a little over run with them, she ran out of room so she stores the hay in my print shop, how many printers have a desk made of hay? Call first to be sure i’m here. Dick G.

If I need ink and can get there on his open days I see John Barrett at Letterpress Things in Holyoke MA. I’ve also ordered from Fritz at NA Graphics, and I’ve ordered custom Pantone mixes directly from Van Son.
Haven Press - you were just down the road from me in Deerfield, I’m in Chesterfield now (soon to be moving to Plainfield) and grew up in South Deerfield.
Dick - I don’t have a desk made of hay but have had a temporary one of bags of chicken feed a while back. Enjoy this cooler weather that we’re starting to get!


Steve, we hatch chicken eggs on my shipping bench every spring, a few years ago I opened my shop door and the young chicks had escaped and were roosting all over my kluge, had to change the tympan. Just bought a shed yesterday to store the hay and all the other animal feed so I can get my shop back. I have a couple of chipmunks that live in the shop since the feed came in, its funny to see them watching me run the press, I wonder if they could be taught to run a windmill??

From ink to chipmunks. What a thread- who could resist reading it through!

I was printing on my C&P a few months back and kept catching movement along the wall by the woodstove, I thought it was a mouse but then he popped his head up and looked at me…it was a young weasel investigating the shop! He went his way and I went back to printing, I love living in the Hilltowns of Western Mass!

Check out Spinks Ink. They have a rubber based ink that is about $5-8 less per pound than VonSon. I’ve used both and can’t tell the difference (so far). Patten Graphics sells Spinks and has quick shipping. It’s hard to find the rubber base ink on the actual Spinks website (not the most user-friendly site), but it’s there once you click around and find the PDF product catalog.