moisture and large ink area


I have a job coming up that requires a large area to be covered in ink. I’ve heard that using a vaporizor in the room or moistening the paper before printing helps the ink to cover better… Is that true - does anyone have any suggestions?? I’m a Vandercook user and usually just run the impression slower if I need a large area inked which works ok but not wonderful… So I was wondering if there were any other thoughts out there…

Thank you!!


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I print large areas of color and I’m not having any problem here in Texas. I don’t moisten the paper before printing. I’m covering large areas on my posters, I notice only i bit more ink is required and that’s putting it mildly. Too much ink and it takes too long to dry, too little and it looks distressed because your starving the press.

What paper are you using?


Though i have never moistened the paper for letterpress, it is common practice for etching and for alot of wood block printers. It does a good job of picking up the ink, in my experience, but there are a couple of things to consider.
One is drying the prints. If they simply air dry, your paper will probably wrinkle a bit or have a good wave going. In etching, the prints are dried in between weighted dampers and blotters which absorb a bit of the excess water, and also press the prints flat as they dry.
I would also consider Casey’s question of ‘what paper are you using’. The amount of sizing in the paper could effect the way it absorbs moisture.
Good luck!

I’ve printed on a C1S board 15pt on the coated side and the ink holdout is much better than an uncoated paper just because of the surface. The C1S takes less ink for large coverage areas and like any coated paper the ink holds it’s color really well.

The only drawback is it’s take a bit longer to dry. I usually wait 12 hours if I’m applying another color over it. Now because it’s a coated sheet and the ink has not really been totally absorbed into the paper like an uncoated paper then printing multiple layers of ink on top of one another can be disappointing. The multi layer ink on coated paper will tend to pick off or chip if you have 3 or more colors overlapping. So, uncoated paper is the choice for type of ink coverage.

Hope this helps. Now like anything else in the world this is my opinion. Everyone has their own. This has been my experience.