Commercial Printing | Printing 101 What Is Lithography? (part cinq – inks)

Printing ink

The inks used on printing presses are nothing like the inks you might use in your desk-top printer. They are custom tailored to the type of paper being used as well as the equipment doing the printing, how many colors will be used, the drying time needed, whether the printed piece includes photographs and whether the shop is temperature and moisture controlled.

Inks may be petroleum oil or vegetable oil based with pigment added as well as other additives such as drying agents, waxes, etc as required by the job being run. Ink manufacture is a 9-10 billion dollar world-wide industry.

Flash forward to present. Now we also print with UV inks. These inks are flash dried with a UV light inline on the press. The benefits of these inks include dry trapping, vibrant colors, very low VOC emissions. UV inks can print incredibly vibrant colors on non coated paper stocks as well.


About the Author: Don Weston Started working in the printing industry over 50 years ago and remains the mentor of the owner of Weston Graphics, Inc.
See more articles by Mr. Weston HERE.
Read about the Author HERE.
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