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January Letterpress Blog

Mixing Ink for Letterpress

Mixing Ink for Letterpress

Welcome to the official blog of January Letterpress!

Today we are narrating the tedious but rewarding process of mixing ink. As simple as it may sound, mixing ink is quite a detail-oriented task. Adding just a tiny amount of one color to another can majorly influence the finished product, so it requires some special attention.

First, we’ll prep for the mess and put on an apron and disposable gloves.

Next, we’ll choose the specific color we want to mix out of our Pantone book, which conveniently lists out how many ounces of each ink it takes to create the color we choose.

After doing the math to figure out how much ink we need, we’ll begin the careful process of measuring it out. Because we need exact measurements down to a tenth of an ounce, it usually takes a couple tries to get it right.

After measuring out our colors, we transfer them onto a glass surface, ready to mix.

Using a rectangular pallet knife, we’ll mix it all together, moving the ink back and forth until the color is consistent throughout and any residual streaks are gone. Though this part can test your patience, it’s surprisingly therapeutic.

Once the ink is all mixed together, we’ll either use it right away for a printing job or wrap it in foil for later.