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Re: [PPLetterpress] Mixing ink colors

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  • The Indian Hill Press
    Susan: Sounds like classic overinking. With pale colors, we starve the press as much as the solids will allow. Note that this may necessitate reducing the
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 5, 2002
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      Susan:

      Sounds like classic overinking. With pale colors, we starve the press
      as much as the solids will allow. Note that this may necessitate
      reducing the amount of transparent white in your PMS formula to
      maintain color fidelity. But with letterpress, the recipes are all
      eyeballed anyway.

      Dan Waters
      Indian Hill Press

      >Recently I mixed up a PMS color that was mostly transparent white
      >(using Vanson rubber-based ink). The color matched, but when I went
      >to print, the result was as if I had lowered my rollers -- there was
      >splatter all around the type. I had just printed the plate using
      >black ink with good results, and all I did was clean the press and
      >re-ink. Does anyone have any advice for me? (I have a C&P pilot, so
      >changing the roller height isn't really an option; I removed some
      >packing from the platen but that didn't really help the splatter
      >problem much)
      >
      >Thanks
      >Susan Angebranndt
      >susan@...
    • alncarter2003 <alncarter@hotmail.com>
      Hi, These pastel-toned inks require a finer touch than our more-forgiving black inks. The areas of concern are: roller pressure, amount of ink on roller, the
      Message 2 of 16 , Dec 12, 2002
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        Hi,
        These pastel-toned inks require a finer touch than our
        more-forgiving black inks. The areas of concern are: roller pressure,
        amount of ink on roller, the ink mix, and the printing impression.

        Even that Pilot can be finessed and duct tape is the way to do it:
        apply to those rails that the rollers ride on and you'll back off the
        pressure--one of those Vandercook (round thing on a metal stick)
        gauges that NA Graphics sells is perfect for checking the
        roller-to-plate pressure. You can also just wrap the tape around the
        metal collars that go on the ends of the rollers.

        As for ink on the rollers, I usually ink up until the rollers are
        evenly coated and then take off excess ink with paper--this way there
        are no "starved" areas on the rollers which actually take ink off of
        the plate, but you're not over-inked either. If you haven't done it
        lately, before you ink up it wouldn't be a bad idea to test those
        rollers for imperfections by rolling them on a table and looking to
        see if they contact the surface evenly or if you can sometimes see
        light peek through while you move them--if so, new rollers are the
        only cure. We'll just assume that those rollers are clean, unglazed,
        at the proper diameter, and aren't as hard as a rock.

        Mixing ink. Depending on paper and press (and operator), this
        varies, but I usually add 30-50% more white ink than the formula
        says--letterpress lays a thicker layer of ink than offset and that
        extra ink increases the value to the point, with these pastels, that
        you often wind up printing several pms numbers up the scale from the
        color that you are trying to lay down. With more white ink in the mix,
        while you're laying down more ink than our offset brethren (who that
        pms book is calibrated for) you'll be actually putting down the
        correct amount of pigment required to produce that matching color.

        Printing pressure affects these colors' presentation, with heavy
        pressure producing darker tones. As the Pilot tends to print on the
        heavy pressure side, most of your color adjustments will have to be
        made as discussed above. Either that or do 50 pushups before
        printing--then perhaps your arms will be tired enough for a gentler
        impression. Hope this helps. --Hal
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