How Ink is Made: The Process Revealed in a Mouth-Watering Video

As depict­ed above, ink mak­ing is as volup­tuous a process as mak­ing a high end can­dy bar. Hav­ing grown up around the print­ing floor of a dai­ly news­pa­per, I know that ink’s pun­gent aro­ma is the oppo­site of chocolate‑y, but my mouth still start­ed to water. Was it the com­mer­cial-ready clas­si­cal sound­track or hear­ing Chief Ink Mak­er Peter Wel­fare com­par­ing the pigment’s gooey “vehi­cle” to hon­ey?

I won’t be dip­ping my tongue in the ink pot any time soon, but the mul­ti­step four col­or process by which pow­dered cyan, magen­ta, yel­low, and black hues become press-bound ink proved far more sen­su­al than expect­ed.

Ink mak­ing in the 21st-cen­tu­ry is a com­bi­na­tion of Old and New World tech­niques.

The his­to­ry of ink and print­ing is very old indeed. The Chi­nese devel­oped move­able type around 1045 and used it to print paper mon­ey. The Guten­berg Press was up and run­ning by 1440. The rollers, vats, and mix­ing tools in use at the Print­ing Ink Com­pa­ny, Wel­fare’s fam­i­ly busi­ness, are not so far removed from the tools used by ear­ly prac­ti­tion­ers.

Work­ers at the Print­ing Ink Comp­nany use their fin­gers to test their product’s tack­i­ness, a pre­dic­tor of its on-press per­for­mance. Pre­sum­ably, you devel­op a feel for it after a while.

State of the art com­put­er pro­grams pro­vide fur­ther qual­i­ty con­trol, ana­lyz­ing for con­sis­ten­cy of col­or and gloss with an accu­ra­cy that eludes even the most prac­ticed human eye.

The results can be seen on every­thing from brochures to fine art prints.

via Coudal

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Learn How Crayons Are Made, Cour­tesy of 1980s Videos by Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers

How Vinyl Records Are Made: A Primer from 1956

How Film Was Made in 1958: A Kodak Nos­tal­gia Moment

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Her play, Fawn­book, opens in New York City lat­er this fall. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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  • Blankets Inks Varnish says:

    Love what you are doing, Your arti­cle is real­ly amaz­ing u always come up with new things.
    Print­ing ink indus­try nowa­days is one of the most grow­ing indus­tries in India.
    Your arti­cle is very infor­ma­tive keep shar­ing good stuff, thanks for shar­ing.

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