Printing ink

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An ink that flows smoothly and dries quickly. Printing inks are usually a viscous mixture of finely divided pigment or organic colorant dispersed in a drying oil. Early printing inks were composed of linseed oil, lampblack and turpentine. In the 20th century, other binders, such as alkyds, phenolformaldehyde resin were used. The formulation for printing ink varies according to its use, i.e. letterpress, offset, flexographic, lithographic or photogravure printing.

Synonyms and Related Terms

printing media; printer's ink; encre d'imprimerie (Fr.)

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 410
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • ASTM, "Standard Terminology Relating to Paint, Varnish, Lacquer and Related Products", Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Section 6, Paints, Related Coatings and Aromatics, ASTM, D16, 7-Jan, Jul-96
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982