There are lots of “see how it’s made” videos on the Internet and not all of them are interesting, but this roughly nine-minute clip of how to make printing ink is one of the best.
The video documents the process undergone at The Printing Ink Company where they make pigments for mostly-offset printing workflows. They mostly deal in cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK as you probably know them), but they also mix a bunch of custom colours in the Pantone system as well.
Like most of these videos, the ink-making process is a rather intense combination of artistry and industry. The batches are rather huge, the tolerances are low, and the machinery is extremely expensive. But, there are human hands on almost every aspect of the process. It is very inspiring.
Even if you’re not big into printing, just seeing them chop pieces of early-process ink off of the massive globs is pretty satisfying.
By Stan Horaczek www.popphoto.com