Ink: a beautiful thing that makes more beautiful things. But how is it made? Read up on the gist of the process below.

Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments or dyes. Varnish is the vehicle – a clear liquid that is the base of any ink. Different varnishes are made for different inks, but they are all made by mixing the resins, solvents and additive, often at high temperatures, to form a homogeneous mixture. Resins, which binds the ink ingredients together, react together and make the varnish more viscous. Once the varnish is mixed and heated, it’s time to add the pigments.

Pigments give ink its color and comes from a variety of sources containing nitrogen compounds – commonly known as dyes. Ink is used to produce text or an image. Over 90% of inks are printing inks, in which color is imparted by pigments rather than the dyes used in writing inks. As the pigments are mixed into the varnish, the colors are spread evenly through the ink.

For some seriously mesmerizing content, and a deeper dive into ink manufacturing, check out the video below – courtesy of The Printing Ink Company.