By | 17 Jan 2023 at 12:38 AM
Printing Ink Day 2023: Date, History, How to Make Your Own Printing Ink

Printing Ink Day 2023: We all remember the days of writing essays with pen and paper, but as we move further into the digital age, it is easy to forget just how important printing ink still is in many areas of our lives. On January 17, 2023, we commemorate Printing Ink Day – a day in which we celebrate this often-overlooked medium and its incredible impact on the world around us. From graphic design to the production of books and magazines, printing ink has impacted virtually every industry. This blog post will explore why Printing Ink Day is so important, as well as some of the ways it has shaped modern society over the years.

What is Printing Ink Day?

Each year on January 17, the printing industry celebrates Printing Ink Day. This day commemorates the birthday of John Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press. Today, the printing industry is a $900 billion global business. In the United States alone, there are more than 9,000 printing plants and over 1 million people employed in the industry.

On Printing Ink Day, we celebrate this important industry and its many contributions to our world. From books and newspapers to packaging and signage, printing plays a vital role in our lives. And it all started with one man’s vision and invention.

So take a moment on January 17 to celebrate Printing Ink Day! Learn more about the history of this amazing industry and its impact on our world today.

The History of Printing Ink

January 17 is Printing Ink Day 2023 in the United States! This date was chosen to commemorate the day in 1813 when John Jacob Baumhauer received a patent for a process of making lithographic printing ink.

Baumhauer’s invention improved upon the earlier methods of making printing ink, which had been developed in England in the late 1700s. The new process made it possible to produce large quantities of high-quality printing ink quickly and cheaply. This made lithography (a method of printing that uses an oil-based ink) a more viable option for printmakers and helped to spur the development of the commercial printing industry in America.

Today, there are many different types of printing inks available, each formulated for specific applications. However, all modern inks can trace their origins back to Baumhauer’s original invention. So next time you sit down to print something out, take a moment to think about the long and fascinating history of the humble printing ink!

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How to Make Your Own Printing Ink

Assuming you would like a general overview of the process:

To make your own printing ink, you will need:

– printmaking baren or brayer
– paper towels
– soft cloths
– water container
– clean up supplies
– a few drops of liquid dish soap
– 4 tablespoons of Gum arabic powder OR 1 tablespoon of gelatin powder + 3 tablespoons of water
– 2 cups of boiling water
– food coloring OR natural dyes like logwood, cochineal, or ground turmeric (optional)
– 2 tablespoons linseed oil OR 1/4 cup petroleum jelly OR 1/4 cup beeswax (optional)

1. Begin by mixing the gum arabic powder and boiling water in a bowl until the powder is fully dissolved. If you are using gelatin, mix the gelatin and water in a bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the gelatin to bloom. Then add this mixture to the boiling water and stir until it is fully dissolved.

2. Add liquid dish soap and stir gently until mixed in. This will help the ink adhere to the paper later on.

3. If desired, add food coloring or natural dyes at this point and mix until evenly distributed. You can also experiment with different color combinations!

4. Add linseed oil, petroleum jelly, or beeswax if you want a thicker ink that won’t dry out as quickly.


Printing Ink Day is a great time to celebrate and remember the incredible work that print professionals have done over the years. It’s also an opportunity for us to appreciate how far technology has come in helping us achieve high-quality prints with faster speeds and better accuracy, no matter what type of job we are working on. To commemorate this day, we encourage everyone to take a moment and reflect on their own printing endeavors and thank those who helped make it all possible.


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