Wikoff Ink Factory

Wikoff Color Corporation, founded in 1956 by Fred C. Wikoff, Jr., manufactures litho, flexo, and gravure inks (as well as a bunch of other specialty items). Barrels and barrels of pure pigment and ink additives are used as ingredients in manufacturing ink. Additives can range from liquid to dry powders, all of which change the properties of the ink and manipulate viscosity. The moment I walked into the warehouse I could smell printmaking ink!

Special thanks to Jeff Sippel, Professor of Printmaking at the University of Missouri St. Louis, for graciously organizing this tour of Wikoff’s manufacturing plant in St. Louis. Jeff was formerly the Education Director at Tamarind Institute from 1988-1998, has exhibited his work and lectured throughout the world, and fervently continues researching lithography.

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Pigments and additives!

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Pigments and additives are added to the machine below, which mixes the ink and sends it flowing into a bucket. Each time a new color is mixed up, the machine has to be scraped clean.

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Here’s Jeff checking out the locations of all other Wikoff branches in the US.

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Fred C. Wikoff, Jr.

Up front, the St. Louis Wikoff branch has a lab where they test ink on their Little Joe Proving Press.

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The warehouse has shelves and shelves of ink packed and ready to ship.

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Categories: Print-related


2 Responses to “Wikoff Ink Factory”

  1. Merle Perlmutter says:

    Interesting! Intaglio blacks and if so what black pigments used in formula?

  2. Jenn Pascoe says:

    OMG, the Little Joe press!