Guide to Different Ink Types

Guide to Different Ink Types

Paul Boody

Different printers use all kinds of inks. For instance, laser printers and inkjet printers both function differently and require their own kinds of ink. In this blog post, we'll examine printer ink options so you can know what suits your printing needs.

Water-Based Inks

Water-based inks use water as their main solvent for carrying pigment used commonly in screen printing. They are made up of blends of acrylic resin and polyurethanes. This blend helps the ink settle into the fabric more effectively and gives the design a soft touch. The ink consists of soft resins and water which quickly evaporates, causing the soft touch feel.

Solvent-Based Inks

Solvent-based inks are any inks dissolved in another substance such as glycol ether esters or glycol esters and their derivatives. These inks include a resin that works as a binder and pigment, the main components of the ink. They are highly durable and adhere well to both coated and uncoated surfaces. These inks produce high-resolution images. They are used predominantly in the signage industry, printing of package materials, bottles, labels, etc.

Latex Inks

Latex Inks fuse with heat, allowing printing on un-coated base materials even though it is water-based. They share the same quality as water-based inks and the durability of Eco Solvent-based inks. The water-based formula is odorless and eco-friendly. The unique pigment dispersion provides remarkable print durability in the context of indoor and outdoor applications. 

UV Inks

UV printing involves digitally printing while utilizing ultraviolet (UV) light to dry or cure the ink, adhesives, or coatings. The ink dries as soon as it hits the surface (paper, aluminum, foam board, or acrylic). UV inks offer improved gloss finish, better scratch, chemical, solvent, hardness resistance, and improved elasticity. These inks are resistant to fading and work great for outdoor applications.

Aqueous Inks

These inks are one of the safest bets for printer inks. They are ideal for both large-format printing and use in homes or offices. They are best suited for printing on porous surfaces such as paper or cardboard, as the emulsion is ideal for porous substrates.


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