Several offset ink manufacturers are still in operation, and each produces black ink according to different formulations. Furthermore there are different inks for different print substrates, such as coated or uncoated paper. In addition to the offset inks currently on the market, you can find discontinued products second-hand. Rotaprint, for example, made its own line of ink featuring several bespoke colours.
All of these factors led us to the conclusion that black does not equal black.
To get an overview of different black inks and ink mixtures on different papers, we made a black ink test series.
Old inks that are no longer in production are interesting for Office Offset. Because the machines require very little ink, it is possible to use those special inks or ink mixtures to generate prints that are not mass products, but instead small one-off editions which cannot be reproduced.