March 19, 2012

Custom Mix

To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations... 
... in a tub of gold ink (Pantone 871)?

I went to Kelly Paper to buy some opaque white oil-based ink for a letterpress project. They didn't have any in stock, but they said they could order some and have it there the next morning.

The next day, I went back to pick up my ink. Though the ink was intended for offset printing, I had used offset inks on the letterpress before with fine results. But to be sure, I asked what their return policy was: if I got to the studio and discovered it was in fact the wrong kind of ink, could I return the unopened can?

No, he said. "It's a custom mix."

A custom mix of OPAQUE WHITE???

It's normal for companies to not allow returns on a custom-mixed color, but white is a base color, used for mixing other colors, so I'm not sure what "custom" mixing was involved, unless they mixed some opaque white with... other opaque white.

It's like Nigel Tufnel said in 'Spinal Tap': "It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black." Except substitute 'black' for 'white'.

Thankfully, the white worked just fine, and there was no need to return anything. But strange nonetheless.

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