How to Calculate Offset Ink Usage

Written by ryan menezes
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How to Calculate Offset Ink Usage
Larger images need more ink. (The printer image by vin5 from

Offset ink consists of a pigment suspended in a liquid called a vehicle, which is often an organic oil. Modifiers in the ink keep it from drying out and control other properties, such as its scent. A number of factors affect how much offset ink a printing job consumes. Jobs with more pages or larger pages use more ink. Coated paper needs less ink. Ink consumption also depends on whether you use a half- or full-tone printing process.

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  1. 1

    Navigate your browser to an online ink usage calculator, such as the United Inks consumption calculator.

  2. 2

    Enter the size of your sheet, measured in square inches in the "Printed Area:" text box.

  3. 3

    Enter the number of sheets your job uses in the "Job length:" text box.

  4. 4

    Choose from the "Substrate:" drop-down box whether your paper is coated or uncoated.

  5. 5

    Choose from the "Print Type:" drop-down box whether you use a half-tone or full-tone printing process.

  6. 6

    Click the "Calculate" button. The page will display your ink requirement in grams.

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