How To Select Pad Print Ink for Your Project

Key Considerations In Chosing the Right Pad Print Ink For Your Project


How do I select a pad print ink?

Have you ever wondered how to choose or select a pad print ink? It makes sense that this is a common question in the field of pad print decoration. After all, selecting the optimal ink for your unique application is one of the most important building blocks in ensuring durable, repeatable decoration.

Ink selection dictates a large number of other factors. Such as:

– what color/opaqueness will be achievable

– what kinds of additional treatments or additives may be required

– and at what speed parts can be printed at


What do I need to keep in mind as I select a pad print ink?

To find the best possible ink for your unique application – it is important to consider both your performance and delivery needs.


What PERFORMANCE considerations are important when selecting a pad print ink?

When selecting a pad printing ink, start by identifying a supplier who can help you select an ink that will perform well in your unique application.
This requires a deep dive into understanding your unique decorating needs. Your pad print ink supplier should have a solid understanding of the performance attributes of varied inks, substrate properties, and the unique performance requirements of your project.

In terms of performance requirements, your ink partner will help walk you through options based on considerations unique to your applications. These considerations include durability, adhesion, chemical resistance, sterilization process, and more.

Your ink partner will need to advise you on ink considerations specific to your substrate. Inks are formulated to allow adhesion to different substrates so it is key to one that is best suited for yours.

Inks that are well-suited to decorate a polycarbonate part may be different from inks used to decorate a Styrene product for example. Careful analysis is needed of the ink’s ability to adhere to the intended surface. It will be important to have a clear understanding of surface tension on the substrate, whether pre-treatment or curing are required, and if so what kinds.

Finally, there will likely be specific considerations tied to your unique application. Your ink partner will need to know your industry, artwork design and color, opacity and desired printing speed, and total print quantity requirements to provide insight into the best-suited ink for your particular needs.


What specific PERFORMANCE considerations are studied by ink suppliers before making a recommendation?

Experts in the Trans Tech Ink Lab can identify the best formulation for your decorating needs after considering a wide number of factors, including:

  • Substrate
  • Industry
  • Color
  • Ink type (1 or 2 component or UV)
  • Needed capabilities
  • Adhesion requirements
  • Abrasion requirements
  • Opacity
  • Printing speed
  • Need for pretreatments
  • Desired number of prints


What DELIVERY considerations are important when selecting a pad print ink?

So you have found an optimal pad printing ink for your application. Now you need to ensure the supplier you have reached out to is well-positioned to deliver the ink in the way you need it. Please consider these questions:

i. Do they have a large ink warehouse? (Are they likely to have your ink in stock or the ability to produce it quickly for custom inks)

ii. Is the ink ordering process easy? Is an online ordering option available? How long does ink delivery typically take?

iii. Do they offer any special ink-related services you might require- like precision color matching?


Would you like to know more?

Please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.