About us

Our story and what drives us from day one

About Us

Van Son has been the leading ink manufacturer for commercial printers across the globe for more then 145 years. And as printing technology continues to evolve, Van Son’s team of ink formulators are continually creating new and improved printing inks. Formula’s that meet today’s emerging trends and technologies. Resulting in inks designed for every size printing operation, and every type of application.

Our Story

When Phillip Van Son founded his modest ink making business in 1872, it’s unlikely that he envisioned the impact his company would make on the printing industry throughout the world. Then again, maybe he did. The Van Son family has included many visionaries. From founder Philip to his great grandson Maurits the Van Son’s entrepreneurial spirit and inventiveness, has fuelled the phenomenal growth of an enterprise that is based exclusively on imaging products. The success of the company is attributable to its willingness to challenge uncharted waters. Van Son never borrows technology. It creates it. That enables the company to utilize its own proprietary techniques in the development and production of new and innovative ink formulas. Nobody makes printing ink like we do.

At Van Son, the ink making process has always been somewhat more methodical than those employed by other printing ink manufacturers. Ours is a completely internal manufacturing process that is painstakingly precise and controlled. The result is a printing ink unmatched for its consistency . . . can after can . . . batch after batch . . . year after year.

Van Son has an ink that can cater to the needs and requirements of any sheetfed application. Naturally, Van Son gained its reputation in the small-to-midsize printing market, where a printer could purchase our exceptional quality and colour consistency, one small can at a time. We also offered him more than printing ink. Throughout the years, in all areas of marketing distribution and customer service, our efforts have been geared toward helping printers learn more about printing. In addition to an exceptional product line, our self-help literature and technical assistance hotline has made Van Son the most popular supplier of printing inks to this market around the world.

In 2017 T&K TOKA, leading international supplier of printing inks for offset and UV applications in the commercial and packaging market, acquired the Van Son Group of Companies. It’s not surprising that the future looks brighter than ever for Van Son.

As printing technology continues to evolve faster and faster, our team of ink formulators is busy creating new and better inks — formulas for today’s emerging trends and technologies — and even experimental printing applications destined to become the printing standards of tomorrow. We are leading the way in offset and UV inks and at Van Son we will provide formulations for many generations of printers to come.

A Tradition of Excellence since 1872

“ I believe in the power of creating technology, not borrowing it. I believe in what the future of the printing industry hold and will endeavor tirelessly to create a product that will not only improve my customer’s business, but the entire trade as a whole. ”
Phillip van Son

A Tradition of Excellence

Where it began
For more the 145 years, Van Son Ink has been dedicated to a tradition of excellence in the professional printing industry, continuing to live up to the culture started by its founder, Phillip van Son, in 1872. Van Son’s history is an inspiring story that begins with a visionary man who ventured out on a journey of what was then uncharted waters – never daunted by the challenges that lie ahead. From the start, Phillip van Son’s entrepreneurial spirit and inventiveness fueled the phenomenal growth of an enterprise that is based exclusively on imaging products.

In the innovative years of the Second Industrial Revolution (approximately 1860 to 1891), the printing industry was introduced to the first steam-powered cylinder press, which printed 1,100 sheets per hour, replacing its hand-operated predecessor invented by Johannes Gutenberg. The model was later perfected to print on both sides of a sheet at once, dramatically changing the nature of newspapers and book production companies. Over the course of the next two decades, the printing industry saw such advancements as the invention of the first type founding machine, the power platen press, and the development of sensitizing process photoengraving.

It was during this amazing era of productivity that Phillip van Son opened the doors of a modest ink-making business that would over time revolutionize the methodology behind ink production. Phillip believed he could produce a better printing ink than anyone else, and having worked in the printing industry, he certainly had the experience to back him.

At the helm of what he set out to do was to utilize his years of printing experience to create new and innovative ink formulas that incorporated his own proprietary techniques, yet would be flexible enough to evolve with printing technology that seemed to be ever increasing Van Son’s innovative ink-making process was more methodical that those employed by other printing ink manufacturers. He kept the manufacturing process all internal, enabling him to exert more control over the end product. As a result, Van Son’s relentless precision yielded a printing ink that was unmatched for its consistency…can after can…batch after batch.

Because word of Van Son’s unrivaled printing ink was quickly spreading throughout much of Western Europe, it soon became the ink of choice for many newspapers and publishers of the time. It was the invention of the Linotype Machine in 1886, which allowed for tremendously faster printing of papers and created an even larger demand for high-quality inks, that Phillip van Son’s vision of being a leader in the industry rapidly became a reality.

In 1887, American inventor, Tolbert Lanston, invented the Monotype machine. Unlike the Linotype, the Monotype created type in individual characters as opposed to entire lines at a time. Further refining his processes and formula’s, van Son developed an ink suitable for the new Monotype and began sketching out plans to market his new products across the globe.
In 1892, the printing industry was further revolutionized when the four-color rotary press was invented. Phillip van Son, eventually joined in his quest by a succession of family visionaries, recognized that with these new developments in printing machinery the company must continue to innovate to meet the challenges of evolving technology. With four-color process now a reality, the van Son family was ready to catapult the company light years ahead of the days of monochrome ink. The name Van Son was soon to become a household name in the printing industry for its consistency and colour quality.
The Tradition Continues
Four generations later, we are proud that Van Son continues to uphold those high standards. Our success can be credited to our willingness to meet new markets and new technologies head-on and to continue challenge those uncharted waters. True to our founder’s words, we never borrow technology. We create it. This means we design and build our own proprietary techniques in developing and producing new and innovative ink formulas. And the result is that nobody makes printing ink with consistency and quality we do.

While printers have come to rely upon this exceptional quality and color consistency of Van Son inks, as a company committed to putting our customer first we offer much more. Throughout the years, we’ve targeted our efforts toward helping printers learn more about printing to improve their image quality, efficiency, and company’s profitability. It’s this focus that makes Van Son one of the most popular suppliers of printing inks to this market around the world.
Van Son is Here with You Today
Remaining true to Van Son’s founder, the company’s continued tradition of excellence has enabled us to preserve our solid reputation and leadership position in the industry. Throughout the years, Van Son has focused on satisfying the demands of printers of all sizes in all areas of marketing, distribution and customer service, offering the support needed to compete in an increasingly fast-paced, competitive environment.

Today, Van Son is dedicated to serving both the conventional offset print market and growing UV printing market by developing, manufacturing and distributing a comprehensive array of sheet fed and UV Curing inks that address virtually every printing and production requirement. By continuously investing in the latest technology, our customers can count on us to produce inks that use the same exacting, high-quality standards across all applications to produce guaranteed color consistency with no batch-to-batch variation.

From our PrimeBio process series to our Best Cure UV Tio inks, you can find a solution that will provide the flexibility and versatility that best fits your unique printing application. Our goal is to increase your pressroom efficiency.
The road ahead
As Van Son heads forward, as proud member of the TOKA Group of companies, we remain grounded in our heritage – one rooted in an entrepreneurial spirit and coupled with an overriding sense of corporate and environmental responsibility.

We recognize that printing inks and related supplies will continue to grow in new areas of highly functional products which is why Van Son will continue to incorporate its unique techniques and proprietary formulations with elemental technologies to form the basis of pigments and other materials.

We believe that a diversified line of ink products, including inks for goods packaging as well as environmentally-friendly products, are all areas within the industry that will experience large growth in the future. Because Van Son has always been the pinnacle of technology, we will continue to employ our leading, innovative techniques to remain a formidable change agent in the future of ink technology.

We believe we are entering another golden age of opportunity, where printing technologies abound. We embrace the future with optimism and excitement toward the challenges that lie ahead. Van Son remains committed to those who ultimately have helped us become a leader in our industry – and that is you, our customers. Without your continued support, we could not have achieved the innovative ink breakthroughs that have helped to revolutionize our industry, and for that we are truly thankful.
Van Son Printing Inks since 1872

Global Partners

Van Son has a strong dealer network around the world. Van Son printing inks and supplies can be obtained from authorised Van Son partners.
Van Son Printing Inks Global Contact

Find your dealer

  • T&K S.r.l.
    Via Canonica, 1
    20154 Milano (Italy)
    +39 392 4304621
    Wifac B.V.
    Rendementsweg 20B-1
    3641 SL Mijdrecht
    Tel. +31 (0)297 289691
    Fax +31 (0)297 289655
    Van Son Inks and Graphics
    Unit 20/21 Savannah Park,
    2A Sneezewood Road, Glen Anil
    Durban North, 4051
    Tel. 0860 VANSON or 0860 826 766
    Fax 0865 234080 or 031 5694576
    Inks & Printing Technologies Ltd
    3 Spindle Court, Spindle way, Crawley
    West Sussex RH10 1AX
    Tel. 0845 603 4005