Graphic Chemical & Ink Company is a world leader in the fine art field of printmaking. We manufacture our own time-tested inks for etching, litho and relief printing, as well as sell screen print inks, papers, tools, chemistry, plates and supplies for all of a printmaker's needs

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Location: Villa Park, Illinois, United States

I have worked for Graphic Chemical & Ink Company since 1968 - with a brief hiatus(almost 4 years) to travel the World courtesy of my uncle. Sadly it turns out it was my Uncle Sam, and I wasn't too thrilled about the places that he chose to send me. My wife and I have run Graphic Chemical for many years, and have enjoyed the travel that comes with the position. We get to meet our customers (and the occasional vendor) from all over the World

Monday, September 24, 2007


There are a variety of products that I should have thought of first, but someone beat me to them. There are even a few that I did think of first and brought to market first. It always amazes me when I hear the story about how a product got to the point of being in our catalog. Sometimes the story is even true!

One such product - or actually a group of products came about during a consumer show in Washington, DC back in the late '80's. We were demonstrating a wiping technique as we always did at the consumer shows, Typically at a show like this we would print anywhere from 300-1000 etchings (approximately 7 x 11") in three days.

During this particular show I was stressed to the maximum when another vendor came by and flipped a bar of soap unto the table. He suggested that when I cleaned up I should try his soap. I patiently (o.k. I was patronizing, but it had been a long day!) explained that these were oil based inks and would not clean up with ordinary soap and water.

He told me quite bluntly, " Son, if you don't try it you'll never know if it works, now will you?" I was quite young back then, but not really in the mood for a lecture on washing my hands.

I decided that I would clean up right then, find his booth and if my luck held, I'd tell him in front of lots of customers that his lousy product didn't work. I marched to the restroom pulled out his soap and a hand towel and proceeded to wash my hands. A few minutes later I stumbled to his booth, with close to 15 people standing there, and announced that I'd just washed with his soap. Jim listened to me for a few seconds and said, "And....?" And, I said it's really great stuff!

We've sold The Masters Hand Soap in two sizes for years, and to my knowledge never had anyone complain about it not working. One customer on the West Coast, thought that she'd need to give up printmaking altogether because of allergies to many solvents. When she tried The Masters for all of her clean up she was thrilled.

In addition to the hand soap, they make a spot cleaner called Kiss-Off that does for clothing what the hand soap does for your hands. There are numerous other products like brush cleaners etc that don't fit with our product line as well.

Sometimes you just gotta try something before you make up your mind about it. It's hardly a radical idea, but a gentle reminder every once in a while is helpful, at least for me.


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