I think they are smaller versions of the shadow inks since the color names are the same and both are water-based, acid-free, archival, and fade resistant. I know these cubes are dye inks rather than pigment ink or a hybrid of pigment and dye. They will not work well for embossing because they dry quicker than pigment ink does. I have used them to stamp sentiments and images and they work great. I do not have any of the larger size Hero Arts ink pads, but I have about 40 different colors of these smaller ink cubes. I hope some of this helps you. Maybe you could go to the Hero Arts site and ask there if you need more info.