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Frequently Asked Questions About Lithographic Negatives and Plates Services
Lithographic printing is the most widely used method of mass commercial printing due to its high quality and relatively quick turnaround time. If you are interested in learning more about lithographic negative and plate services, then these answers to a few commonly asked questions might be helpful to you:
What is lithography? Lithography is a centuries-old printing method involving the application of a greasy crayon image and water onto a lithographic plate. The image is reproduced when an oil based ink is rolled onto the plate, which will adhere to the greasy etch but be repelled by the water. A print negative is created when a sheet of paper is pressed onto the plate.
What do lithographic negative and plate services do? Modern commercial lithographic techniques involve etching the image onto an aluminum plate using a greasy ink attracting wax, and then transferring the plate onto a cylinder in a large printing machine which disburses the ink and water. The cylinder is rolled onto a second rubber cylinder in order to produce a negative, and then rolled onto a printing medium to produce an image. Lithographic negative and plate services produce images in mass quantities using lithographic techniques. They print books, posters, brochures, magazines and all kinds of images for publishers, graphic designers and artists.
Can my digital files be transferred to lithographic plates? Most modern lithographic negative and plate services actually prefer to transfer electronic files due to the fact that they are already outfitted with the software and technology that allows easy digital reproductions. However, there are still companies that offer lithographic reproductions of physical photographs.
Manufacturers who produce lithographic negatives and plates often use machines that press digital graphics onto plates that can be used in conjunction with ink drums to print images for books, maps, and posters. If you are interested in obtaining a lithographic negative or plate, then you might need to find one of these manufacturers that has the skills and prices that meet your needs. You can begin your search by looking up some of the companies in the online directory. If you find that there are several listed in your area, then you will need to contact them to help you determine which ones are best for you. When you call the companies, you should determine how much experience they have using machines to turn digital images into lithograph negatives and plates by asking them how long they have been in the industry. If a company has been in the industry for several years, then they should have the computers, presses, type sets, offset process equipment, blankets, drums, emulsions, and inks that they need to produce the products that you want. Ask them if they use up to date digital technology for precise graphics. You should also ask the manufacturers to give you the names and numbers of other clients they have produced plates, prints, and negatives for. Contact these clients to find out how pleased they are with the services. If you hear good things, then ask the manufacturers for written price quotes that will help you choose one that is affordable for you.