FAQs About Printing Plates The following questions are commonly asked about printing plates:
What are printing plates used for?
In the commercial printing industry, printing plates are used for transferring a design from the plate to another object via a printing press. These plates can be made out of metal, plastic, or many other materials. The design is placed on the print using either photomechanical, photochemical or laser engraving, depending on the capabilities of the business. It can either be a negative design, where the image will be shown in reverse, or it can be positive, where the design on the plate will be the exact image shown.
What printing plates are best?
It is commonly accepted that the most durable printing plates are metal. This is because they last a long time and can be reused over and over again. However, metal plates are also the most expensive. Paper plates are the cheapest, but they are not reusable. Once a design is placed on a paper plate it cannot be removed. Therefore, many businesses may try to save money by purchasing paper plates for small printing runs.
How do printing plates deal with printing different colors?
By design, a printing plate is only able to be inked with one color. If more than one color is placed on the plate, the inks will run together and ruin the design. Therefore, if the image requires multiple colors, it will require the use of multiple printing plates. In CMYK printing, only 4 colors are used, so this process can help save business owners time in preparing printing plates.