What is a Printing Plate?

A Printing Plate is used in offset printing

What is a Printing Plate?

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A printing plates is a flexible material used to transfer images and text onto a surface during the printing process. Whether it’s printed clothes, magazines, bags or catalogues, it is very similar to a rubber stamp but much larger.

In general, there are 3 types of plates known for offset printing;
1- Gravure
2- Aluminum
3- Lithographic plates

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Printing plates are produced by the printer. The clients needs to send the digital artwork to the printer to be able to verify and produce the printing plate.

The digital artwork must be summited in CMYK format. And that is the only way to create 4 plates to represent each color in the printing process. The CMYK stands for (C)yan, (M)agenta, (Y)ellow and Blac(K) or (K)ey.

Depending on the size and quantity of the finished printed product, several copies of the file may be printed on a large sheet of paper and then trimmed to size afterward.

The fronts and backs can be imaged on the same plate in a work-and-turn or work-and-tumble layout. Of these approaches, sheet wise is usually more expensive because it takes double the number of plates. Depending on the size of the project, the number of inks, and the size of the sheet of paper, the prepress department chooses the most efficient way to impose the project on the plates.