In printing, a “burn” is a term used to describe a dark area on a print caused by a printing plate that has been exposed to too much light, resulting in a dense, black deposit of ink on the paper. The term can also refer to a dark area on a negative or positive film image caused by over-exposure to light.
A printing plate is made by first coating it with a light-sensitive material, such as a photosensitive polymer. The plate is then exposed to a high-intensity light source, which causes the light-sensitive material to harden in the areas that were exposed to light. The plate is then developed, which removes the unexposed material, leaving a raised image on the plate.
When the printing plate is inked and then brought in contact with paper, the ink will only adhere to the raised areas of the plate. The areas of the paper that come in contact with the inked plate will transfer the ink to the paper, creating a printed image.
If the printing plate is exposed to too much light during the exposure process, the areas that are exposed to the light will harden too much. When these areas of the plate are inked and brought in contact with paper.
Burning is a critical part of the printing process as it determines the final image that is printed on the paper. By carefully controlling the burning process, printers are able to produce high-quality prints with consistent results. Without a proper burn, the image on the paper can be smeared or distorted, affecting the overall quality of the print.
While some printers may be able to get away with a less than perfect burn, for those who require the highest quality prints, a well-executed burn is essential. For these printers, the importance of burn can not be understated. By taking the time to ensure a proper burn, they can be confident that their prints will meet the highest standards.