Flat, in printing, is a term used to describe the state of a printing plate or piece of paper before it is fed into a printing press. A printing plate is said to be “in the flat” when it is not yet attached to a cylinder on the press. Likewise, a sheet of paper is “in the flat” before it is fed into the press.
The term can also refer to the final product, as in “the print is flat.” This usually refers to a print that lacks depth or dimension, as opposed to a relief print or an intaglio print.
Flat is a printing term that refers to the state of a printing substrate before it is fed into a press. A substrate is considered flat if its surface is free of ripples, waves, or other distortions that could affect the final print quality.
The purpose of keeping a substrate flat is to ensure that the printed image is free of these same distortions. If a substrate is not flat, the printing process can cause the image to become smeared or otherwise distorted. In some cases, a substrate may need to be flattened before it is fed into the press, while in others, the press itself may have a mechanism for flattening the substrate.
Once a substrate has been flattened, it is important to keep it that way until it is fed into the press. Otherwise, it may become distorted again and will need to be flattened once more.
Flat is important to printing for a number of reasons. First, flat ensures that your print job will have consistent registration, meaning that all colors will line up perfectly. This is especially important for multi-color jobs. Second, flat helps prevent warping and distortion of your print job, ensuring that your finished product looks exactly as you intended. Finally, flat makes it easier to print on both sides of a sheet of paper, which can save you time and money.