A plate, in printing, is a flat, smooth, and often polished metal surface on which a design is engraved, etched, or otherwise impressed for printing. Plates are typically used in offset lithography, though they can be used for other printing processes as well. The design on a plate is transferred to a rubber blanket and then to the paper or other substrate.
A plate, in printing, is a flat, smooth surface on which an image is transferred to a substrate. The substrate is then fed into a press, where it is inked and the image is printed. Plates are typically made of metal, but they can also be made of other materials, such as plastic or glass.
Plates are usually made of aluminum, but they can also be made of zinc, copper, or steel. The choice of metal depends on the printing process to be used and the desired quality of the print. Aluminum plates are lightweight and easy to handle, making them well suited for high-speed, automated printing processes. Zinc and copper plates are harder and more durable, making them better suited for intaglio printing processes. Steel plates are the heaviest and most durable, making them ideal for letterpress printing.
Plates are used in both offset and digital printing. In offset printing, plates are used to transfer an image to a rubber blanket, which in turn transfers the image to the substrate. In digital printing, plates are used to transfer an image directly to the substrate.
Plates are usually imaged using a computer-to-plate (CTP) system. In a CTP system, a computer is used to generate a high-resolution image of the page to be printed. This image is then output to a plate-making device, which creates the plate.
Plate imaging can also be done using a direct-to-plate (DTP) system. In a DTP system, the image is generated directly on the plate, without the use of a computer.