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Production for Print by Mark Gatter

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Film Technology

Commercial offset lithography, the printing method with which this book is mostly involved, relies on an image that has been photographically generated (an analog process, i.e. a physical and therefore a “lossy” transfer) or electrostatically generated (digital, i.e. “lossless” transfer) on a plate. Plates are typically thin sheets of aluminum coated with a photoreactive emulsion. When an exposed plate is developed, the image areas tend to attract oil-based inks, whereas the background areas tend to attract water. By keeping a delicate balance between the ink and the water—which is provided by a unit called the damper system—the right stuff sticks to the right areas and what you end up with is something capable of generating a ...

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