Traditional prepress consists of image preparation and platemaking.
Image preparation begins with camera-ready (mechanical) art/copy or electronically produced art supplied by the customer. Images are captured for printing by camera, scanner, or computer. Components of the image are manually assembled and positioned in a printing flat when a camera is used. This process is called stripping. When art/copy is scanned or digitally captured, the image is assembled by the computer with special software. A proof is prepared to check for position and accuracy. When color is involved, a color proof is submitted to the customer for approval.
Printing plates are the device that transfers picks up the ink off the metering roller and transfers the image onto the substrate.
A film negative is produced by using a photographic film process. The film is then used to expose the plate material, which is coated with light sensitive chemicals, to UV light. The plate is then chemically developed using water or solvent to remove the unexposed image areas of the plate ultimately producing a plate with raised image that is identical to the artwork. One plate is made for each ink color used on the job.