A Tête-à-Tête on Computer-to-Plate

May 1999
by Lori Comtois, president and founder of PrintNet

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The advantages of Computer-To-Plate (CTP) technology, also known as Direct-To-Plate (DTP), are numerous. During the past year and a half or so, we at PrintNet have come to understand CTP’s value in saving time and money and producing a good product.Right now, going CTP is especially suitable for web runs (large quantities of a lower quality). Some vendors also offer CTP for sheet-fed runs (small quantities and higher quality), and this can work well too.Keep in mind that many people see our industry making a complete move to CTP in the near future, and I’m one of them. To avoid lost time and money, publishers and print buyers need to understand this trend.Begin to “Think Digital”Whether you’re just learning about CTP, have been considering it, or are already using it, the good news is that though you might spend some time learning the technology, using CTP won’t take a lot of planning. In fact, two words sum up the planning you need to do: Think digital. Remember these words at all stages of product development, planning, buying, and prep, and you’ll be fine.CTP starts with getting your art in a digital format. Don’t be satisfied with a film archive of your property. Get your hi-res files after scanning, and save your digital archive on stable media. I suggest CD-ROM.Begin right now, on your current project, and make sure to get copies of all the files (hi-res scans) from your separator. Keep these files. Now you’re ready for CTP.Stop thinking you can pull old film to…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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