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Polymer Plate Making Service

Photopolymer Plate and Negative

Our photopolymer plate making service is part of our effort to keep letterpress printing current and inclusive of all the options available today. We furnish unmounted steel backed photopolymer plates that need to be mounted on a separate base with a magnetic surface that needs to be purchased separately. If you are not sure what it is that you are ordering, or this is a first-time order and especially if you are just starting letterpress, please call us to discuss your needs before ordering. In some cases, it may be a better plan to obtain traditional wood mounted magnesium photoengravings before making decisions about plates and bases.

Photopolymer is a clean, nonpolluting material. It prints wonderfully regardless of whether it's type, halftone, or line art. It is the perfect companion to digital type. It gives the printer complete control in registration. It takes all the abuse a platen or cylinder press can dish out.

How to Order

  1. Select a plate size below. Determine your plate size by reading below in What to Send.
  2. Select any applicable film output or scanning services as well. Unless you are sending us film, this means you will have to select a film output or scanning service item in addition to the plate.
  3. During checkout, review your shipping options. Next day service is available.
  4. Please email digital files to: MandatePress and include your name and phone number in the email as well as directions that the film is to be sent to NA Graphics. Mandate Press has our shipping address. If you are providing film, send film with proofs to:
  5. UPS/FedEx:               US Postal Service:
    NA Graphics              NA Graphics
    Plate Making Service     Plate Making Service
    4 Mears Avenue          PO Box 467
    Silverton, CO 81433      Silverton, CO 81433

What to Send

Image & Plate Size: Measure the widest and highest parts of your image/text area, and then add 1/2 inch to both dimensions. Find a plate size in our list of standard sizes that is the same size or larger than the measurements you arrived at. If your image/text requires crop marks, measure to the outside of the crop marks. Send us a proof of your image/test with the size of the plate desired clearly marked on it to either our email or by fax to 970-387-0127. Please include your name in your file in a trim area so we can identify your film when it arrives here for plate making.

If you are ganging images/text for multiple runs of jobs on the same plate, keep in mind that steel baked photopolymer plates can only be cut in straight lines, one cut at a time, all the way through the plate. Arrange your images or test in columns and rows, and allow at least 1/2 inch between each image/text column and row. Also mark your proof (or include in your email) with instructions on how you would like your plate cut up.

Film Pricing: We are pleased to have found a new source of film--Mandate Press, in Salt Lake City. They still produce film at reasonable prices. The continued availability of film has become a significant problem.

Please make sure your name and phone number appears somewhere on the finished film, preferably along a trim edge, so we can identify whose film it is that we receive.

Film: Photopolymer plates for letterpress printing are exposed through emulsion up right reading negative film. Please send your film in a protective package, with a clean sheet of paper on either side, and taped to a larger rigid piece of cardboard.

Digital Files: We can take your PC or Mac files via email sent directly by email to our bureau noted above, and output film for you. Name the files intended for output using the plate size names followed by your initials and the date, ex: A3FK111405. Include with your file all supporting image files and fonts in addition to a text (README) file listing the software applications, fonts and images used to create your document, as well as information on how to reach you. PDF files with fonts and images embedded are preferable over any other format. EPS files are also acceptable.

Film Processing

Scanning Service

  • Maximum image size: 8 1/2x12 inches.
  • Line art or black & white photographs only.
  • Photographs will be converted to halftones.
  • Please specify desired LPI.

We are not responsible for loss or damage of originals.

"A3 Photopolymer Plate, processed, 16x11 inches"
PPMA3 Quantity
"A4 Photopolymer Plate, processed, 11x8 inches"
PPMA4 Quantity
"A5 Photopolymer Plate, processed, 8x5 1/2 inches"
PPMA5 Quantity
"A6 Photopolymer Plate, processed, 5 1/2x4 inches"
PPMA6 Quantity
"A7 Photopolymer Plate, processed, 4x2 1/2 inches"
PPMA7 Quantity
"Film Output, 12x18 inches"
Price shown is for film only and shipping charges from our service bureau to NA Graphics will be added, depending on the level of service requested. Film processing is billed at cost.
"Film Output, 8 x 10 inches"
Price shown is for film only and shipping charges from our service bureau to NA Graphics will be added, depending on the level of service requested. Film processing is billed at cost.
"Scanning Service, 8 1/2x12 inches maximum"
Price shown at actual cost to us and is for Grayscale artwork, line art is $10.00 less.