Photoplate lithography​

A version of lithography that enables photographic images to be printed by using light-sensitive aluminium plates. The inking and printing is the same as traditional stone lithography.

Process one

The artwork is drawn onto transparent film or a photographic image is digitally printed onto transparent digital film. An exposure unit is used to expose the image onto the photolitho plate which is a thin aluminium plate with a light sensitive coating.

A woman completing the process of photo lithography using a stencil in a white box
A photo lithography plate being washed in preparation for being printed
Process two

The plate is put into a developing solution and the coating of the plate that was exposed to light washes away, leaving areas that were shielded by the image. These are the areas that will attract ink.

Process three

The plate is inked up in a similar manner to stone lithography. The surface of the plate is dampened with a sponge so the ink is repelled from the wet areas and only sticks to the areas of the image.

A photo lithography plate being printed by a woman rolling ink onto the stencil and paper beneath