The printing plate cards added to some Cryptozoic trading card products are an opportunity for collectors to own a piece of completely unique memorabilia! While the new plate cards are cool, we thought everyone would like a little more information about what the plates are and how they are used in the printing process. Our printing plates are 12-gauge Fuji Positive thermal aluminum plates with positive emulsion coating.
Once we have final card files, they are sent to the printer to be assigned to an imposition template (layout). The files are then ripped to become one-bit TIFFs that are sent to the platesetter, separated by each plate color.
The platesetter is an auto-loader that loads the plate into the plate imager. A conveyor then loads the plate into the plate processor and the oven. Separate conveyors take the heated plate through the oven into the rinse gum unit, and finally into the stacker where it cools down as the other plates are processed.
The plates are then mounted to the drums of the offset printing press for each color: Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, and Black. Four-color images will receive a layer from each color to produce the final product. The printing press can run incredibly fast, and most of our trading card jobs are processed in less than one day.
Once the job is complete, the plates are removed from the press with ink still applied so that the printing area for that plate is visible.
Once the plate is removed, it is flattened out and ready to be cut up into cards. Having one of these cards is truly unique, as only one plate for each color was used during the printing process, and is the only one in existence. Once the cards are cut out with a die cut, the corners are rounded for safety.
These newly created cards are loaded into the pack-out hoppers, which are programmed to drop the cards evenly across the entire pack-out, making their way to collectors!
We are very excited to offer Cryptozoic customers a chance to add a completely unique item to their collections, and the print plate cards are a perfect way to do that!
Front of Plate
Back of Plate