We produce highest-standards, calibrated, photogravure plates from image files that replicate on the intaglio press what artists see on their display. We meet expectations.
Our proprietary process is less expensive, yet is higher-fidelity than the copperplate process.
You adjust your image on your display to your satisfaction. Send us your image file by secure transfer. We produce the photogravure plate and ship it to you. You can choose whatever size plate you want. The smallest size is up to you and our largest size is 31" x 42" (78cm x 106cm).
You can then print the photogravure plate in your own intaglio studio, or we can print for you in ours. You can come here to work in collaboration at rates greatly reduced from our published. We can make photogravure plates ready for inking and wiping in just 60 minutes. There is a 2 day minimum and a lot of work can be produced in a day.
How we do this:
Instead of film positives and exposing screens made of dot patterns, we invented a system of gradated shades of UV absorbing inkjet-ink & software that print the image directly to the surface of a photopolymer plate at a higher resolution of 2880 dots per inch. These ten multi-overlapping inkjet-inks produce tens of thousands of gray levels. These gray levels are successively less and less sensitive to UltraViolet light and the plate is successively more and more resistant to being exposed. That's a beautiful marriage of inks and substrate that produces an unusually long and smooth tonal range for photogravure and results in a print that can rival the smoothness of platinum printing.
Most of the inkjet-ink droplets are microscopic in size. Because of the absence of film and glass, the exposure to Ultraviolet light causes these tiny grains of ink to perfectly form divots of varying depth in the surface of the plate that when inked, wiped, and printed on press can not easily be seen in the print even with the strongest loupe. You can think of it as a microscopic aquatint.
The platemaking services we offer are calibrated to a standard intaglio-ink mixture of between 20%-30% transparent base. The plates however, respond well to more or less base as would a copperplate. They wipe much easier.
The actual direct-to-plate printing process uses our converted EPSON SureColor P-9000 printers. The inkjet-ink is not a system we distribute outside our studio. The system produces extraordinary results from either low or high resolution files. The image file is printed directly to the surface of the photopolymer plate with each shade of inkjet-ink being printed on or near one another at 2880 dots per inch. Most traditional photogravure processes use an exposing screen of 300 dots per inch (dpi), and some up to 600 dpi. The results of our 2880 dpi process are immediately noticeable in comparison.
We developed our own high irradiance UV exposure systems that produce 7 times more UV radiation than a conventional exposure system. The exposed plate is developed with ordinary water; the process non-toxic. After processing the plate is further hardened with UV to withstand dozens if not 100s of printings on an intaglio press.
Detail is incredible. There is significant shadow and highlight definition, both not typical to the medium. A very long tonal range extends from a very good and easy to wipe black to highlights that wipe cleanly. There doesn't appear to be a visible grain if it is not in the image file. However, if you would like a grainier appearance, you can simply add it to your image file.
You can order plates for your studio here.
Customers who prefer to come to Cone Editions to work in photogravure, rather than work remotely, pay special rates by the day or week, and will notice that it takes only a scant hour from computer display to the plate being ready for proofing on the press.
You can also Email us to begin your project.
Ready to Print Photogravure Plates
You supply the image and we produce the plate either to send to you for printing in your studio, or we can print it in ours!
Within the maximum plate area you can choose to have the plate trimmed to the image or include a plate margin (unprinted border around the image) as in the photo on the left. The image will cause an impression to be impressed into the paper. The plate margin allows for there to be a border of un-inked paper around the image surrounded by an impression into the paper.
|Maximum Area Plate Size
|Price Per Plate
up to 4"x5" Minimum of 2 Plates
5"x7" Minimum of 2 Plates
Photogravure Prints (or Proofs) Per Image
There is a setup charge for each proofing or printing session. This charge covers our wet packing of the paper, preparation of the press/inks, and drying/flattening of the paper post printing or proofing session. The cost is $200 for 15x22 or smaller paper, $250 for 22x30 paper, and $400 for larger than 22x30 paper. It will be incurred for each proofing or printing session. Proofs or prints are priced at the same prices below.
On up to 11x15 paper
1-4 prints per each plate $115 each
5-10 prints per each plate $95 each
10+ prints per each plate $85 each
On up to 15x22 paper
1-4 prints per each plate $165 each
5-10 prints per each plate $150 each
10+ prints per each plate $133 each
On up to 22x30 paper
1-4 prints per each plate $275 each
5-10 prints per each plate $260 each
10+ prints per each plate $240 each
On up to 30x44 paper
1-4 prints per each plate $500 each
5-10 prints per each plate $402 each
10+ prints per each plate $350 each
When we print your work...
While we have an exact idea of how your image will translate into a plate and how that plate can be printed to match your image on a display, there is a myriad of possibilities that can be produced by what intaglio inks are chosen and mixed, how the plate is wiped, and the paper chosen. It takes at least a single printing to get even a glimpse of what is possible. Two are better. Were you in our studio you might see the potential as being endless watching what a change in inking can do or how wiping differently might benefit an image. The reality is that how one sees their work in a new medium, no matter how familiar they are with it on a display, is filled with possibility and potential. And this takes proofing. Were it up to us, we would have each and everyone of our customers ask us to proof to our heart and mind's content. But it is also an expensive proposition. Just be aware that photogravure is a gorgeous medium with great potential and seeing your work in carbon black, or one of our house blends, or sepia, or bone black with a touch of graphite, or in color, or in a black made from color is a possibility should you choose.