Letterpress Printing Plates

Custom photopolymer and magnesium letterpress printing plate supplier

ALL of our magnesium and photopolymer letterpress printing plates are capable of holding very fine detail required for high-quality printing with solvent or oil-based inks, including our newest product, the KF152.

These are compatible with almost any letterpress machine
Heidelberg, Adana, Craft Dragon & Quickutz are definitely some of our most popular ones.
We can also supply all our letterpress products with or without double-sided tape attached.
They are all hard enough to leave a tactile or embossed/debossed finish, which is very much in fashion at the moment.
You can find out how to order them here. 

Foil-Backed Polymer Plates

1.75mm Foil-backed Letterpress Polymer


Toyobo KF152 Foil-backed Letterpress Polymer

KF-152 Foil-Backed Photopolymer Letterpress Printing Plate

0.95mm Foil-backed Letterpress Polymer


Foil-backed Or Steel Backed?

Photopolymer letterpress plates are described as either “Foil” or “Steel Backed”. We use the expression “foil” because it refers to a very thin plastic that is bonded to the photosensitive polymer. Once the plate has been washed out, only the required print elements are left in place and the “foil” backing holds them in situ.

Foil-backed plates, the KF152 plates for example, are transparent. This obviously makes it easier to register on the base as you can see through them. Also, scissors can easily cut the backing.

We can also supply the following thicknesses of foil-backed polymer letterpress plates upon request:
0.43mm – 0.80mm – 1.14mm

You can find out how to order them here.

Steel-Backed Polymer Plates

0.95mm Steel-backed Letterpress Photopolymer plate


1.45mm Steel-backed Letterpress Photopolymer plate


1.75mm Steel-backed Letterpress Photopolymer plate


Steel backed letterpress plates are ideal if you are using a magnetic base as you won’t require glue or double-sided tape to fix in place.

We can also supply the following thicknesses of steel-backed polymer letterpress plates upon request:
0.73mm – 0.83mm – 0.17mm – 1.9mm

You can find out how to order them here. 

Magnesium Letterpress plates

16 Gauge (1.63mm) Magnesium Letterpress Plate


8 Gauge (4mm) Magnesium Letterpress Plate


Traditional Letterpress Printing Plates

Magnesium plates are the most traditional letterpress printing plates and have been used for decades. They are sometimes referred to as “zincos” because they used to be made of zinc. Different thicknesses or “gauges” are available.

How are they made?

Obviously, it requires a great deal of skill and experience to complete the process of etching magnesium letterpress plates. This is because the chemistry that makes up the etching “bath” has a lifespan. Therefore the operator has to understand the characteristics of the bath at different stages to ensure a clean etch.
At Centurion Graphics, our team has been etching magnesium plates since 1981, some 38 years! Hence, we are well equipped to meet this challenge.

Crisp Shoulders?

Photopolymer letterpress plates are able to hold finer screen frequencies, but some customers prefer traditional magnesium plates because they produce a crisper “shoulder”, in their opinion. As a result, the emboss or de-boss in the substrate is sharper.

You can find out how to order them here.