The Great Pronto Plate: Polymer Plate Lithography

Polyester plate or “pronto plate” lithography is an immediate and often playful printing process that offers a non-toxic option for artists to incorporate visual elements as disparate as photography, digital designs and hand drawn illustrations. Pronto plates offer a ton of possibilities for artists, illustrators, photographers, and anyone who wants to learn a low-cost, versatile print process. Photographic plates can be made using a standard laser printer, then reworked or added to with a variety of tools like ballpoint pens, crayons and markers. Taking advantage of the hydrophobic (water-fearing) and hydrophilic (water-loving) properties of the polymer plate, the image is printed with oil-based ink from a flat surface.

The Great Pronto Plate introduces polymer plates as a low-cost process ripe for experimentation. Over the course of four weeks, students will develop a portfolio of prints using a set of plates printed in various combinations. Adding to the possibilities, students will learn and experiment with range of monoprinting techniques. Finally, students will construct of folio case to house their culminating project.