I haven't been in the design business for many years, so forgive my ignorance on this one, however back in the day when you needed high resolution output, say for creating camera-ready art from Aldus Pagemaker, Quark Xpress or Illustrator files, you would send your file out to a shop and they'd output your files at ~2300 dpi to a Linotronic imagesetter which output images to photo-sensitive paper.

Are there shops that still provide this service?

I'm wanting to output line-art from an Illustrator file and hand color with them with dyes, so need to have them output on photographic paper to prevent excessive bleeding of color into the paper.



Many modern print companies today use direct to plate digital imaging technology, dispensing with the need for physical artwork/negatives in the plate making process.

You might be able to find an old fashioned/low tech print company that still uses them. Open your yellow pages, find some small family run print businesses, call them and ask. You never know!

  • Thanks..Like I said, It's been awhile...Actually I worked at a studio in the eighties pre-mac where we used to do everything on a drawing board: Layout, type spec, type setting, paste-up..then we got a Mac SE/Laserwriter Plus..doesn't seem like that long ago, but I guess it was. – jazzBox Mar 11 '20 at 14:50
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    @jazzBox Yes, me too! Layout was done with cow gum, pasting pictures and text to a paper copy, the result was photographed a large format camera to produce a photographic negative, which was then imaged on a printing plate. These kind of processes are nearly gone completely since everything is digital today, more or less. – Billy Kerr Mar 11 '20 at 14:59
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    @jazzBox - perhaps another way would be to find someone with a good quality laser printer that can print on coated stock. – Billy Kerr Mar 11 '20 at 15:03
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    @jazzBox more than 30 years ago is roughly the same as a generation. So lets say it was 1982 that means it was 38 years ago. The choice was not arbitrary its about the same distance from that date for the invention of adhesive tape is about the same as to today. Im pretty sure you didnt even think of putting your own glue on strips of paper to join two things in 1980's. Technologies dont die gracefully they just wanish from one day to the next. I have moved over to doing this kind of stuff with a laser cutter (it dont need to cut) – joojaa Mar 11 '20 at 15:10
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    Forgot Rapidographs, vellum, Letraset, hot press board, color-breaks, Pantone swatch books, Bestine. Too funny..the good old days. – jazzBox Mar 11 '20 at 15:35

I do not know if it could work a "simple" digital print but on a special substrate.

Probably some oily based inks so it does not dissolve, some plastic-ish substrate, or something like it.

About the resolution, if you are handling vectors, it probably will use the native resolution of the printer, let's say 1440PPI, which is not bad. If the print can be controlled to fire only black ink.

There are flatbed inkjet printers, that can print on different materials.

There are also big photographic prints on some type of photographic paper, probably this can become an interesting exercise, sending a 1-bit image at a higher resolution than normal and see what happens.

  • There exist inkjets and wax printers that are designed for this. We have a latex pinter that can do this although it certainly does not have this as high resolution as op asks. But i can do photopolymer stuff like this on a laser engraver too. – joojaa Mar 13 '20 at 6:45

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