photopolymer vs. engraving

Please weigh in; which do you think is better?

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These are two different processes and I’m not sure you could compare which is better of the two. However engraving is a beautiful product and it’s unfortunate people using thermography as a cheap way to duplicate the process. The engraving I’ve seen is pretty consistent and it’s not with thermography.

Inky Lips Letterpress

Do you mean photo-polymer vs. photo-engraving?

Or photopolymer vs. photomechanical engraving?

If the former, which thickness and backing? Thin or thick, steel- or polyester?

And if the latter, which metal? magnesium, zinc, or copper?

Personally, I prefer steel-backed thin photopolymer mounted on a Bunting Base or copper photomechanical engravings mounted on a honeycomb base.

The OP’s question is simplistic. What do you want to achieve? And what is the best approach to this is the better question.

Otherwise, it’s just apples and oranges. This will work adequately for that, this will work better for that. It isn’t a matter of a competition.


I’ve only used photo engraved magnesium… but I also haven’t had much of a choice, now that I do, I too am wondering what the difference between photo poly and photo engrave is…

My biggest questions are:
how do you register your paper with photo polymer? does the base get in the way? and can you get the same amount of pressure with the poly that you can with the engraved?

any answers would be greatly appreciated!

Hmmm….thank you for your considered responses! I had no idea, obviously, that there were so many options out there. What I’m really trying to weigh is, what is the best/most cost effective way to recreate a digital file into a matrix that can be put in a letterpress and printed?