New opportunities are emerging in the graphic-arts pre-press market stimulated by the need for digitally created images. To meet this need, we have designed a cost-effective three-color digital printer using PLZT light valves. Transparent lead lanthanum zirconate titanate (PLZT) ceramic crystals when used as a linear modulator offer a number of significant benefits. The primary advantage is that the light valve is an efficient modulator of incoherent light providing a broad spectral output ranging from 400nm to well into the infrared region. In addition, light valves offer the advantages of being small, low cost, have a wide dynamic range (>1000 to 1), and can be used with simple optical designs. The characteristics of the PLZT material plays an important role in the performance of the light valve. A number of variables such as ceramic composition, electrode spacing, and ceramic thickness can be altered to affect its quadratic electrooptic behavior. Additionally, the modulator design requires a closed-loop servo to eliminate the errors caused by the device's remanent polarization and nonlinear behavior.