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What is litho printing?

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We get asked all the time "What is Litho Printing". Litho printing works on the basic principle that oil and water do not mix. Unlike relief printing and intaglio where the image and non-image areas are at different levels, in lithography there is only one surface. In intaglio and relief printing the image areas to be printed are raised and the non-images areas form the base surface, which is lower than the image areas. However, in lithography the image areas and the non-image areas are all on the same level. The printing surface is flat. In lithography a flat stone is treated in a manner so that the image areas attract the oil-based inks and the non-image wet areas repel the oil-based inks. When the stone is pressed against the surface to be printed on, the oily inked image areas leave an imprint of the desired design.


Most Lithographic printers use B2 and B1, this means that potentially more than one job can be printed at the same time, this is call batch printing.

Say for instance you can fit 100 sets of business cards on to one set of plates ( 4 plates one for each colour CMYK ) this allows you to print all the cards on one run. This is why we are able to sell business cards at an affordable price as all 100 sets of cards pay for the plates and run time as a collective.


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