What Is Litho Printing?

What Is Litho Printing

History of Lithography

Applications of Litho Printing

The Lithographic Printing Process


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Litho printing is also known as lithography or lithographic printing or planography or planographic 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.

Litho printing is one of the few printing processes that are used as an art form and commercially as well. The litho printing process is very simple and in fact very popular with art students as project work. Commercially, litho printing or litho is often used synonymously with offset printing. Lithography is the most recent on all the major printing processes and the history of litho printing is very intriguing.

Litho printing also has many applications today. Most artists use lithography to express their creativity in a variety of forms. Commercially, litho printing has come a long way and stones have been replaced by metal plates. The basic printing process remains the same but has been upgraded with the latest technology. 

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