What Is Litho Printing?

What Is Litho Printing


Lithography, commonly referred to as lithographic printing, is a printing method where an image is mass-produced by placing the desired content onto a printing plate and covering the plate with ink.

 The image produced from the ink is then passed over with a wet ink roller and removed from the printing plate. Finally, the image is moved to a rubber blanket and transferred over to the final print material, most often paper, where the complete image is printed.

Because litho printing offsets an image from printing plates to a rubber roller rather than applying the ink to the paper directly, the technique is commonly called offset printing. 

In an age where digital printing is widely accessible, using offset litho printing might sound needlessly complex. However, there are benefits to lithographic printing that digital printers cannot offer.

Lithographic Printing vs. Digital


come in we are open sign in red and white

Digital printing didn’t become popular until the 1990s. It uses that newer technology to its advantage. With this printing technique, people can receive their printed paper quicker than with litho because of the technology behind the process. 

Digital printing involves transferring an image into a series of pixels. The series of pixels determine where ink is distributed onto a sheet of paper as the printer produces the image.

This process prints quicker than litho printing but also comes with a few drawbacks. For example, digital printing generally produces images with a lower color quality than litho print. It also isn’t effective for printing large quantities.

On the other hand, lithographic printing can easily print large batches of images in a solid color. However, it will need more time, as this method involves frequently transferring items between printing plates and rubber rollers.

How Can Litho Print Be Used


One of the most common uses for offset lithography is for printing magazines.

These physical forms of reading are often image-reliant and need to use litho printing methods to print high-quality pictures.


The effectiveness of posters is mainly dependent on the quality of the color and the displayed image.

Lithographic printing and the printing plates used in the process can make poster inks look higher quality than ones made from cheap digital printers.


Similar to posters, brochures depend heavily on the quality and color of their pictures to be effective.

Print methods that can’t produce vibrant colors or pictures won’t do for paper brochures. That’s why people gravitate toward lithography when they need brochures printed.


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Why Choose Litho Printing

large format screen printers printing

With how quick digital printing is, many people choose that method when they need something printed. And if their print project is relatively small scale, a digital print is probably the best route.

Digital printing is an excellent option for people on a time crunch or who only need to print a handful of pictures. But for larger projects that require solid color quality, litho print is the ideal choice.

Factors to Consider for Your Litho


Color Range

If you need to print for professional or marketing purposes, it is vital that your image quality is as stellar as you want your product or services to be perceived.

That’s why litho print is the standard option for printing projects among businesses. With lithographic printing, the ink on the paper dries quicker, preserving the detail and overall quality of the color. Litho gives the print a more comprehensive range of tones and shades.


The price of your printing project will vary on a few factors. When choosing your option, consider the volume of printing you’ll be doing. You can save a lot of money with either option depending on your project’s scope.

Lithographic printing can be a highly cost-effective option when performed in large batches, but digital printing can save money if you only need to print a handful of items.


Before committing to either lithography or digital printing, it is crucial to consider the timeline of when you need your prints finished.

For as much quality color as lithography can bring, the process will take far longer to complete than digital printing. If you have time on your hands and are okay with waiting longer for a better-looking product, litho printing could serve you well. However, if you are looking for paper prints immediately, digital is likely the best option.

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Litho Printing With KDM

posters laying in piles on pallets

Whether you need digital printing or a litho print, the print and design experts at KDM are here to help you finish your project.

Our team can help you settle on a design vision for your print project. We can help bring that vision to life in higher image quality than you can get from a basic at-home printer.

To learn more about our services or to service a price quote for a lithography project, call our team today at (513) 769-3500.

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