Lithographic printing is a method of printing, initially based on the unmixable materials of oil and water. The method was discovered by the German actor and author Alois Senefelder in 1796. Originally, the technique consisted of using an image that was drawn with fat, oil or wax. This image was drawn onto the smooth and level surface of a lithographic limestone plate. When the stone was moistened with oil based ink it was then transferred to a blank paper sheet to produce a page. This older lithography technique is still used in some fine art printmaking applications.
Today, the image is generally composed of a polymer coating applied to a supple aluminum plate. The image can be offset by transferring the image onto a flexible sheet (rubber) or it can be printed directly from the plate (a mirror image).
The words and text are engraved onto the plate which is then dampened with water to keep the ink from running. Ink is then applied to the plate and pressed against a rubber sheet on a roller. This rubber sheet now has the image from the plate and is transferred to the paper underneath it. This method is called ‘offset lithography’. Direct printing is done the same way but the image will be mirrored and applied directly.
Lithographic printing is one of the most common printing methods around. It is used to produce large volumes of books, posters, newspapers, magazines, catalogues and product packaging. Because of its ability to produce high volumes, lithography is one of the most cost effective and fast turnaround methods of printing.
Lithographic printers are specially designed to print simultaneously on both sides of the paper. This method can reduce printing time in half plus greatly increase the output of the printer. In fact, lithographic printers can produce thousands of sheets per hour.
Lithographic printing creates a clean and well defined image. Additionally, the print can be applied to many types of surfaces and materials. And unlike metal plates, the rubber sheets create a clean and smudge free print.
In addition, the latest printing technology has the ability to make minute adjustments in seconds so that you get the ideal image and text that you desire.
Setting up the print run is the highest expense of the printing process. This rings true with all types of printing. However, once the run is set up the cost decreases greatly with each page printed. This makes large volumes of printing definitely more cost effective. On the contrary, small print runs are not conducive and can cost more.
Ragi Packaging Services, in Canterbury/Bankstown region of Sydney has state-of-the-art lithographic printing services to fit all your needs. Contact:
PO BOX 747, Riverwood NSW 2210
Ragi Packaging Services Pty. Ltd.
53 Christian Rd, Punchbowl NSW 2196 AUSTRALIA
(02) 9740 4344
(02) 9740 4173
ABN: 52 003 683 047
Monday to Thursday: 8:30am - 5:00pm
Friday: 8:30am - 3:00pm
Monday to Thursday: 7:30am - 3:30pm
Friday: 7:30am - 1:30pm
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