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Litho Printing

What is Litho Printing?

Litho printing, also known as lithography, is built upon the basic principle that oil and water do not mix.

Firstly, ‘plates’ need to be produced by a plate-making machine for each page and each colour used within the job. This process etches images and text into aluminum plates as microscopic dots, and once complete are put in to the litho press as part of the set-up process.

Each plate is dampened with water and coated with ink. Since oil and water do not mix, the vegetable oil based inks only stick to the imaged areas of the plate that are not wet and the water only to the un-etched coated area of the plate. The ink in the imaged areas is then transferred to the paper by compressing it between a cylinder and a rubber ‘blanket’ cylinder.

Litho printing can use either the four colour process known as CMYK, or Pantone colours. For more information about colour, please see our colour guide.

Falkland Press only uses the newest Heidelberg Presses with the highest print quality and speed. We use sustainably sourced paper and we work to exacting colour standards.

Key Benefits of Litho Printing


Our new technology affords quick make-ready times and allows us to begin printing in the quickest time.

Tight Deadlines

Although plates have to be made, this is an automated process and set up on our litho presses only takes 5 minutes. This coupled with the fact that our presses run at 18,000 and 15,000 sheets per hour respectively, you can rely on fast turnarounds.

Cost Saving

Despite initial costs involved in creating the plates for the job at the outset, for print quantities in excess of 500, litho printing is still more cost effective per printed item.

Economies of Scale

The higher the quantity, the lower the unit cost per printed item.

Use of Pantone® Colours

Litho printing benefits from the use of Pantone® colours in addition to the standard CMYK colour palette. When colours can’t be made from CMYK a Pantone® colour is used instead, which gives a smooth consistent finish and is ideal for brand consistency.

Exceptional Print Quality

Whilst the print quality of digital has developed over recent years to the point where the difference between litho and digital is nearly indistinguishable for most jobs, the outcome for some jobs are still of better quality when litho printed.

Colour Consistency

With Inpress Control, which is hardware/software that reads the colour on every sheet as it runs and dynamically adjusts the colour levels automatically, is a vast improvement to the manual process still required by older presses. This ensures that everything it prints is to an exacting standard and guarantees no variation in colour throughout the job and against later re-prints.

Hard Wearing

With biodegradable coating our work is completely rub resistant, has a high quality smooth surface and is fully dry within 10 minutes of printing.

Litho Printing is suitable for:

  • Publishers
  • Start-up Businesses
  • Designers
  • Marketers
  • Event Managers
  • Product Testers
  • Retailers

Popular Litho Printing products:

  • Book publishing
  • Instruction manuals
  • Business cards & stationery
  • Leaflets & brochures
  • Packaging
  • Posters
  • Point of sale

Litho Printing – Technical Details

More technical details about litho printing are available here as a PDF.