Lithography vs Print

Lithography is a historic technique of making prints and a large part in the printing industry’s history, helping to weave the many evolutions and technological discoveries that brought us to modern print technology. While it’s antiquated now, the art of lithography still has a lasting effect on the print world, so it’s important to understand what it was and how it’s different from how modern printing evolved. 

What is Lithography? Lithography is a form of printmaking using stone or metal plates where a print is made by applying a substance that is ink-resistant to a surface before applying ink. This leaves ink markings in the places left untreated. This form of product reproduction sparked a big revolution, leading to an increasing demand for reprinted texts and leading up to some major revolutions in how prints were created. These chemical-based prints lead to the use of more modern metal plates, though they were done manually and were often irregular in their outcomes. Since they were done manually and often required an artist’s touch, these were viewed as works of art and typically also held a signature.

Printing, on the other hand, is a method which embraces mechanics and takes the hands-off approach to reproduction. Printing is done with ink being applied directly to the paper surfaces where it’s desired and it’s often a near-perfect reproduction of an original piece, without any irregularities. While modern day print mastery can be viewed as an art form, it has no artist’s touch or signature, but instead relies on the help of software, printers, and print experts. Printers have outlasted lithography, evolving over the years with new and more updated features in every model released.

While lithography may now be considered an outdated form of printmaking, it was revolutionary in its time and it’s helped to lead the way for modern printing by driving the interest in printed mediums. Now, print is a global industry used for a variety of everyday purposes and lithography is a more antique form that is celebrated as art. In moving forward, the print industry will continue to evolve and flourish, and we’ll be glad to keep you updated in its latest techniques and technology as we strive to continue producing high quality print products. Let us make your print dreams a reality! Contact us today for an estimate.