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Litho printing is the short form of lithographic printing which refers to the process of reproducing images by transferring ink from a flat solid surface onto paper. Lithography literally means ‘to write from stone’, the term originating when limestone tablets were used as the ink transmitting surface.
Litho printing today is used as a catch all term for any high-volume analogue printing process. Brochures, posters, leaflets, books, newspapers and packaging are all produced by ‘litho printing’ even though the printing process and machinery involved can vary considerably between different production methods.
The constantly falling costs of technology has put litho printing under threat in recent years and ultimately digital printing, using professional inkjet printers, will replace litho. But for the time being digital can’t quite match the image quality of litho printing which remains the favourite choice of graphic designers and artists the world over.
Litho Printing for Business
Due to the superior ability of the PANTONE colour matching system to maintain consistent brand colours across a wide range of marketing materials, litho is still top choice for most forms of marketing related printing. Brochures, leaflets, pamphlets and posters can all be produced fairly cheaply and in high volumes by litho printing companies to specifications which include:
- Paper size (A0, large poster size; A8, business card size)
- Paper weight (80gsm, writing pad paper thickness; 350gsm, greeting card thickness)
- Finish (matt, gloss, silk or UV-spot)
- Colours (B&W, 4-colour)
- Binding (brochures can be spiral, staple or perfect bound)
- Folding (leaflets can be produced with bi-tri or map folding)
- Perforations (for order forms or vouchers)
Litho Printing Costs
Litho printing prices vary wildly between companies. Variations in cost prices mean that every supplier has a different price structure. In addition, the price per page drops with higher volumes and longer turnarounds (because jobs using similar colours can be lumped together in the same run). Consequently there’s no way to provide a comprehensive guide. When pricing up a litho printing job you should gather as many quotes as possible from different printing companies and, if quality is of high importance, request samples of similar pieces of work.
Litho Printing Quotes
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Get Quotes for Litho Printing