How Litho Printing Works

Lithographic printing

A brief explanation on how Lithographic printing works

Full colour printing or process colour is a system that lays down 4 primary colours: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (Key plates).

Full colour means that you can create thousands of colours from using just four primary colours. Digital cameras and computer screens use only 3 colours: Red, Green and Blue (RGB).

Each image that is used in the printing process must be converted into CMYK to achieve optimum results.

The plates are made from thin anodised aluminium that is exposed on equipment which produces a separate image for each colour.

The plates are then loaded onto the press individually where they will each transfer an image on to the paper making up a full colour impression.

To print the picture shown on a litho press in full colour, four printing plates are made (CYMK) then they are loaded onto the press.

Each plate represents a colour to be printed and must correspond to the relevant ink. Once loaded the plates are aligned and printing can commence.