Talking about this printing, it is also called lithographic printing or lithography, planographic or planographic printing. It works on general principle that water and oil do not mix. Different than relief printing and the intaglio where image and non-image zones are at dissimilar levels, here in lithography there is only single surface.
Exciting thing about this printing is that it is from a stone or simply a metal plate having a smooth surface. It was created in 1796 by German author and well known actor Alois Senefelder. Initially it was formed as a cheap technique of publishing theatrical works. However, the realm of Lithography is very wide; it can get used in printing text or artwork onto paper or any other suitable material.
What is the Difference?
Under intaglio and relief printing the areas of an image to be printed are elevated. Moreover, therein the areas of non-images create the base surface. It is always lower than image areas. However, in Litho printing the image areas and the areas of non-image are all on the same level. Here the surface of printing is always flat.
A popular one!
Lithography is a popular surface-printing (planographic) technique which is founded on the immiscibility i. e. chemical repulsion of oil and water. Actually, lithography swiftly became popular with different artists as a means of imitation. An artist just drew a picture on a stone then it was pressed to generate lots of copies on paper.
You know this printing is one of the few printing procedures which are used as an art form and commercially too. The printing process of litho is extremely simple and in fact is substantially popular with art pupils as project work. In the commercial sense, litho is frequently used synonymously with offset printing. Lithography is most new on all the main printing processes and history of this printing is extremely intriguing.
Variety of Application
This printing also have various applications today. Most of the artists make use of lithography for expressing their creativity in a diversity of forms. In a commercial sense, this printing has come with an extended method. Now the stones have got replaced by metal plates. However, the basic printing procedure remains same but has been promoted with the latest machinery.
As a printing technology, lithography is very different from intaglio printing. In intaglio printing, a plate gets etched, engraved or stippled to notch cavities to cover the printing ink, letterpress printing or woodblock printing where ink is applied to the elevated surfaces of letters or graphics. If we talk about contemporary world, most kinds of high-volume magazines and books, mainly when exemplified in colour, are printed with offset lithography. It has indeed become the commonest form of printing technology since the 1960s. It is very much prevalent among artists and people relish this printing like any other!
Thus there is no doubt that Litho printing has made a unique niche in the hearts of artists and professionals. However, it is also true that digital Printing inclines to take lesser time than Lithographic Printing because it is usually less complicated.