What is litho print?

Raise your hand if you have a friend who has a small business, or is now a self-professed wedding stationer, photographer, designer or illustrator? Or maybe you’re that very friend? New advances in the print industry and print on demand, as well as the ability to set up a business in your own home and online means that homemade and unique are the new high end designs. 

However, faking your way through fancy print industry jargon isn’t easy. If the term lithography, or litho for short, is something you can’t quite get your head around, find out what it means and most importantly, what it can do for you - after all, we have 20% off litho print right now! 

What is lithography?

Lithography is a process of printing from a flat surface which is treated to repel the ink where it is required for printing. Typically a printing plate with a relief image is dampened with water and then coated in ink, so that the ink will only stick to parts of the plate not wet with the water. The printing plate is then fixed to a roller and the image or copy is transferred onto the paper fed underneath the roller. With off-set lithography the image is transferred directly onto the rubber roller, so the paper doesn’t contact the plate. 

What's the history?

Litho print has a rich history, with the term ‘lithography’ originating from the ancient Greek word ‘lithos’, which means stone, and ‘graphein’, which means to write. Lithographic printing came from very humble 18th century beginnings, invented in 1796 by German author and actor Alois Senefelder as a cheap way to create theatre publications. Printing was originally achieved using a rudimentary system of wetting or inking limestone to get a printed relief.

How is it different to digital printing?

Digital printing is just a tad younger than its old pal, bursting onto the printing scene in the 1990’s. Digital printing involves transforming images into a matrix of pixels (dots) which are used to control the distribution of ink evenly to create the printed image. This type of printing technique is more suited to fast turnaround time print and lower volumes.

Why would litho print be right for me?

Lithography is great for bigger print jobs because once the plates have been made, actually creating the prints is pretty cheap and easy. Long-run print jobs, such as leaflets and flyers, hefty brochures, packaging, books etc., are more cost effective when printing this way.  

How can I order litho print?

This season is perfect for putting large, litho quantities to work, and lucky for you we have a supersized sale, offering 20% off litho print

Just choose from the 6 bestselling litho products and use our very handy quick-glance tables to see which quantities qualify as ‘litho’ for your size. View the tables here:

Don’t forget to enter the promo code SUPER at the checkout to get your saving!


P.S. The promo code will only work in shopping baskets that contain litho quantity orders, so steer clear of adding digital print products into your basket. You’ll need a separate basket for that! 


*Offer was valid in September 2016 only.


15 Sep 2016 14:30
I've been wondering the difference for a while - thank for this :)
David Fleming
22 Sep 2016 07:32
If only this could have a few more paper options. I always use 250gsm for my covers as I feel anything less is too "flimsy". Other than that I can't fault this offer.
10 Dec 2016 09:27
useful to have this explained so clearly
04 Mar 2017 11:42
I wasn't sure what the difference was, thanks

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