Lithographic is also known as offset printing, or litho printing for short. This method of printing is where the image of the content you aim to produce is placed on a plate (aluminium), this is then covered in ink and used for printing. Litho print is generally used for longer runs and offers a more consistent and precise colour match than digital print. We have explained this in more detail below.
Our litho presses offer state-of-the-art technology ensuring a consistently high quality and colour. We work with a variety of papers and boards suitable for litho print and provide precise finishing once printed.
Our highly skilled and experienced print minders understand their machines and how to best adjust and run them for each individual print run. We would be very happy to welcome you to our factory to see for yourself how the process works.
If you would like to discuss your print requirements please call us on 01628 810523 or alternatively request a quote online.
Litho Printing Explained
Offset printing, also called offset lithography, is a method of mass-production printing in which the images are transferred onto metal plates, plates are created for each image and each colour. The plate-making machine etches images and text into aluminium plates as microscopic dots. Once complete these plates are put into the litho press as a part of the set-up process. These are then transferred (offset) to rubber blankets or rollers and then to the print media. The print media, usually paper, does not come into direct contact with the metal plates.
Litho printing can use either the four colour process known as CMYK, Pantone colours or a combination of the two. For more information about colour, please see our colour guide.
The main advantage of offset printing is its high and consistent image quality. The process can be used for most jobs, however the higher the number the more cost-effective it is as a process. We use in-sheet-fed offset printing where individual pages of paper are fed into the machine. The pages can be pre-cut to the final publication size or trimmed after printing.
We operate the newest Heidelberg Presses, which are with the highest print quality and speed. We use sustainably sourced paper and we work to high standards.
Advantages to Litho Printing
Efficiency - Our new technology affords quick make-ready times and allows us to begin printing in the quickest time.
Tight Deadlines - We have streamlined our set-up process and this coupled with the fact that our presses run up to 15,000 sheets per hour respectively, you can rely on fast turnarounds.
Cost Saving - Despite initial costs creating plates for the job, for print quantities from just a couple of hundred, litho printing is still more cost effective per printed item.
Economies of Scale - The higher the quantity, the lower the unit cost per printed item.
Use of Pantone® Colours - Litho printing benefits from the use of Pantone® colours in addition to the standard CMYK colour palette. When the perfect shade cannot be made from CMYK, a Pantone® colour is used instead to give a smooth and consistent finish, this is ideal for brand consistency.
Exceptional Print Quality - Whilst the print quality of digital has developed over recent years to the point where the difference between litho and digital is nearly indistinguishable for most jobs, the outcome for some jobs are still of better quality when litho printed.
Colour Consistency - With Inpress Control, which is hardware/software that reads the colour on every sheet as it runs and dynamically adjusts the colour levels automatically, this is a vast improvement to the manual process still required by older presses. This ensures that everything it prints is to an exacting standard and guarantees consistency in colour throughout the job and against later re-prints.
Hard Wearing - With biodegradable coating our work is completely rub resistant, has a high-quality smooth surface and can be fully dry within 10 minutes of printing.
"A huge thank you for all of the printing that you turned around for us so quickly over this weekend. I really appreciate the ease of working with all."
"Absolutely over the moon. It all looked awesome and the samples fitted into the boxes perfectly. Good job."
"Hartgraph are consistent in their service to us as a supplier, communication and response is always clear and precise and delivered in a timely manner."
"I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this. Thank you yet again for saving the day."
"I have just showed the team the boxes you dropped off and they think they are great! Thank you so much, this was such an easy process to get everything organised with you. 😊"
"It was a pleasure to work with you on this project. Thank you for all your time and effort - it really made the difference and I think it looks great, the client was super happy.
"It’s amazing what we can achieve when we put our heads together! We make such a good team!"
"It’s arrived! Excellent service and it’s looking very good. The colours are popping right off the page - they look fantastic and true to the proofs. Thanks all for your help as always.
"Just a quick note to comment on the excellent print and finishing of this job it looked really good!!"
"Thank you for sending the cartons. We received it fine and they look AMAZING. We couldn't be happier."
"Thank you for sending the cartons. We received them fine and they look AMAZING. We couldn't be happier."
"Thanks so much for all you did to create such a gorgeous mock-up of our brochure. It looks great! We sincerely appreciate your attention to detail on this project!
"Thanks so much for all your hard work. We appreciate this was very rushed and complicated at times, so we really appreciate your can do attitude! 😊 Pleasure working with you!
"Thanks to all of you for the fantastic product you produced. It went down a storm."
"The AR brochure looks pretty perfect to me! Brilliant print and finishing job so thanks to all of you in making it look wonderful - I knew I could trust you!"
"The work you’ve done for the club over the last twelve years or so, often at ridiculously tight timescales, has been wonderful, and I felt it was time I publicly acknowledged that."
"They were absolutely over the moon with them and wanted to pass on their thanks too. It all looked awesome and the samples fitted in the mock-up boxes perfectly. Good job."
You have done an amazing job and got us out of a sticky situation.
"We've just received the brochures and we absolutely LOVE them! Thanks so much for your help and getting these to us so quickly - the team are incredibly pleased.
"What can I say dude, PERFECT!!! I'm so happy with them! You're awesome at what you do dude, the quality is second to none!