Ever thought how people get to print anything on a paper or any other surface when there were no technologies invented? Well, to be precise, the art of printing or lithographic printing was first discovered in 1798. Since then, the lithographic printing became famous among professionals in the market as well as among the artists around. Time passed, technology took turn and lithographic printing became smarter. The prepress equipment, like ECRM Plate Setters, Mac and Windows operating systems as well as Canon and Epson digital proofing systems, make the use of modern lithographic printing work, which is known as computer to plate technology. Printing is so necessary for a brand in today’s world that, to survive, one has to employ a quality printing services like Southern Coating and Nameplate Inc., so as to ignore any loose ends.
The lithographic printing is actually a critical procedure and thus demands experienced individuals for every task. The process involves:
- Graining: This is the basic step towards lithographic printing and special limestone quarries, that provide litho stones, have to be grained after each use. This is a necessary step before proceeding to next printing as graining not just remove the old image but also remove the grease layer on it. The toughened surface then used to draw next print and the processing chemicals.
- Artwork: Once the line drawing has been completed it must then be traced onto the stone with the help of a sheet that has been coated with some iron oxide powder that doubles up as a carbon paper. Use of iron oxide helps to leave a red colored outline on the stone which the artist can use as a guideline to complete the image on stone. For multi-colored images, the task gets complicated and each color has to be differentiated carefully.
- After graining and artwork is done, the crucial step comes and that is known as chemical processing. Since lithography makes the use of single area for image and non-image part, this step becomes sensitive and thus has to be taken special care of while executing.
- The actual printing:As the chemical processing is done, the stone is now ready to be inked with the color in which the image is to be printed. Once this ink has been applied, a sheet of paper will have to be laid face down on the stone. Over this, a sheet of plexiglass or a tympan will need to be placed. After that, the press bed will be moved horizontally until the scrape bar is lowered on to the tympan. The image will then be printed as soon as the scraper bar moves over the press bed.