Offset litho printing & lithography services

Lithographic Printing

Litho Printing

  • Cyan (Blue)
  • Magenta (Red)
  • Yellow (errr – Yellow)
  • Black

The printing process uses the well-known prime colours red, blue and yellow plus black in various proportions to create ‘visual’ mix of printed dots on paper that when looked at from a normal visual distance ‘tricks’ the eye to see the combined colours.

The higher the resolution required the higher the dots per inch (dpi) required. In other words Less dpi – lower resolution provides a blurred image. Anyone that prints off low MB images from the internet, will have experience low dpi as images saved for screen viewing are deliberately reduced in resolution to reduce the MB (memory) requirements for image.

Offset is the type of printing where the 4 CMYK colours are printed next to each other on the page or off set against each other so that the eye sees them as a combined colour. If you view print using a magnifying glass you will see the colour separation on the page.

Lithographic printing uses plates to lay down the 4 colours using the oil and water don’t mix logic. So for example, the yellow oil based ink is laid down onto a plate that is damp but only where the plate is fixed for that colour plate. The next plates lay down their colour offset to the previous colour, and the image is created as the paper passes through the print press until the final image is created.


Many clients feel that although printing in CMYK produces excellent results that as the print is produced using the off-set process, that certain colours – particularly logo and branded items should be printed using a special pantone colour to directly reflect the brands colour.

In this instance, the colour ink is mixed separately using very sensitive scales to the pantone reference and then an additional plate is produced to lay down the spot colour during the print process.

A Pantone Reference for example, Gold Pantone DS 5-1C, is made up of the following proportions: Cyan 0; Magenta 20, Yellow 100, Black 0.

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