Litho printing, lithographic printing or lithography is a printing process that uses metal plates to transfer ink to paper. We use this as well as the digital print process here at Gemini Print Group. It’s mainly used for brochures, catalogues, magazines, posters and flyers but can be used for other projects.
Karl is our Litho Print Room Manager at Gemini Print HQ in Shoreham-by-Sea and has been with Gemini print group for over 10 years. Karl has been in his role as Print Room manager in Litho for the past 9 months, prior to his new role Karl worked the night shift and also worked on the XL 75 printer. For Karl, it’s a family business as his Father and Sister also work for Gemini Print at the Shoreham site.
“Before the print comes to me, Dave in Operations decides what Litho machine the job needs to go on, this is due to the number of colours and the quantity of prints desired. We have 105 – 10 colour, the XL 75 – 5 colour, the 106 – 5 colour and the SM52 – 2 colour. All of these machines are excellent but used for different requirements desired by the client.”
“We receive dockets with the job name and job numbers on then we create plates using the prints supplied to us by the Studio. Plates are then used to create the Litho print on the paper. When we have completed the print job, these plates are recycled.”
The Printing Process
This video shows the metal plate being created, your artwork for your printing is added to the metal plate at this stage before it being transferred to the printer for the next stage of the printing process.
Plates are metal sheets that are engraved using a photochemical, photomechanical or laser engraving process, these metallic plates each represent one of the 4 CMYK colours – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black) which combine to make up the final image.
For more information on the difference between Digital and Litho click here.
The print room runs 24 hrs a day, so Karl makes sure the Gemini team maintain the machines and take good care of all of them so they can produce good quality prints in large quantities.