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This article is about a printing method. For rock types, seeLithology. For the microfabrication process, seePhotolithography.
(1903), with the range of tones fading toward the edges
Lithography(from, lithos, meaning stone, andά, grphein, meaning to write) is a method ofprintingoriginally based on theimmiscibilityof oil and water.The printing is from a stone (lithographic limestone) or a metal plate with a ball grained surface. It was invented in 1796 by German author and actorAlois Senefelderas a cheap method of publishing theatrical works.Lithography can be used to print text orartworkonto paper or other suitable material.
Lithography originally used an image drawn with oil, fat, or wax onto the surface of a smooth, levellithographic limestoneplate. The stone was treated with a mixture of acid andgum arabicetchingthe grease content of the drawing material into the pores of the stone and chemically creating grease reservoirs. The open stone (without drawing) was affected by the gum arabic creating a thin gum layer that would then attract water. When the stone was subsequently moistened, these gummed areas retained water; anoil-based inkcould then be applied with a roller sticking only to the original drawing. The ink would finally be transferred to a cotton fine artpapersheet, producing aprinted page. This traditional technique is still used as afine artmedium today.
In modern lithography, the image is made of apolymercoating applied to a flexible plastic or metal plate.The image can be printed directly from the plate (the orientation of the image is reversed), or it can beoffset, by transferring the image onto a flexible sheet (rubber) for printing and publication.
As a printing technology, lithography is different fromintaglio printing(gravure), wherein a plate is eitherengravedetched, orstippledto score cavities to contain the printing ink; andwoodblock printingorletterpressprinting, wherein ink is applied to the raised surfaces of letters or images. Today, most types of high-volume books and magazines, especially when illustrated in colour, are printed withoffset lithography, which has become the most common form of printing technology since the 1960s.
The related termphotolithographyrefers to when photographic images are used in lithographic printing, whether these images are printed directly from a stone or from a metal plate, as in offset printing. Photolithography is used synonymously with offset printing. The technique as well as the term were introduced in Europe in the 1850s. Beginning in the 1960s, photolithography has played an important role in the fabrication andmass productionofintegrated circuitsin themicroelectronicsindustry.
Lithography uses simple chemical processes to create an image. For instance, the positive part of an image is a water-repelling (hydrophobic) substance, while the negative image would be water-retaining (hydrophilic). Thus, when the plate is introduced to a compatible printing ink and water mixture, the ink will adhere to the positive image after it is etched with a mixture of gum arabic and acid then subsequently replaced withasphaltumstabilizing the drawing. This allows a flat print plate or stone to be used, enabling much longer and more detailed print runs than the older physical methods of printing (e.g.,intaglio printingletterpress printing).
Lithography was invented byAlois Senefelderin theKingdom of Bavariain 1796. In the early days of lithography, and much like fine art lithography today, a smooth piece oflimestonewas used. After the oil-based image was put on the surface, a solution ofgum arabicin water was applied, the gum sticking only to the non-oily surface. During printing, water adhered to the gum arabic surfaces and was repelled by the oily parts, while the oily ink used for printing did the opposite.
Lithography works because of the mutualrepulsion of oil and water. The image is drawn on the surface of the print plate with a fat or oil-based medium (hydrophobic) such as a wax crayon, which may be pigmented to make the drawing visible. A wide range of oil-based media is available, but the durability of the image on the stone depends on thelipidcontent of the material being used, and its ability to withstand water and acid. After the drawing of the image, an aqueoussolutionofgum arabic, weakly acidified with nitric acidHNO
3is applied to the stone. The function of this solution is to create a hydrophilic layer ofcalcium nitratesalt,Ca(NO
2, and gum arabic on all non-image surfaces. The gum solution penetrates into the pores of the stone, completely surrounding the original image with a hydrophilic layer that will not accept the printing ink. Using lithographicturpentine, the printer then removes any excess of the greasy drawing material, but a hydrophobic molecular film of it remains tightly bonded to the surface of the stone, rejecting the gum arabic and water, but ready to accept the oily ink.
When printing, the stone is kept wet with water. Naturally the water is attracted to the layer of gum and salt created by the acid wash.Printing inkbased on drying oils such aslinseed oiland varnish loaded withpigmentis then rolled over the surface. The water repels the greasy ink but the hydrophobic areas left by the original drawing material accept it. When the hydrophobic image is loaded with ink, the stone and paper are run through a press that applies even pressure over the surface, transferring the ink to the paper and off the stone.
Senefelder had experimented during the early 19th century with multicolor lithography; in his 1819 book, he predicted that the process would eventually be perfected and used to reproduce paintings.Multi-color printing was introduced by a new process developed byGodefroy Engelmann(France) in 1837 known aschromolithography.A separate stone was used for each color, and a print went through the press separately for each stone. The main challenge was to keep the images aligned (in register). This method lent itself to images consisting of large areas of flat color, and resulted in the characteristic poster designs of this period.
Lithography, or printing from soft stone, largely took the place of engraving in the production of English commercial maps after about 1852. It was a quick, cheap process and had been used to print British army maps during thePeninsula War. Most of the commercial maps of the second half of the 19th century were lithographed and unattractive, though accurate enough.
High-volume lithography is used presently to produce posters, maps, books, newspapers, and packagingjust about any smooth, mass-produced item with print and graphics on it. Most books, indeed all types of high-volume text, are now printed usingoffset lithography.
For offset lithography, which depends on photographic processes, flexible aluminum, polyester, mylar or paper printing plates are used instead of stone tablets. Modern printing plates have a brushed or roughened texture and are covered with a photosensitiveemulsion. A photographic negative of the desired image is placed in contact with the emulsion and the plate is exposed to ultraviolet light. After development, the emulsion shows a reverse of the negative image, which is thus a duplicate of the original (positive) image. The image on the plate emulsion can also be created by direct laser imaging in a CTP (Computer-To-Plate) device known as a platesetter. The positive image is the emulsion that remains after imaging. Non-image portions of the emulsion have traditionally been removed by a chemical process, though in recent times plates have come available that do not require such processing.
The plate is affixed to a cylinder on a printing press. Dampening rollers apply water, which covers the blank portions of the plate but is repelled by the emulsion of the image area. Hydrophobic ink, which is repelled by the water and only adheres to the emulsion of the image area, is then applied by the inking roll
If this image were transferred directly to paper, it would create a mirror-type image and the paper would become too wet. Instead, the plate rolls against a cylinder covered with a rubberblanket, which squeezes away the water, picks up the ink and transfers it to the paper with uniform pressure. The paper passes between the blanket cylinder and a counter-pressure or impression cylinder and the image is transferred to the paper. Because the image is first transferred, oroffsetto the rubber blanket cylinder, this reproduction method is known asoffset lithographyoroffset printing.
Many innovations and technical refinements have been made in printing processes and presses over the years, including the development ofpresseswith multiple units (each containing one printing plate) that can print multi-color images in one pass on both sides of the sheet, and presses that accommodate continuous rolls (webs) of paper, known as web presses. Another innovation was the continuous dampening system first introduced by Dahlgren instead of the old method which is still used on older presses (conventional dampening), which are rollers covered with molleton (cloth) that absorbs the water. This increased control of the water flow to the plate and allowed for better ink and water balance. Current dampening systems include a delta effect or vario, which slows the roller in contact with the plate, thus creating a sweeping movement over the ink image to clean impurities known as hickies.
The process of lithography printing is illustrated bythis simplified diagram. This press is also called an ink pyramid because the ink is transferred through several layers of rollers with different purposes. Fast lithographic web printing presses are commonly used in newspaper production.
The advent ofdesktop publishingmade it possible for type and images to be modified easily on personal computers for eventual printing by desktop or commercial presses. The development of digitalimagesettersenabled print shops to produce negatives for platemaking directly from digital input, skipping the intermediate step of photographing an actual page layout. The development of the digitalplatesetterduring the late 20th century eliminated film negatives altogether by exposing printing plates directly from digital input, a process known ascomputer to plateprinting.
Microlithography andnanolithographyrefer specifically to lithographic patterning methods capable of structuring material on a fine scale. Typically, features smaller than 10micrometersare considered microlithographic, and features smaller than 100nanometersare considered nanolithographic.Photolithographyis one of these methods, often applied tosemiconductormanufacturing ofmicrochips. Photolithography is also commonly used for fabricatingMicroelectromechanical systems(MEMS) devices. Photolithography generally uses a pre-fabricatedphotomaskor reticle as a master from which the final pattern is derived.
Although photolithographic technology is the most commercially advanced form of nanolithography, other techniques are also used. Some, for exampleelectron beam lithography, are capable of much greater patterning resolution (sometimes as small as a few nanometers). Electron beam lithography is also important commercially, primarily for its use in the manufacture of photomasks. Electron beam lithography as it is usually practiced is a form ofmaskless lithography, in that a mask is not required to generate the final pattern. Instead, the final pattern is created directly from a digital representation on a computer, by controlling an electron beam as it scans across aresist-coated substrate. Electron beam lithography has the disadvantage of being much slower than photolithography.
In addition to these commercially well-established techniques, a large number of promising microlithographic andnanolithographictechnologies exist or are being developed, includingnanoimprint lithographyinterference lithographyX-ray lithographyextreme ultraviolet lithographymagnetolithographyandscanning probe lithography. Some of these new techniques have been used successfully for small-scale commercial and important research applications. Surface-charge lithography, in factPlasma desorption mass spectrometrycan be directly patterned on polar dielectric crystals via pyroelectric effect,Diffraction lithography.
During the first years of the 19th century, lithography had only a limited effect onprintmaking, mainly because technical difficulties remained to be overcome. Germany was the main center of production in this period.Godefroy Engelmann, who moved his press fromMulhouseto Paris in 1816, largely succeeded in resolving the technical problems, and during the 1820s lithography was adopted by artists such asDelacroixandGricault. London also became a center, and some of Gricaults prints were in fact produced there.Goyain Bordeaux produced his last series of prints by lithographyThe Bulls of Bordeauxof 1828. By the mid-century the initial enthusiasm had somewhat diminished in both countries, although the use of lithography was increasingly favored for commercial applications, which included the prints ofDaumier, published in newspapers.Rodolphe BresdinandJean-François Milletalso continued to practice the medium in France, andAdolf Menzelin Germany. In 1862 the publisher Cadart tried to initiate a portfolio of lithographs by various artists, which was not successful but included several prints byManet. The revival began during the 1870s, especially in France with artists such asOdilon RedonHenri Fantin-LatourandDegasproducing much of their work in this manner. The need for strictly limitededitionsto maintain the price had now been realized, and the medium became more accepted.
In the 1890s, color lithography gained success in part by the emergence ofJules Chret, known as thefather of the modern poster, whose work went on to inspire a new generation of poster designers and painters, most notablyToulouse-Lautrec, and former student of Chret,Georges de Feure. By 1900 the medium in both color and monotone was an accepted part of printmaking.
During the 20th century, a group of artists, includingBraqueCalderChagallDufyLgerMatisseMir, andPicasso, rediscovered the largely undeveloped artform of lithography thanks to theMourlot Studios, also known asAtelier Mourlot, a Parisian printshop founded in 1852 by the Mourlot family. The Atelier Mourlot originally specialized in the printing of wallpaper; but it was transformed when the founders grandson,Fernand Mourlot, invited a number of 20th-century artists to explore the complexities of fine art printing. Mourlot encouraged the painters to work directly on lithographic stones in order to create original artworks that could then be executed under the direction of master printers in small editions. The combination of modern artist and master printer resulted in lithographs that were used as posters to promote the artists work.
Grant WoodGeorge BellowsAlphonse MuchaMax KahnPablo PicassoEleanor CoenJasper JohnsDavid HockneySusan Dorothea WhiteandRobert Rauschenbergare a few of the artists who have produced most of their prints in the medium.M. C. Escheris considered a master of lithography, and many of his prints were created using this process. More than other printmaking techniques,printmakersin lithography still largely depend on access to goodprinters, and the development of the medium has been greatly influenced by when and where these have been established.
As a special form of lithography, the serilith process is sometimes used. Seriliths are mixed media original prints created in a process in which an artist uses thelithographandserigraphprocesses. The separations for both processes are hand-drawn by the artist. The serilith technique is used primarily to create fine art limited print editions.
Washingtons Residence, High Street, Philadelphia, 1830 lithograph byWilliam L. Breton.
H! La chian….. li….li….li….. [Its a blood…dy…dy…dy… mess], lithograph ofLouis-Philippe of FrancebyHonor Daumier, 18
ButterfliesfromAdalbert Seitzs Macrolepidoptera of the World (1923).
An 1836 lithograph of Mexican women makingtortillasbyCarl Nebel.
An example of a 19th-century lithograph depicting royalAfghansoldiers of theDurrani EmpireinAfghanistan. (1847)
Queen Victoria visits theHMSResolutein a lithograph by George Zobel afterWilliam Simpson(1859)
Alfred Concanens 1867 design forChampagne Charlie
At Eternitys Gate, 1882 lithograph byVincent van Gogh.
Sea anemones fromErnst HaeckelsKunstformen der Natur(Artforms of Nature), 1904.
In the Park, LightGeorge Bellows1916
Palace of São Cristvão, the former residence of theEmperors of Brazil, 19th century lithograph byJean-Baptiste Debret.
Lithography using MeV ions Proton beam writing
Theodore Regensteinerinventor of the four-color lithographic press
Meggs, Philip B. A History of Graphic Design. (1998) John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p 146ISBN0-471-29198-6
Carter, Rob, Ben Day, Philip Meggs. Typographic Design: Form and Communication, Third Edition. (2002) John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p 11
. London: T. Fisher Unwin Publisher.
Encyclopedia of nineteenth-century photography: A-I, index, Volume 1.
Taylor & Francis (2008).ISBN52. page 865.
Classical Optics and Its Applications
. Cambridge University Press (2002)ISBN98. page 416
A. B. Hoen, Discussion of the Requisite Qualities of Lithographic Limestone, with Report on Tests of the Lithographic Stone of Mitchell County, Iowa,Iowa Geological Survey Annual Report, 1902, Des Moines, 1903; pages 339352.
How to Identify Prints: a complete guide to manual and mechanical processes from woodcut to ink jet
. Spain: Thames and Hudson. p.1c.
Lynam, Edward. 1944. British Maps and Map Makers. London: W. Collins. Page 46.
Grilli, S.; Vespini, V.; Ferraro, P. (2008). Surface-charge lithography for direct pdms micro-patterning.
Paturzo, M.; Grilli, S.; Mailis, S.; Coppola, G.; Iodice, M.; Gioffr, M.; Ferraro, P. (2008). Flexible coherent diffraction lithography by tunable phase arrays in lithium niobate crystals.
July 23, 2012, at theWayback Machine.
Wellfleet Press: Secaucus, New Jersey, 1989
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
. Pinner, Middlesex:Private Libraries Association, 1990
Lithography and other printmaking definitions
Museum of Modern Art information on printing techniques and examples of prints
The Invention of Lithography, Aloys Senefelder, (Eng. trans. 1911)
(a searchable facsimile at the University of Georgia Libraries;DjVuandlayered PDFformat)
Extensive information on Honor Daumier and his life and work, including his entire output of lithographs
Digital work catalog to 4000 lithographs and 1000 wood engravings
Detailed examination of the processes involved in the creation of a typical scholarly lithographic illustration in the 19th century
lithographs at the Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University
A brief historic overview of Lithography. University of Delaware Library. Includes citations for 19th century books using early lithographic illustrations.
Philadelphia on Stone: The First Fifty Years of Commercial Lithography in Philadelphia. Library Company of Philadelphia. Provides an historic overview of the commercial trade in Philadelphia and links to a biographical dictionary of over 500 Philadelphia lithographers and catalog of more than 1300 lithographs documenting Philadelphia.
Prints & People: A Social History of Printed Pictures, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on lithography
Wikipedia articles with GND identifiers
This page was last edited on 23 January 2018, at 13:02.