History of Lithography and the Process Used


printingchillers-lithography-11Lithography created around the 1800’s, is the process of printing with oil and water.  As part of the history of printing, lithography was invented as a way to aid the hand held printing press and speed up the procedure. Lithography has Latin roots with translational meaning of litho-stone, and graph– mark. Lithography used in artwork and print, was created to produce theatrical works. The image was drawn by a fat based medium, placed on a print plate, and then printed on a medium. The first medium used was limestone. Limestone is made of calcite and aragonite. This means limestone is comprised of compressed marine organisms like mollusks and coral.  Once the pattern is pressed onto the stone with the fat based medium, the stone is wetted, and the fat based material is transferred onto a medium.

Modern lithography from the 1900’s and forward has been used as a means for artists. Poster art has significant use with lithography. Poster art is 2-D artwork which is assigned to a vertical medium. Posters can contain images and text, sometimes calligraphy. In the 1960’s and forward posters had various themes. These themes include but aren’t limited to love, recruitment, and pinup art.  Art collectors are avidly in search for types of vintage posters.  These vintage posters range from all types of geographical locations. One famous artist, is Andy Warhol. A famous example of his pop art posters is Four Marilyns.

The lithography process has emerged through computerized programs. Laser diodes are used to create the printings. Laser diodes are a pulsing laser that create the image or text used on the printing medium. The plates release high heat and must be cooled in order to not burn the printing medium. Chillers are used to cool the plates down.