n.A planographic printing process in which the image areas accept a greasy ink and wet, nonimage areas resist the ink.


Lithography was invented in Munich by Aloys Senefelder in 1798. A greasy substance is used to create the design on a flat, porous surface. The surface is then moistened with water. When a greasy ink is applied, the water-soaked areas resist the ink, and the greasy image areas accept the ink. The design is then transferred to paper in a press. The original printing surfaces were made from limestone. Offset lithography using flexible metal plates is a modern variation of the process.