Refers to all printing processes in which the printing areas of the printing plate lie on the same or virtually the same plane as the non-printing parts.
This technology takes advantage of the fact that it is possible to create both oleophilic (oil-friendly) and hydrophilic (water-friendly) areas on the printing surface.
When the plate is inked, only the oleophilic areas retain the ink. The first lithographic process was stone printing, invented by Aloys Senefelder in 1796.
Offset printing is based on this technology.