Difference Between Lithograph and Print

We often get confused about what is the difference between lithograph and print. Many people think they are the same, and there is no difference between them.

Well, it’s an evident myth; they are not the same; lithograph is also called print, but it is done by oil and water, whereas print generates artwork through printing, usually on paper.

Lithograph vs Print

The main difference between lithograph and print is that lithography is the original artwork of an artist, which is done by oil and water, whereas print is a duplicate copy of documents done by machines.

Lithograph vs Print

In the nineteenth-century, lithography was known as graphic art in which artists used oil and water to print their art. Lithographs are originally artist artwork in which they have their signature.

Many famous artists in the world still cannot differentiate, which is lithography print and normal print.

The print is a technique of producing text and pictures through a machine copy of the document.


Comparison Table Between Lithograph and Print (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonLithographPrint
MeaningIt is a printmaking process done by stone and metal. Lithography is also called a print.The print is a graphic art that is done by the printing machine.
MaterialsThe lithograph is done on a flat surface that requires materials like ink, pens, etc.The print is done regularly through a machine.
RecognitionLithographs have the signature of the artist in it.Print documents will not have a signature in it.
ProcessThe lithograph is an original artwork done by stones and metal plates.The print is a graphic technique that can print many copies of documents and images basically on paper.
Rows and dotsLithograph print leaves the rows and dots in their printing. If hands make it, then it will have ink dots in it.The print does not leave any ink dots as it is done by machine.
TypesOriginal stone lithograph, original plate lithograph, lithographic reproduction, offset print, etc.Digital printing, screen printing
Time-consumingThis method takes some time to print text and images.It does not take time to print as it is done by machine.


What is Lithograph?

The word “lithograph” came from the ancient Greek word lithos, which means stone. It is a process of printing artist artwork through oil and water. The printing is done on a stone or flat metal plate which has a smooth surface in it.

This method was invented in German actor and author as a low-cost printing artwork method as modern times; lithography can also be printed in paper or any other suitable material.

It can be used for printing text and images and artwork for projects or various purposes.

Lithography technically used oil, ink, fat, or wax to draw the art on the smooth surface or lithographic limestone plate.

A mixture of acid and gum Arabic is also present in the stone and the etching portion of stone that is not protected by the grease-based image.

When the stone starts moisturizing, the etching portion keeps oil ink and water so that it could be applied and would be repulsed by the water so that it stays only to the original drawing;

after this is done, ink transferred to a white sheet, producing a printed day. Some artists still use this traditional technique.

In today’s time, lithography is done by flexible plastic or metal plates. The image drawn in plated can directly be printed by transferring the image onto a flexible sheet for publication.

There are many lithographs like Original stone lithograph, original plate lithograph, lithographic reproduction, offset print, etc. lithography is different from intaglio printing. Lithography can also be called printing, but it is done differently.


What is Print?

Print means producing notes, documents, images, etc. by putting various types of inks, plates, blocks, paper, or other material by applying direct or indirect pressure by offsetting an image onto an intermediate roller.

Print can also be defined as producing a design or pattern on a plate or block.

Printing is the process of producing a large number of text and pictures by using a printing machine. The paper’s printing is known as Woodlock printing, which was done by China before 220 AD.

After that, the development takes place, and technology includes the movable type of printing, which was discovered by Bi Sheng near 1040 AD, and Johannes Gutenberg discovered the printing press around the 15th century.

As the technology of printing increases, it plays an important role in the Renaissance and the scientific revolution and provides the material basis for the knowledge of the economy and learning of the masses.

In today’s time, printing is done in various types like Digital printing, screen printing, offset printing, hot metal typesetting, woodblock printing, etc.

Main Differences Between Lithograph and Print

  1. A lithograph can also be called a print. However, print can’t be called lithograph.
  2. The lithograph is the artist’s original artwork; on the other hand, it is a copy of the original artwork.
  3. Lithography can be done on stone, metal, and blank paper. On the other hand, handprints are mainly done on paper.
  4. Original lithography has a signature of the artist, whereas print does not contain any artist’s signs.
  5. Lithography required oil ink and color for print art. On the other hand, print is done through automatic machines.
  6. Lithography is a traditional printing process, whereas print is an original process of printing text and picture.
  7. Lithography leaves the mark of ink, whereas print does not leave any mark as it is done by machine.
Difference Between Lithograph and Print



There is very little difference between lithography and print, but if you see one take very much time in printing text and images. In a modern time where all people rush, we cannot consider this method for printing text and images for our office work.

Since lithograph and print’s main difference has been told, we can now easily differentiate between them. As one is an original artwork, and one is the graphic work, which is done by machine.


  1. https://minds.wisconsin.edu/handle/1793/74973
  2. https://philpapers.org/archive/UIDPAA.pdf
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