The material receiving the image or words you want to print is placed against the plate and the inks are absorbed accordingly. It takes great skill to make sure the inks are mixed correctly and placed in the right order.
Lithography is widely used around the world for printing books, money, catalogues and posters, because of the high quality results and the fast turnaround. Whilst it takes longer to setup than a digital printer, it’s quicker to do high quantities of high quality repeat items. That’s why it’s great for the aforementioned items.