History of Printing

Written by adminsan on August 28, 2023 in Printing with no comments.

Printing is the large-scale industrial process of applying text or images to paper. It involves applying either type or ink to a sheet of paper using a printing press and may be done in black and white or color. It is an important part of book publishing and transaction printing, but also applies to business documents such as letterheads, envelopes and memos, maps, brochures, flyers, catalogs and more.

In early times, a printed work was considered to be “in print” when the number of copies already sold or distributed reached a certain threshold. In modern times, this concept has been replaced by the idea that a work is “in circulation” and that it has a “print run,” which refers to the number of printed copies made up to the date of publication.

The invention of movable type in China, around 1041, radically changed the nature of printing. Each character was carved in relief on a block of moistened clay and could be separated from the block to be used individually on the printing press. This enabled a much greater variety of works to be produced. It also stimulated scholarly pursuits and encouraged more creative printing techniques.

During the Renaissance, artists exploited the expressive potential of this new technique and created a wide range of woodcut prints, especially in Germany where Albrecht Durer worked. During the 17th and 18th centuries, multi-colored woodblock prints became popular in Japan, where the printing technique was perfected during the closing decades of the Meiji period (1868 – 1912). By making the printing process more affordable, these innovations made reading and learning possible for many more people.

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