The evolution of printing has produced numerous techniques and methods for copying and reproducing information. The process of printing has moved away from the use of lead, ink, and a printing press. In its modern form, printing utilizes flat or curved inked surfaces to reproduce any kind of copy. The process may be used to create printed images, textiles, and packaging materials. It has also played a role in the development of miniature electronic circuits.
Gutenberg’s invention had a dramatic effect on the public. Hand-inked books, once the domain of the noble class, were no match for the mass-produced, cheaper press-printed books. Lower class people soon became avid readers of press-printed material. The success of Gutenberg’s invention spread the printing press to other print shops. It also opened up a whole new trade. Printed texts allowed for the dissemination of ideas and knowledge from all walks of life. Printed pamphlets were popular with politicians and academics.
Modern printing technology has continued to revolutionize the industry. Today, most high-volume printed material is produced using letterpress machines, which are more advanced versions of Gutenberg’s printing press. The simplest letterpress machine is called a flatbed press, while more complex presses are known as platen presses. These machines use a flat metal plate called a platen. Another flat metal plate contains a relief version of the item that is to be printed. Ink is then applied to the printing plate and paper is placed against the printing plate. The press can be manually operated, or it can be automated. The process can be repeated many times.