Traditionally, printing is defined as the process of mass reproduction of images or text. It is used in many areas, including books, magazines, financial instruments, stickers, postage stamps, and wallpaper. It also includes packaging, brochures, catalogs, and leaflets.
There are many forms of printing, including letterpress, lithography, and flexographic printing. Some of the more common forms work by heat, while others work by static electricity. The most popular accessory for electronic calculators is a mechanism to print plain language.
In the 15th century, printing was widespread in Europe. It evolved from a method of applying colouring agent under pressure to a technique for mass reproduction of images. Movable type changed the nature of printing. It could be detached from the iron plate, broken up, and redistributed as needed.
The first books were printed in Shu in the ninth century. These books included Buddhist scriptures and Confucian classics. During the nineteenth century, printing on both sides of paper became common, spurring the development of newspapers. This method was also used to produce dictionaries and mathematical texts.
In the 16th century, German artist Albrecht Durer illustrated scenes from the Passion of Christ. The popularity of this technique led to the development of multiple-colour woodblock printing. This technique was also applied to textiles in Europe.
Early personal computer printers used a “daisy wheel” technology. These were less expensive than typewriter-like printers. However, they have since become obsolete. In modern printing, the use of photopolymer printing plates is common. These are flexible and are wrapped around rotating cylinders on a web press.