The invention of the printing press in the 15th century changed the way books were created and distributed. Now, books could be copied thousands of times instead of one at a time. Newspapers are also now available online, but books remain an important medium for people to read. Aside from books, there are many other uses for printing.
Before Gutenberg’s invention, printing had been done by hand using signet stones and woodblocks. Then, printers began using movable type. This process, invented in 1041 during the Song Dynasty in China, used a hardened clay block that could be moved around from one place to another. This meant that the type could be assembled into a printed page and later broken up and redistributed as needed.
By the end of the eighteenth century, many innovations had been made in printing. Thomas Bewick developed a method for engraving on wood, Alois Senefelder discovered lithography, and William Blake created relief etchings. New printing technology was developed and the printing industry grew exponentially. In 2006, printing companies generated $112 billion in revenue.
Printing has many applications in our lives, from stickers on computer desktops to posters on walls. Many of us are dependent on printing for many things. Stickers on our computers, T-shirts on our backs, and posters hanging on our walls are just a few examples of its uses.