The term “printing” is used for reproduction of texts or illustrations by applying colour under pressure. Today’s processes are less dependent on the material and mechanical concepts of pressure and colouring agent, and they may eventually replace traditional methods of printing. Different techniques are used to print texts and illustrations, based on the desired number of copies and the desired surface. Listed below are some of the most common methods. And keep in mind that a single process can produce multiple identical copies.
Chinese characters were known long before printing began in Europe. Chinese characters have thousands of characters whereas alphabetic languages use only 50. The introduction of movable type during the thirteenth century led to scholarly pursuits in China, where printing material was found. Eventually, printing technology reached Europe with Marco Polo’s visit to China, where the famous explorer may have seen the first printed books and brought the knowledge to Europe. But, before printing became common in Europe, it was not until the invention of the Gutenberg printing press that it was used extensively in the West.
While many other forms of media are rapidly replacing print, the process of printing has been a constant source of information. The invention of the printing press revolutionized the reproduction of books. Once one had to copy books by hand, the printing press made it much easier. Today, printing is an essential tool in communication. So, let’s have a look at how the process evolved. With some careful thought, the printed word will continue to be the primary method of communication for centuries to come.