Printing is a process of transferring information, usually in black and white, on a durable surface. It is an essential part of paper-based publishing and transaction printing, but it has also been used for a variety of other purposes.
It is important to note that there are many different types of printing processes. This is because they each involve a different method of creating and transferring an image to a surface.
In Europe, woodcut (or wood block) printing began in the 15th century and was developed by artists. Artists printed a wide range of products, including books such as missals and bibles, cards and other objects.
Movable type was first invented in Song China by Bi Sheng in 1041 and changed the nature of printing in ways that were far-reaching. The use of movable type spurred scholarly pursuits, and it facilitated more creative modes of printing.
Lithography is the most common form of printing in China. The printing process begins with an artist’s drawing or painting of an image on a stone or metal plate. This is then covered with a greasy ink that adheres to the areas receptive to water, but repels the areas containing blank areas.
Other types of printing include planographics, relief, and intaglio. These are all methods of transferring an image to a surface, but the methods differ in terms of the areas of the surface they cover and how they are maintained chemically or by physical properties.