The traditional definition of printing refers to applying colour under pressure and reproducing text and illustrations. Today, the term is used to refer to several techniques that reproduce text and illustrations on a durable surface. There are three types of printing, including screen-printing, lithography, and digital printing. Depending on the purpose, printing can be black and white, or it can be colour-based. Other definitions include reproducing text and illustrations on a durable surface and the desired number of identical copies.
The original printed materials include text, graphic images, and photos. During the process, some electronic components are also needed. For example, in a brochure, an original printed piece may be a combination of capital and lowercase letters, and may have punctuation or embossed images. The finished piece of work is often called a proof. Some types of proofs may also contain text, but these are not used for final printing. The process is more complex than it seems, so a professional should always check the printout carefully.
Chinese characters have thousands of characters, while alphabetic languages have fewer than 50. As a result, printing has evolved over the centuries. In the thirteenth century, printing material was discovered in Turfan, an ancient city in China. This printing technology was known by Muslims. Marco Polo, who visited China during the thirteenth century, may have seen printed books and brought it to Europe. However, it is not known whether Marco Polo had knowledge of the printing process before Gutenberg introduced it to the West.