Printing

Printing

Overview
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing.

The development of printing was preceded by the use of cylinder seal
Cylinder seal
A cylinder seal is a cylinder engraved with a 'picture story', used in ancient times to roll an impression onto a two-dimensional surface, generally wet clay. Cylinder seals were invented around 3500 BC in the Near East, at the contemporary site of Susa in south-western Iran and at the early site...

s in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 developed in 3500 BC, and other related stamp seal
Stamp seal
The stamp seal is a carved object, usually stone, first made in the 4th millennium BC, and probably earlier. They were used to impress their picture or inscription into soft, prepared clay....

s. The earliest form of printing was woodblock printing
Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later paper....

, with existing examples from China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 dating to before 220 AD and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 to the 4th century.
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Encyclopedia
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing.

The development of printing was preceded by the use of cylinder seal
Cylinder seal
A cylinder seal is a cylinder engraved with a 'picture story', used in ancient times to roll an impression onto a two-dimensional surface, generally wet clay. Cylinder seals were invented around 3500 BC in the Near East, at the contemporary site of Susa in south-western Iran and at the early site...

s in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 developed in 3500 BC, and other related stamp seal
Stamp seal
The stamp seal is a carved object, usually stone, first made in the 4th millennium BC, and probably earlier. They were used to impress their picture or inscription into soft, prepared clay....

s. The earliest form of printing was woodblock printing
Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later paper....

, with existing examples from China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 dating to before 220 AD and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 to the 4th century. Later developments in printing include the movable type
Movable type
Movable type is the system of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document ....

, first developed by Bi Sheng
Bi Sheng
Bì Shēng was the inventor of the first known movable type technology. Bi Sheng's system was made of Chinese porcelain and was invented between 1041 and 1048 in China.-Movable type printing:...

 in China, and the printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

, a more efficient printing process developed by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century.

Woodblock printing


Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later paper....

 is a technique for printing text, images or patterns that was used widely throughout East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

. It originated in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 in antiquity as a method of printing on textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

s and later on paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

. As a method of printing on cloth, the earliest surviving examples from China date to before 220 AD, and from Roman Egypt to the 4th century.

In East Asia



The earliest surviving woodblock printed fragments are from China and are of silk printed with flowers in three colours from the Han Dynasty (before 220 AD), and the earliest example of woodblock printing on paper appeared in the mid-7th century in China.

By the 9th century printing on paper had taken off, with the first extant complete printed book, the Diamond Sutra
Diamond Sutra
The Diamond Sūtra , is a short and well-known Mahāyāna sūtra from the Prajñāpāramitā, or "Perfection of Wisdom" genre, and emphasizes the practice of non-abiding and non-attachment...

 in 868, and by the 10th century, 400,000 copies of some sutras and pictures were printed and the Confucian classics. A skilled printer could print up to 2,000 double-page sheets per day.

Printing spread early to Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 who also used Chinese logogram
Logogram
A logogram, or logograph, is a grapheme which represents a word or a morpheme . This stands in contrast to phonograms, which represent phonemes or combinations of phonemes, and determinatives, which mark semantic categories.Logograms are often commonly known also as "ideograms"...

s but the techniques were also used in Turpan and Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 using a number of other scripts. However, unlike the diffusion of paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

, printing techniques never spread to the Islamic world.

In the Middle East


Woodblock printing on cloth appeared in Roman Egypt by the 4th century. Block printing, called tarsh in Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 was developed in Arabic Egypt during the 9th-10th centuries, mostly for prayers and amulet
Amulet
An amulet, similar to a talisman , is any object intended to bring good luck or protection to its owner.Potential amulets include gems, especially engraved gems, statues, coins, drawings, pendants, rings, plants and animals; even words said in certain occasions—for example: vade retro satana—, to...

s. There is some evidence to suggest that the print blocks were made from non-wood materials, possibly tin
Tin
Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table. Tin shows chemical similarity to both neighboring group 14 elements, germanium and lead and has two possible oxidation states, +2 and the slightly more stable +4...

, lead, or clay. However, the techniques employed are uncertain and they appear to have had very little influence outside of the Muslim world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

. Though Europe adopted woodblock printing from the Muslim world, initially for fabric, the technique of metal block printing remained unknown in Europe. Block printing later went out of use in Islamic Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 after movable type printing was introduced from China.

In Europe



Block printing first came to Christian Europe as a method for printing on cloth, where it was common by 1300. Images printed on cloth for religious purposes could be quite large and elaborate, and when paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 became relatively easily available, around 1400, the medium transferred very quickly to small woodcut
Woodcut
Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges...

 religious images and playing card
Playing card
A playing card is a piece of specially prepared heavy paper, thin cardboard, plastic-coated paper, cotton-paper blend, or thin plastic, marked with distinguishing motifs and used as one of a set for playing card games...

s printed on paper. These prints
Old master print
An old master print is a work of art produced by a printing process within the Western tradition . A date of about 1830 is usually taken as marking the end of the period whose prints are covered by this term. The main techniques concerned are woodcut, engraving and etching, although there are...

 were produced in very large numbers from about 1425 onwards.

Around the mid-century, block-books, woodcut books with both text and images, usually carved in the same block, emerged as a cheaper alternative to manuscripts and books printed with movable type
Movable type
Movable type is the system of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document ....

. These were all short heavily illustrated works, the bestsellers of the day, repeated in many different block-book versions: the Ars moriendi
Ars moriendi
The Ars moriendi are two related Latin texts dating from about 1415 and 1450 which offer advice on the protocols and procedures of a good death, explaining how to "die well" according to Christian precepts of the late Middle Ages...

 and the Biblia pauperum
Biblia pauperum
The Biblia pauperum was a tradition of picture Bibles beginning in the later Middle Ages. They sought to portray the historical books of the Bible visually. Unlike a simple "illustrated Bible", where the pictures are subordinated to the text, these Bibles placed the illustration in the centre,...

 were the most common. There is still some controversy among scholars as to whether their introduction preceded or, the majority view, followed the introduction of movable type
Movable type
Movable type is the system of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document ....

, with the range of estimated dates being between about 1440 and 1460.

Movable-type printing




Movable type is the system of printing and typography
Typography
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading , adjusting the spaces between groups of letters and adjusting the space between pairs of letters...

 using movable pieces of metal type, made by casting from matrices
Matrix (printing)
In hot metal typesetting, a matrix is a mold for casting a letter, known as a sort, used in letterpress printing....

 struck by letterpunches
Punchcutting
In traditional typography, punchcutting is the craft of cutting letter punches in steel from which matrices were made in copper for type founding in the letterpress era. Cutting punches and casting type was the first step of traditional typesetting. The cutting of letter punches was a highly...

. Movable type
Movable type
Movable type is the system of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document ....

 allowed for much more flexible processes than hand copying or block printing.

Around 1040, the first known movable type system was created in China by Bi Sheng
Bi Sheng
Bì Shēng was the inventor of the first known movable type technology. Bi Sheng's system was made of Chinese porcelain and was invented between 1041 and 1048 in China.-Movable type printing:...

 out of porcelain
Porcelain
Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating raw materials, generally including clay in the form of kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between and...

. Sheng used clay type, which broke easily, but Wang Zhen
Wang Zhen (official)
Wang Zhen was an official of the Yuan Dynasty of China. He is credited with the invention of the first wooden movable type printing in the world, while his predecessor of the Song Dynasty , Bi Sheng , invented the world's first earthenware movable type printing...

 later carved a more durable type from wood by 1298 CE, and developed a complex system of revolving tables and number-association with written Chinese characters that made typesetting and printing more efficient. However, the main method in use there remained woodblock printing.

Copper movable type printing originated in China at the beginning of 12th century. It was used in large scale printing of paper money
issued by the Northern Song dynasty.
But around 1230, Koreans invented a metal type movable printing. The Jikji
Jikji
Jikji is the abbreviated title of a Korean Buddhist document, whose title can be translated "Anthology of Great Buddhist Priests' Zen Teachings". Printed during the Goryeo Dynasty in 1377, it is the world's oldest extant movable metal print book...

, published in 1377, is the earliest known metal printed book. Type-casting was used, adapted from the method of casting coins. The character was cut in beech wood, which was then pressed into a soft clay to form a mould and bronze poured into the mould and the type was finally polished.

Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg introduced what is regarded as an invention of movable type in Europe (see printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

), along with innovations in casting the type based on a matrix and hand mould
Hand mould
A hand mould is a simple mould used for low quantity work. It is used in the injection moulding and the printing industry.-Printing:In the printing industry, a hand mould specifically refers to a two-part mould used for casting hand-made type...

. Gutenberg was the first to create his type pieces from an alloy of lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, tin
Tin
Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table. Tin shows chemical similarity to both neighboring group 14 elements, germanium and lead and has two possible oxidation states, +2 and the slightly more stable +4...

 and antimony
Antimony
Antimony is a toxic chemical element with the symbol Sb and an atomic number of 51. A lustrous grey metalloid, it is found in nature mainly as the sulfide mineral stibnite...

 – the same components still used today.


The printing press


Johannes Gutenberg's work on the printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

 began in approximately 1436 when he partnered with Andreas Dritzehen – a man he had previously instructed in gem-cutting – and Andreas Heilmann, owner of a paper mill. It was not until a 1439 lawsuit
Lawsuit
A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint...

 against Gutenberg that official record exists; witnesses testimony discussed type, an inventory of metals (including lead) and his type mold.

Compared to woodblock printing
Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later paper....

, movable type page setting and printing using a press was faster and more durable. The metal type pieces were sturdier and the lettering more uniform, leading to typography and font
Font
In typography, a font is traditionally defined as a quantity of sorts composing a complete character set of a single size and style of a particular typeface...

s. The high quality and relatively low price of the Gutenberg Bible
Gutenberg Bible
The Gutenberg Bible was the first major book printed with a movable type printing press, and marked the start of the "Gutenberg Revolution" and the age of the printed book. Widely praised for its high aesthetic and artistic qualities, the book has an iconic status...

 (1455) established the superiority of movable type, and printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

es rapidly spread across Europe, leading up to the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, and later all around the world. Today, practically all movable type printing ultimately derives from Gutenberg's movable type printing, which is often regarded as the most important invention of the second millennium.

Rotary printing press



The rotary printing press was invented by Richard March Hoe
Richard March Hoe
Richard March Hoe , was an American inventor who designed an improved printing press.-Biography:Hoe was born in New York City. He was the son of Robert Hoe , an English-born American mechanic who, with his brothers-in-law, Peter and Matthew Smith, established a steam-run manufactory of printing...

 in 1843. It uses impressions curved around a cylinder to print on long continuous rolls of paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 or other substrates. Rotary drum printing was later significantly improved by William Bullock
William Bullock (inventor)
William Bullock was an American inventor whose 1863 invention of the web rotary printing press helped revolutionize the printing industry due to its great speed and efficiency. A few years after his invention, Bullock was accidentally killed by his own web rotary press.-Biography:William Bullock...

.

Modern printing technology



Across the world, over 45 trillion pages (2005 figure) are printed annually. In 2006 there were approximately 30,700 printing companies in the United States, accounting for $112 billion, according to the 2006 U.S. Industry & Market Outlook by Barnes Reports. Print jobs that move through the Internet made up 12.5% of the total U.S. printing market last year, according to research firm InfoTrend/CAP Ventures.

Offset press



Offset printing is a widely used printing technique where the inked image is transferred (or "offset") from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. When used in combination with the lithographic
Lithography
Lithography is a method for printing using a stone or a metal plate with a completely smooth surface...

 process, which is based on the repulsion of oil and water, the offset technique employs a flat (planographic) image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink
Ink
Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments and/or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design. Ink is used for drawing and/or writing with a pen, brush, or quill...

 from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a film of water, keeping the non-printing areas ink-free.

Currently, most book
Book
A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of hot lava, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf or leaflet, and each side of a leaf is called a page...

s and newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

s are printed using the technique of offset lithography. Other common techniques include:
  • flexography
    Flexography
    Flexography is a form of printing process which utilizes a flexible relief plate. It is basically an updated version of letterpress that can be used for printing on almost any type of substrate including plastic, metallic films, cellophane, and paper...

     used for packaging, labels, newspapers.
  • hot wax dye transfer
  • inkjet used typically to print a small number of books or packaging, and also to print a variety of materials from high quality papers simulate offset printing, to floor tiles; Inkjet is also used to apply mailing addresses to direct mail pieces.
  • laser printing mainly used in offices and for transactional printing (bills, bank documents). Laser printing is commonly used by direct mail companies to create variable data letters or coupons, for example.
  • pad printing
    Pad printing
    Pad printing is a printing process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object. This is accomplished using an indirect offset printing process that involves an image being transferred from the cliché via a silicone pad onto a substrate...

     popular for its unique ability to print on complex 3-dimensional surfaces.
  • relief print
    Relief print
    A relief print is an image created by a printmaking process where protruding surface faces of the matrix are inked; recessed areas are ink free. Printing the image is therefore a relatively simple matter of inking the face of the matrix and bringing it in firm contact with the paper...

    , (mainly used for catalogues).
  • rotogravure
    Rotogravure
    Rotogravure is a type of intaglio printing process; that is, it involves engraving the image onto an image carrier...

     mainly used for magazines and packaging.
  • screen-printing
    Screen-printing
    Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink or other printable materials which can be pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate...

     from T-shirts to floor tiles.

Gravure


Gravure printing
Rotogravure
Rotogravure is a type of intaglio printing process; that is, it involves engraving the image onto an image carrier...

 is an intaglio printing technique, where the image to be printed is made up of small depressions in the surface of the printing plate. The cells are filled with ink and the excess is scraped off the surface with a doctor blade, then a rubber-covered roller presses paper onto the surface of the plate and into contact with the ink in the cells. The printing plates are usually made from copper and may be produced by digital engraving or laser
Laser
A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of photons. The term "laser" originated as an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation...

 etching.

Gravure printing is used for long, high-quality print runs such as magazines, mail-order catalogues, packaging, and printing onto fabric and wallpaper. It is also used for printing postage stamps and decorative plastic laminates, such as kitchen worktops.

Religious impact


Samuel Hartlib
Samuel Hartlib
Samuel Hartlib was a German-British polymath. An active promoter and expert writer in many fields, he was interested in science, medicine, agriculture, politics, and education. He settled in England, where he married and died...

, who was exiled in Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 and enthusiastic about social and cultural reforms, wrote in 1641 that "the art of printing will so spread knowledge that the common people, knowing their own rights and liberties, will not be governed by way of oppression". Both churchmen and governments were concerned that print allowed readers, eventually including those from all classes of society, to study religious texts and politically sensitive issues by themselves, instead of having their thinking mediated by the religious and political authorities.
It took a somewhat longer time for print to penetrate Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 while it appeared a little earlier in the rest of Orthodox Christian world, a region (including modern Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 and Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

). First book printed by Serbs appeared in 1493, but Serbian printing, as well as that of other Balkan states, was largely extinguished by the arrival of Ottoman oppressors. Serbian and Greek books were also printed in printing houses run by Serbs and Greeks in Venice, and later Austria-Hungary.

In the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 world, printing, especially in Arabic or Turkish, was strongly opposed throughout the early modern period
Early modern period
In history, the early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the Middle Ages through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions...

, though printing in Hebrew was sometimes permitted. Muslim countries have been regarded as a barrier to the passage of printing from China to the West. According to an imperial ambassador to Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 in the middle of the sixteenth century, it was a sin for the Turks
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 to print religious books. In 1515, Sultan Selim I
Selim I
Selim I, Yavuz Sultân Selim Khan, Hâdim-ül Haramain-ish Sharifain , nicknamed Yavuz "the Stern" or "the Steadfast", but often rendered in English as "the Grim" , was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 to...

 issued a decree under which the practice of printing would be punishable by death. At the end of the century, Sultan Murad III
Murad III
Murad III was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1574 until his death.-Biography:...

 permitted the sale of non-religious printed books in Arabic characters, yet the majority were imported from Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

.

Jews were banned from German printing guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

s; as a result Hebrew printing sprang up in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, beginning in 1470 in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, then spreading to other cities including Bari, Pisa, Livorno and Mantuba. Local rulers had the authority to grant or revoke licenses to publish Hebrew books, and many of those printed during this period carry the words 'con licenza de superiori' (indicating their printing having been licensed by the censor) on their title pages.

It was thought that the introduction of the printing medium 'would strengthen religion and enhance the power of monarchs.' The majority of books were of a religious nature, with the church and crown regulating the content. The consequences of printing 'wrong' material were extreme. Meyrowitz used the example of William Carter who in 1584 printed a pro-Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 pamphlet in Protestant-dominated England. The consequence of his action was hanging
Hanging
Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain...

.

The widespread distribution of the Bible 'had a revolutionary impact, because it decreased the power of the Catholic Church as the prime possessor and interpretor of God's word.'

Social impact


Print gave a broader range of readers access to knowledge and enabled later generations to build on the intellectual achievements of earlier ones. Print, according to Acton
John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, KCVO, DL , known as Sir John Dalberg-Acton, 8th Bt from 1837 to 1869 and usually referred to simply as Lord Acton, was an English Catholic historian, politician, and writer...

 in his lecture On the Study of History (1895), gave "assurance that the work of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 would last, that what was written would be accessible to all, that such an occultation of knowledge and ideas as had depressed the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 would never recur, that not an idea would be lost".

Print was instrumental in changing the nature of reading within society.

Elizabeth Eisenstein
Elizabeth Eisenstein
Elizabeth Lewisohn Eisenstein is an American historian of the French Revolution and early 19th century France. She is well-known for her work on the history of early printing, writing on the transition in media between the era of 'manuscript culture' and that of 'print culture', as well as the role...

 identifies two long term effects of the invention of printing. She claims that print created a sustained and uniform reference for knowledge as well as allowing for comparison between incompatible views. (Eisenstein in Briggs and Burke, 2002: p21)

Asa Briggs and Peter Burke
Peter Burke
Peter Burke is a British historian and professor.He was born to a Roman Catholic father and Jewish mother . He was educated by the Jesuits and at St John's College, Oxford, and was a doctoral candidate at St Antony's College...

 identify five kinds of reading that developed in relation to the introduction of print:
  1. Critical reading: due to the fact that texts finally became accessible to the general population, critical reading emerged because people were given the option to form their own opinions on texts.
  2. Dangerous Reading: reading was seen as a dangerous pursuit because it was considered rebellious and unsociable. This was especially in the case of women because reading could stir up dangerous emotions like love. There was also the concern that if women could read, they could read love notes.
  3. Creative reading: Printing allowed people to read texts and interpret them creatively, often in very different ways than the author intended.
  4. Extensive Reading: Print allowed for a wide range of texts to become available, thus, previous methods of intensive reading of texts from start to finish, began to change. With texts being readily available, people began reading on particular topics or chapters, allowing for much more extensive reading on a wider range of topics.
  5. Private reading: This is linked to the rise of individualism. Before print, reading was often a group event, where one person would read to a group of people. With print, literacy rose as did availability of texts, thus reading became a solitary pursuit.


The invention of printing also changed the occupational structure of European cities. Printers
Printer (publisher)
In publishing, printers are both companies providing printing services and individuals who directly operate printing presses. With the invention of the moveable type printing press by Johannes Gutenberg around 1450, printing—and printers—proliferated throughout Europe.Today, printers are found...

 emerged as a new group of artisans for whom literacy was essential, although the much more labour-intensive occupation of the scribe
Scribe
A scribe is a person who writes books or documents by hand as a profession and helps the city keep track of its records. The profession, previously found in all literate cultures in some form, lost most of its importance and status with the advent of printing...

 naturally declined. Proof-correcting arose as a new occupation, while a rise in the amount of booksellers
Bookselling
Bookselling is the commercial trading of books, the retail and distribution end of the publishing process. People who engage in bookselling are called booksellers or bookmen.-Bookstores today:...

 and librarian
Librarian
A librarian is an information professional trained in library and information science, which is the organization and management of information services or materials for those with information needs...

s naturally followed the explosion in the numbers of books.

Comparison of printing methods


Comparison of printing methods
printing process transfer method pressure
Pressure
Pressure is the force per unit area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of an object. Gauge pressure is the pressure relative to the local atmospheric or ambient pressure.- Definition :...

 applied
drop size
Drop (liquid)
A drop or droplet is a small column of liquid, bounded completely or almost completely by free surfaces. A drop may form when liquid accumulates at the lower end of a tube or other surface boundary, producing a hanging drop called a pendant drop...

dynamic viscosity thickness of ink on substrate notes cost-effective run length
Offset printing
Offset printing
Offset printing is a commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface...

rollers 1 MPa 40–100 Pa·s 0.5–1.5 µm high print quality >5,000 (A3 trim size
ISO 216
ISO 216 specifies international standard paper sizes used in most countries in the world today. It defines the "A" and "B" series of paper sizes, including A4, the most commonly available size...

, sheet-fed)
>30,000 (A3 trim size
ISO 216
ISO 216 specifies international standard paper sizes used in most countries in the world today. It defines the "A" and "B" series of paper sizes, including A4, the most commonly available size...

, web-fed)
Rotogravure
Rotogravure
Rotogravure is a type of intaglio printing process; that is, it involves engraving the image onto an image carrier...

rollers 3 MPa 0.05–0.2 Pa·s 0.8–8 µm thick ink layers possible, excellent image reproduction, edges of letters and lines are jagged >500,000
Flexography
Flexography
Flexography is a form of printing process which utilizes a flexible relief plate. It is basically an updated version of letterpress that can be used for printing on almost any type of substrate including plastic, metallic films, cellophane, and paper...

rollers 0.3 MPa 0.05–0.5 Pa·s 0.8–2.5 µm moderate quality
Letterpress printing
Letterpress printing
Letterpress printing is relief printing of text and image using a press with a "type-high bed" printing press and movable type, in which a reversed, raised surface is inked and then pressed into a sheet of paper to obtain a positive right-reading image...

platen 10 MPa 50–150 Pa·s 0.5–1.5 µm slow drying
Screen-printing
Screen-printing
Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink or other printable materials which can be pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate...

pressing ink through holes in screen <12 µm versatile method, low quality
Electrophotography
Electrophotography
Electrophotography is a dry photocopying technique invented by Chester Carlson in 1938, for which he was awarded on October 6, 1942...

electrostatics
Electrostatics
Electrostatics is the branch of physics that deals with the phenomena and properties of stationary or slow-moving electric charges....

5–10 µm thick ink
Inkjet printer
Inkjet printer
An inkjet printer is a type of computer printer that creates a digital image by propelling droplets of ink onto paper. Inkjet printers are the most commonly used type of printer and range from small inexpensive consumer models to very large professional machines that can cost up to thousands of...

thermal 5–30 pl 1–5 Pa·s <0.5 µm special paper required to reduce bleeding <350 (A3 trim size
ISO 216
ISO 216 specifies international standard paper sizes used in most countries in the world today. It defines the "A" and "B" series of paper sizes, including A4, the most commonly available size...

)
Inkjet printer
Inkjet printer
An inkjet printer is a type of computer printer that creates a digital image by propelling droplets of ink onto paper. Inkjet printers are the most commonly used type of printer and range from small inexpensive consumer models to very large professional machines that can cost up to thousands of...

piezoelectric 4–30 pl 5–20 Pa·s <0.5 µm special paper required to reduce bleeding <350 (A3 trim size
ISO 216
ISO 216 specifies international standard paper sizes used in most countries in the world today. It defines the "A" and "B" series of paper sizes, including A4, the most commonly available size...

)
Inkjet printer
Inkjet printer
An inkjet printer is a type of computer printer that creates a digital image by propelling droplets of ink onto paper. Inkjet printers are the most commonly used type of printer and range from small inexpensive consumer models to very large professional machines that can cost up to thousands of...

continuous 5–100 pl 1–5 Pa·s <0.5 µm special paper required to reduce bleeding <350 (A3 trim size
ISO 216
ISO 216 specifies international standard paper sizes used in most countries in the world today. It defines the "A" and "B" series of paper sizes, including A4, the most commonly available size...

)

Digital printing


Digital printing
Digital printing
Digital printing refers to methods of printing from a digital based image directly to a variety of media. It usually refers to professional printing where small run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using large format and/or high volume laser or inkjet printers...

 accounts for approximately 9% of the 45 trillion pages printed annually (2005 figure) around the world.

Printing at home or in an office
Office
An office is generally a room or other area in which people work, but may also denote a position within an organization with specific duties attached to it ; the latter is in fact an earlier usage, office as place originally referring to the location of one's duty. When used as an adjective, the...

 or engineering environment is subdivided into:
  • small format (up to ledger size paper sheets), as used in business offices and libraries
  • wide format (up to 3' or 914mm wide rolls of paper), as used in drafting and design establishments.


Some of the more common printing technologies are:
  • blueprint
    Blueprint
    A blueprint is a type of paper-based reproduction usually of a technical drawing, documenting an architecture or an engineering design. More generally, the term "blueprint" has come to be used to refer to any detailed plan....

    —and related chemical technologies.
  • daisy wheel—where pre-formed characters are applied individually.
  • dot-matrix
    Dot matrix printer
    A dot matrix printer or impact matrix printer is a type of computer printer with a print head that runs back and forth, or in an up and down motion, on the page and prints by impact, striking an ink-soaked cloth ribbon against the paper, much like the print mechanism on a typewriter...

    —which produces arbitrary patterns of dots with an array of printing studs.
  • line printing
    Line printer
    The line printer is a form of high speed impact printer in which one line of type is printed at a time. They are mostly associated with the early days of computing, but the technology is still in use...

    —where pre-formed characters are applied to the paper by lines.
  • heat transfer
    Thermal printer
    A thermal printer produces a printed image by selectively heating coated thermochromic paper, or thermal paper as it is commonly known, when the paper passes over the thermal print head. The coating turns black in the areas where it is heated, producing an image...

    —like early fax machines or modern receipt printers that apply heat to special paper, which turns black to form the printed image.
  • inkjet—including bubble-jet—where ink is sprayed onto the paper to create the desired image.
  • electrophotography
    Electrophotography
    Electrophotography is a dry photocopying technique invented by Chester Carlson in 1938, for which he was awarded on October 6, 1942...

    —where toner
    Toner
    Toner is a powder used in laser printers and photocopiers to form the printed text and images on the paper. In its early form it was simply carbon powder. Then, to improve the quality of the printout, the carbon was melt-mixed with a polymer...

     is attracted to a charged image and then developed.
  • laser—a type of xerography
    Xerography
    Xerography is a dry photocopying technique invented by Chester Carlson in 1938, for which he was awarded on October 6, 1942. Carlson originally called his invention electrophotography...

     where the charged image is written pixel by pixel by a laser.
  • solid ink
    Solid ink
    Solid ink is a technology used in computer printers and multifunction devices originally created by Tektronix in 1986. After Xerox acquired the Tektronix Color Printing and Imaging Division in 2000, the solid ink technology became part of the Xerox line of office printing and imaging products....

     printer—where cube
    Cube
    In geometry, a cube is a three-dimensional solid object bounded by six square faces, facets or sides, with three meeting at each vertex. The cube can also be called a regular hexahedron and is one of the five Platonic solids. It is a special kind of square prism, of rectangular parallelepiped and...

    s of ink are melted to make ink or liquid toner.


Vendors typically stress the total cost to operate the equipment, involving complex calculations that include all cost factors involved in the operation as well as the capital equipment costs, amortization, etc. For the most part, toner systems beat inkjet in the long run, whereas inkjets are less expensive in the initial purchase price.

Professional digital printing
Digital printing
Digital printing refers to methods of printing from a digital based image directly to a variety of media. It usually refers to professional printing where small run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using large format and/or high volume laser or inkjet printers...

 (using toner
Toner
Toner is a powder used in laser printers and photocopiers to form the printed text and images on the paper. In its early form it was simply carbon powder. Then, to improve the quality of the printout, the carbon was melt-mixed with a polymer...

) primarily uses an electrical charge to transfer toner or liquid ink to the substrate it is printed on. Digital print quality has steadily improved from early color and black & white copiers to sophisticated colour digital presses like the Xerox iGen3, the Kodak Nexpress, the HP Indigo Digital Press
Indigo Digital Press
Indigo is a series of digital offset printing presses manufactured by the Hewlett-Packard company in Ness Ziona, Israel.HP Indigo presses are used for general commercial printing, direct mail, photo, publications, labels, flexible packaging, folding cartons and specialty printing...

 series and the InfoPrint 5000. The iGen3 and Nexpress use toner particles and the Indigo uses liquid ink. The InfoPrint 5000 is a full-color, continuous forms inkjet drop-on-demand printing system. All handle variable data and rival offset in quality. Digital offset presses are also called direct imaging presses, although these presses can receive computer files and automatically turn them into print-ready plates, they cannot insert variable data.

Small press and fanzines generally use digital printing
Digital printing
Digital printing refers to methods of printing from a digital based image directly to a variety of media. It usually refers to professional printing where small run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using large format and/or high volume laser or inkjet printers...

. Prior to the introduction of cheap photocopying the use of machines such as the spirit duplicator
Spirit duplicator
A spirit duplicator was a low-volume printing method used mainly by schools and churches. It was also used by members of science fiction fandom and early comic book fandom to produce fanzines...

, hectograph
Hectograph
The hectograph or gelatin duplicator or jellygraph is a printing process which involves transfer of an original, prepared with special inks, to a pan of gelatin or a gelatin pad pulled tight on a metal frame.-Process:...

, and mimeograph was common.

3D printing


3D printing
3D printing
3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology where a three dimensional object is created by laying down successive layers of material. 3D printers are generally faster, more affordable, and easier to use than other additive manufacturing technologies. However, the term 3D printing is...

 is a form of manufacturing technology where objects are created using three dimensional files and 3D printers. Objects are created by laying down successive layers of material. Some companies such as Sculpteo
Sculpteo
Sculpteo is a French company specialized in 3D printing. Sculpteo offers an online 3D printing service , using rapid prototyping and a manufacturing process involving laser sintering or stereo lithography . The company was founded in June 2009 by Eric Carreel co-founder of Inventel , acquired by...

 or Shapeways are proposing online solutions for 3D printing.

See also


  • Color printing
    Color printing
    Color printing or Colour printing is the reproduction of an image or text in color...

  • Converters (industry)
  • Electrotyping
    Electrotyping
    Electrotyping is a chemical method for forming metal parts that exactly reproduce a model. The method was invented by Moritz von Jacobi in Russia in 1838, and was immediately adopted for applications in printing and several other fields...

  • Flexography
    Flexography
    Flexography is a form of printing process which utilizes a flexible relief plate. It is basically an updated version of letterpress that can be used for printing on almost any type of substrate including plastic, metallic films, cellophane, and paper...

  • Foil imaging
    Foil imaging
    Foil imaging is a revolutionary printmaking technique developed at the University of Iowa by Professor Virginia A. Myers, with student research teams, in the late twentieth century. Enabled by the invention of the hand-held Iowa Foil Printer , it is a new art form derived from the commercial...

  • Foil stamping
    Foil stamping
    Foil stamping, typically a commercial print process, is the application of pigment or metallic foil, often gold or silver, but can also be various patterns or what is known as pastel foil which is a flat opaque color or white special film-backed material, to paper where a heated die is stamped onto...

  • Hot metal typesetting
    Hot metal typesetting
    In printing and typography, hot metal typesetting refers to 19th-century technologies for typesetting text in letterpress printing. This method injects molten type metal into a mold that has the shape of one or more glyphs...

  • In-mould decoration
    In-Mould Decoration
    In-mould decoration, a special type of plastic moulding, is used for decorating plastic surfaces with color and/or with an abrasion resistant coat.-Principle:...

  • In-mould labelling
    In-mould labelling
    In-mould labelling is the use of paper or plastic labels during the manufacturing of containers by blow molding, injection molding, or thermoforming processes. The label serves as the integral part of the final product, which is then delivered as pre-decorated item. Combining the decoration...

  • Intaglio (printmaking)
    Intaglio (printmaking)
    Intaglio is a family of printmaking techniques in which the image is incised into a surface, known as the matrix or plate, and the incised line or area holds the ink. Normally, copper or zinc plates are used as a surface, and the incisions are created by etching, engraving, drypoint, aquatint or...

  • Jang Young Sil
  • Letterpress printing
    Letterpress printing
    Letterpress printing is relief printing of text and image using a press with a "type-high bed" printing press and movable type, in which a reversed, raised surface is inked and then pressed into a sheet of paper to obtain a positive right-reading image...

  • Movable type
    Movable type
    Movable type is the system of printing and typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document ....

  • Offset printing
    Offset printing
    Offset printing is a commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface...

  • Pad printing
    Pad printing
    Pad printing is a printing process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object. This is accomplished using an indirect offset printing process that involves an image being transferred from the cliché via a silicone pad onto a substrate...

  • Print on demand
    Print on demand
    Print on demand , sometimes called, in error, publish on demand, is a printing technology and business process in which new copies of a book are not printed until an order has been received...

  • Printmaking
    Printmaking
    Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints with an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable...

  • Printed T-shirt
    Printed T-shirt
    A Printed T-shirt is a T-shirt bearing a design, image or lettering on it. Various types of printed T-shirts exist.-Concert T-shirt:A concert T-shirt is a T-shirt that is associated with a concert or a concert tour, usually rock or metal. Bands and musical groups often promote themselves by...

  • Security printing
    Security printing
    Security printing is the field of the printing industry that deals with the printing of items such as banknotes, passports, tamper-evident labels, product authentication, stock certificates, postage stamps and identity cards...

  • Typography
    Typography
    Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading , adjusting the spaces between groups of letters and adjusting the space between pairs of letters...

  • Wang Zhen
    Wang Zhen (official)
    Wang Zhen was an official of the Yuan Dynasty of China. He is credited with the invention of the first wooden movable type printing in the world, while his predecessor of the Song Dynasty , Bi Sheng , invented the world's first earthenware movable type printing...

  • Waterless printing
    Waterless printing
    Waterless printing is an offset lithographic printing process that eliminates the water or dampening system used in conventional printing. It uses silicone rubber coated printing plates and specially formulated inks, and typically a temperature-control system is integrated into waterless...

  • Laurens Janszoon Coster
    Laurens Janszoon Coster
    Laurens Janszoon Coster , or Laurens Jansz Koster, is the name of an inventor of a printing press from Haarlem...

  • Printing press check
    Printing press check
    The printing press check is a step in the printing process. It takes place after a printing press is set up but before the print run is underway....

  • Jikji
    Jikji
    Jikji is the abbreviated title of a Korean Buddhist document, whose title can be translated "Anthology of Great Buddhist Priests' Zen Teachings". Printed during the Goryeo Dynasty in 1377, it is the world's oldest extant movable metal print book...

  • Fespa
    Fespa
    FESPA is a federation of trade associations and an organiser of exhibitions and conferences for the screen and digital printing industry. Formerly, the name FESPA stood for 'The Federation of European Screen Printers Associations'...



Further reading

  • Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, Cambridge University Press, September 1980, Paperback, 832 pages, ISBN 0-521-29955-1
  • Marshall McLuhan
    Marshall McLuhan
    Herbert Marshall McLuhan, CC was a Canadian educator, philosopher, and scholar—a professor of English literature, a literary critic, a rhetorician, and a communication theorist...

    , The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1962) Univ. of Toronto Press (1st ed.); reissued by Routledge & Kegan Paul ISBN 0-7100-1818-5.
  • Tam, Pui-Wing The New Paper Trail, The Wall Street Journal Online, February 13, 2006 Pg.R8}}
  • Woong-Jin-Wee-In-Jun-Gi #11 Jang Young Sil by Baek Sauk Gi. Copyright 1987 Woongjin Publishing Co., Ltd. Pg. 61.

On the effects of Gutenberg's printing

Early printers manuals
The classic manual of early hand-press technology is
A somewhat later one, showing 18th century developments is

External links