The world of printing has enabled humans to capture the thoughts and stories across the ages and preserve them for generations to come. It kept the world connected and informed through newsprint and telegram during some of the most harrowing conflicts man has ever faced, and it has placed the scriptures of religion into easily digestible information from thousands of years ago.
Printing is an art form that has evolved with technology from the old world single-use printing presses to the lightning-fast electronic printers of today. In fact, printing processes allow information to be sent and received around the world in a matter of seconds and helps power the world of business and communication forward. Sure, you can use a Kindle to read a book on, but a books battery never dies at the most important part, nor do its words fade in the sunlight. Printed words hold so much value and importance and the printing processes throughout time have allowed us to capture them in an instant.
220 AD – The earliest known method of printing was discovered in China and dates back to 220 AD. The woodblock method used a simple wooden block which had been carved to make a stamp. The ink was then placed on the raised edges and applied to fabrics to transfer the print.
1040 AD – The next step saw the moveable type printing press, which had moveable components such as letters, numbers, and symbols. Again, this was another Chinese device that predates many western methods.
The year 1440 – this year saw the invention of the printing press which enabled fabric and paper to be printed upon without the need to first brush the ink onto the receptacle using pressure. This introduced the era of the quick print book.
1925 – Dot matrix printing. The dot matrix printer works in the same way as a typewriter in where a ribbon is struck against the paper to deposit ink. However, the similarities stop there as the print head can move up, down, and vertically to create a matrix of dots that form different styles and fonts.
1981 – 3D printing. It may be hard to believe that 3D printing dates back by more than 30 years, especially as it only just evolved enough to become commercially available.
The world of printing will continue forwards with time and ensures that the printed word remains as much a part of our lives and cultures as it does today.