History of print

As far as we can tell, humanity started recording history in the 4th millennia B.C. Back then very few people could read so reading materials weren’t in high demand and symbols and images were used in place of words. The oldest example of graphic design is the hieroglyphs in Egypt.  In the year 3000BC people would take small round seals, and use rolling pins to put there impressions into wet clay. In woodblock printing- the process of printing patterns, images and texts  on textiles and later on paper, under the influence of Bhuddism- would be used in Europe by christianity as a method for printing religious images on cloth where it was common until the 1300s. When paper became relatively common in the 1400s the medium changed to small religious images and playing cards, these prints were produced more from 1425 onwards.

Johaan Gutenburg( 1400-1468) is considered by many to be one of the most important figures in the history of printing press. He was born in Mainz, Germany. Around 1430-1440 he invented moveable, interchangeable and reusable type for printing on a wooden press. It played a key role in the renaissance and helped spread learning to the masses. During the sixteenth century the Netherlands become the unofficial capital of Europe for book printing, the foremost printer was Christophe Plantin by 1576 he owned 22 presses.

The first ever printing press set up in England was set up in 1476 in Westminster. The first book printed in English was in 1473 by the same man who set up the first printing press in England; William Caxton. William(1415/1425) went to live in Bruges, Germany in 1446 where he witnessed the growing industry of the printing press. The first book printed by William Caxton’s press was “Chaucer’s Canterbury tales”. Caxton produced mainly chivalric romances which appealed the English upper class- who were probably the only people who could read at the time.

the victorian times were the stage for great change in all manner of technologies, the steam press being one of the greater technologies to be discovered, it allowed for the user to print large number of pages at once. At this period in time more and more people were learning how to read so the wide spread of books and newspapers became more and more necessary.

In 1969 Gary Starkweather had the idea of using a laser to draw an image onto a copier drum, it wasn’t until 1977 that the product would be sold to the public en masse.

With mass distribution of the computer and the creation of the internet printing images and editing images has never been easier,  especially with things like photoshop and other programs allowing for anybody to take and modify images and texts.

Future of print 

The future of print is potentially up in the air, with the internet being accessible by over 1/3 of the entire planet and online news sources are used now more than ever and yet there is still a – particularly bizarre- hope for Print, particularly 3D printers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s