The Printing Process Over The Years

Today everyone uses printing in our day to day lives. All the books, newspaper, advertisement boards and signs are all printed materials. Printing is one of the greatest inventions that changed the world and will continue to play a huge part in our lives. Here’s a little history and the methods used at the time.

Woodblock The earliest known printing was done in 220 A.D in China. This was known as the Woodblock method. It was originally printed on textile and then on to paper as well. When this method arrived in Europe it was first used to print on cloth and then on paper.

Movable typeMovable type printing was also first introduced in China circa 1040. It was known to be easier and more flexible than block type print. The first movable type printer was used for large scale paper publishing.

Thereafter movable type spread to Korea and was improved upon. The Koreans made a metal type movable printing using bronze.

The first modern movable type system was introduced by Johannes Gutenberg. It was created using pieces from an alloy of lead, antimony, copper, tin and bismuth. These components are what are still used today.

The Printing pressThe printing press was founded by Johannes Gutenberg. It is noted as the most important invention at the time and spread all across the world. It enabled fast and durable processing. The famous Gutenberg Bible was the first major book printed using this technology.

Modern technologies

OffsetOffset printing is a system where a plate contains the image to be printed. This image is then inked and transferred to a rubber blanket and then to the material which could be paper, plastic, cardboard or any other similar material. This system can only work on flat surfaces. This is the most common method today and books, newspapers, posters etc. are all printed via this method.

3D printing This form is now more commercially available and enables three dimensional prints. It has become extremely popular and will change many industries in years to come. There are many 3d printers such as 3D printing in metal, wax, polycarbonate and more.

There are certain controversies that have resulted in dimensional prints being commercially available. Anyone could buy metal 3D printer and start making weapons, these issues exist and require more control over the matter.

FlexographyThis method is mainly used for packaging and labelling. These printers have a plate that’s made out of rubber which is inked and then transferred to the packaging and labelling.

Digital printingEveryone knows about digital printing because everybody uses it. Some of us may have it in our homes as well. This is the most common form of printers available today. This too has two different systems named after the type of printer. One method uses laser and the other ink.

There are other methods such as Gravure printing mainly used for newspaper and magazines but is gradually being replaces by offset and flexo. Screen printing is another method which is being replaced by digital mehods.

Printing has been one of the greatest inventions even though we take it for granted and will exist many years into the future.