• February 25, 2020

A brief history of the printing industry

Pre-historic times

The history of printing is stated to be over 3500 BC in Persia and Mesopotamian civilization where cylinder seals were used to certify documents made in clay. Stencil hand painting, where paint had to blown over a hand held against a wall. This has been found in caves over 3500 years ago. 

The early years

 Other early forms are the prints on ceramic, cloth and block seals. Wood printing is said to have originated in China around 200 AD. It is widely believed that this block printing led to the development of the movable block printing which enabled many prints to be taken. 

The wood block 

The movable wood block printing was fully developed by the eleventh century. The adaptation of metal letters in Europe during the fifteenth century led to the mass production of metal types. This supported the economical mass production of books. 

The books publishing industry was thus established.

Printing revolution

The distribution of knowledge on a mass scale supported the growth of the priming industry and new and lower cost methods of image reproduction were developed. Printing was totally transformed by Johanes Guttenberg, a German blacksmith, goldsmith printer and publisher living the mid fifteenth century. He was the first to introduce the revolutionary mass producing mechanical movable type priming in Europe. Guttenberg introduced three major techniques. He was the first to use the oil based ink which was more durable than the earlier water based ones.

He also introduced the more robust type made from alloy and invented the first printing press. 

The Rotary press was invented in the mid nineteenth century in United States. . With the further mechanisation of the process and introduction of paper rolls, rotary press could print 800 sheets in an hour. By the end of the nineteenth century, the offset press was invented. The offset press had the advantage of sharp images on not very smooth paper. The invention of the Linotype was an important landmark in printing. 

The Modernisation;

 In 1971, Xerox invented the laser technology where the content to be printed was generated by electronic process and printed directly onto paper. This was a record breaking speed of printing recorded in 1971. By 1982, the first desk top printer appeared. Along with this, there was the development of dot matrix printer and dye sublimation printer. 

The leaders in the printing and packaging industry like  Netpak, Thomasnet and Nepa Cartons have always kept abreast with the modern technology to give the best cost effective service to their customers. 

The 3D Printer

The latest in the printing technology is the 3D printer. Though started several decades back, it has been long in the developing to be of actual commercial use. It is now widely used in the field of architecture, archaeology and healthcare. 

 

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