Printing is the process of reproducing text and images by means of ink on paper. It is an important part of the publishing industry, and is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process.

The earliest printing technology was woodblock printing, and examples of the technique can be found dating back to before 220 A.D. It was developed in China, where it became common during the Zhenguan period (627649 C.E.). It was also used in Egypt, and examples of it are available from before the fourth century.

Lithography, or lithography, is the most commonly used type of printing today. It works by placing a metal plate – traditionally a block of stone – with greasy areas, and using water to make these greasy areas adhere to the blank surface of the plate. The ink then sticks to these greasy areas and is rolled onto the paper.

Relief printing, also known as linocut or wood-engraving, is another method of producing a printed image. This is a more artistic form of printmaking that has produced some stunning work in the past, and is still used by many artists and printers.

It can be created on a variety of materials and surfaces, including paper, glass, plastic, and metal. It is also sometimes applied to clothing or other textiles.

Digital printing is a recent development in the printing world, and it involves generating an image on a computer, and then using a device called a printer to transfer that image to a piece of paper. It is a fairly inexpensive and fast way of making printed products, such as posters or cards.

During the early modern period, printing spread across Europe at a rapid rate. The invention of movable type, by Johannes Gutenberg in the fifteenth century, revolutionized the way books were published and information was communicated.

Although printing was initially seen as a dangerous pursuit due to its association with reading, people gradually learned to read in new and creative ways. For example, they began reading selected passages in a book and interpreting them in their own way.

In addition, a wide range of texts was now available for the first time, and it became possible to read a huge range of subjects in an extensive fashion. This allowed for new forms of literary creativity, and paved the way for the rise of the novel.

Other forms of writing, such as scribal script and calligraphy, were still in use at this time, but these were less efficient for mass communication than the printed word.

The development of movable type ushered in the development of the printing press, which allowed the production of much larger numbers of books than was previously possible. In addition, the new technology made it easier for people to share and distribute information, as books could be easily sent across distances.