The term “printing” is used to describe a wide variety of techniques for reproducing texts and illustrations, in black or colour on a durable surface. They include woodblock printing, movable type, and the modern printing press.
Traditionally, printing was the mechanical application of a certain amount of colouring agent under pressure onto a specified surface to form a body of text or an illustration. However, certain modern processes are no longer dependent on the mechanical concept of pressure or the material concept of colouring agents.
Printing can be used to reproduce a range of materials, including paper and textiles. It is also a technique for manufacturing miniature electronic circuits.
Books and other publications are some of the most obvious uses for printing. But it is also used for other purposes, such as posters, packaging, and billboards.
There are a number of different types of printing methods, including gravure, screen printing, and laser printing. These methods all produce high-quality prints and are used in a range of applications.
Gravure, also known as intaglio printing, is a method of printing in which the paper is directly pressed into etched copper plates to form an image. It is a relatively expensive process but is commonly used for high-quality, large-scale products such as brochures and magazines.
The earliest printing was woodblock printing, which dates to before 220 A.D and is still in use. Other forms of printing are the movable type, developed in China before the fifteenth century, and the modern printing press, which was introduced in Europe by Johannes Gutenberg in the fifteenth century.
Book production, which is one of the most important areas of printing, was revolutionized by the introduction of the printing press. This made it possible for books to be printed in quantity, resulting in the spread of knowledge throughout Europe.
It changed the social nature of reading, as it made texts more accessible to the general public and led to the development of critical reading. This change, along with the fact that people could now read for pleasure, helped to raise literacy rates and increase awareness of the arts and sciences.
The printing of books, newspapers and other materials became a mass industry in Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It was a profitable enterprise, and its success encouraged the development of many forms of commercial publishing.
By the nineteenth century, rotary presses were being invented to increase the speed at which books could be printed. This allowed millions of copies to be produced in a day, and the process became widespread.
In the twentieth century, printing moved from traditional methods to digital technology. The advent of computerized printing and the emergence of cheap inkjet printers has meant that the market for printed materials is now very large, but it is unclear how this trend will continue.
Some people argue that the printing of books is a dying art, as new audiovisual and information media take over the role that printing once held in the multiplication of knowledge. This may be true, but there are a number of reasons why the field of printing remains so extensive.