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History of Printing

printingPrinting made it possible to produce whole books in weeks rather than years. This, in turn, enabled the rapid spread of knowledge, ideas, literature and news, profoundly shaping the development of whole societies.

A considerable number of  people believe that the invention of printing hinged on the development of the printing press. Derived from presses used to squeeze the oil from olives and juice from grapes, the first printing presses used a heavy screw to force a block of type against the paper below.

Early printers as typographers
Prior to the development of printing, lettering styles were confined to the calligraphic styles of scribes. Uncial lettering (from Latin uncial meaning inch-high) was used during the Roman Empire; this gradually evolved to Celtic Roundhand (developed in Ireland). Later, during the reign of Charlemagne, the king ordered a standardized lettering style to be used throughout the Holy Roman Empire – Carolingian lettering. Finally, a lettering style called Black Letter (sometimes called Old English or Gothic) developed in Germany. Black Letter was adapted by Gutenberg for the movable type used to print the 42-line Bible (named for the number of lines per page), which is also known as the Gutenberg Bible or the Mainz Bible (for the place where it was produced).

From the late 1600s to the late 1800s – the printing press and the science of type cutting had only minor refinements. Then in 1814 The Times of London introduced the first steam press to replaced hand-operated presses; in 1868 the rotary steam press was introduced. This was considered at the time a major innovation in printing.

Time moves on with additional developments – new fonts discovered and used in different formats , italic, bold and so on. The printing industry was gaining pace , fro the Times usage of the rotary steam press developments were literally going full steam.

Testing times in printing and general manufacturer lay ahead with the advent of the world war. Presses appeared and were used more and more efficiently for items such as ration books, milk coupons and propaganda. Following the war , the printing presses of Heidelberg, Gesteppner and others were changing the face of promotion and the printed item forever with full colour processes a standard.

Today we take for granted the printed item and still may genuinely marvel at a leaflet printed on glossy paper or indeed a promotion piece one receives in a news paper .. quality printing in fact all printing is thanks to companies too numerous to mention whose creation of presses have bought us to the promoting society we are today.

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