Printing is a method of duplicating text and images on paper by using ink. The printing process has evolved over an extensive period of time to develop into what it is today. Some of the first printing techniques were invented in 3500 BC in Mesopotamia (-Current Arabia) – where cylindrical seals and other similar stamp-seals were first introduced. In 240 AD, wood printing came into existence, with similar examples discovered in ancient Egypt and China. The rest, as they say – is history. The following article will explore some of the top printing methods that were conceived over the years.
Movable Text Printing: Movable text printing involves using removable pieces of metal, which allowed for more malleability than hand copying or block printing. This printing technique was developed around the mid-1400. The first of these systems were invented in China and was made of porcelain. With further developments, more durable systems were manufactured from wood, copper and bronze.
Printing Press: Johannes Gutenberg invented the infamous printing press that used a movable type-page setting, which made printing a lot faster and more resilient. The metal pieces used in Gutenberg’s press were sturdier than the ones used in the earlier system (Movable Text Printing). This innovation led to letters being a lot more uniform, which in turn laid the fountains for modern fonts and typography. All the movable-text printing that is possible today – stems from Gutenberg’s innovations and therefore it is acclaimed to be one of the most important innovations in the field of printing, ever. Following this ingenious invention in 1842 – the rotary press was developed, which could print on continuous rolls of paper using impression cylinders.
Offset printing: The Offset method of printing is a modern technology which is used across the world. With this unique method, an inked image is transferred (-or offset) from a plate to a rubber blanket, before it is transferred to the printing surface. Most modern newspapers, magazines and books are printed using the offset printing method.
Besides these modern printing techniques, there are numerous other techniques that is used to print of various different surfaces.
Laser printing: This method of printing is mostly used in offices. It is typically used to print administration items like documents or invoices.
Screen printing: This is a technique that is primarily used to print t-shirts, but it is also employed to print tiles and various other flat surfaces.
Printing methods have immensely changed from the initial block printing to present-day offset printing. Nowadays, commercial printing services have much more options with regards to printing methods.
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This article was provided by food lover and tech enthusiast, ScribeZA, for one of the top printing companies in Cape Town, South Africa.