By 593 A.D., the first printing press was invented in China, and the first printed newspaper was available in Beijing in 700 A.D. It was a woodblock printing. And the Diamond Sutra, the earliest known complete woodblock printed book with illustrations was printed in China in 868 A.D. And Chinese printer Bi Sheng invented movable type in 1041 A.D. in China Sheng used clay type, which broke easily, but Wang Zhen later carved a more durable type from wood by 1298 AD, and developed a complex system of revolving tables and number-association with written Chinese characters that made typesetting and printing more efficient.
Around the mid-century, block-books, woodcut books with both text and images, usually carved in the same block, emerged as a cheaper alternative to manuscripts and books printed with movable type. These were all short heavily illustrated works, the bestsellers of the day, repeated in many different block-book versions: the Ars moriendi and the Biblia pauperum were the most common. There is still some controversy among scholars as to whether their introduction preceded or, the majority view, followed the introduction of movable type, with the range of estimated dates being between about 1440–1460.
Movable type is the system of printing and typography using movable pieces of metal type, made by casting from matrices struck by letterpunches. Movable type allowed for much more flexible processes than hand copying or block printing.
Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg introduced what is regarded as an independent invention of movable type in Europe (see printing press), along with innovations in casting the type based on a matrix and hand mould. Gutenberg was the first to create his type pieces from an alloy of lead, tin and antimony – the same components still used today.
Johannes Gutenberg's work on the printing press began in approximately 1436 when he partnered with Andreas Dritzehen — a man he had previously instructed in gem-cutting—and Andreas Heilmann, owner of a paper mill. It was not until a 1439 lawsuit against Gutenberg that official record exists; witnesses testimony discussed type, an inventory of metals (including lead) and his type mold.
Compared to woodblock printing, movable type page setting was quicker and more durable. The metal type pieces were more durable and the lettering was more uniform, leading to typography and fonts. The high quality and relatively low price of the Gutenberg Bible (1455) established the superiority of movable type, and printing presses rapidly spread across Europe, leading up to the Renaissance, and later all around the world. Today, practically all movable type printing ultimately derives from Gutenberg's movable type printing, which is often regarded as the most important invention of the second millennium.
Across the world, over 45 trillion pages (2005 figure) are printed annually. In 2006 there were approximately 30,700 printing companies in the United States, accounting for $112 billion, according to the 2006 U.S. Industry & Market Outlook by Barnes Reports Print jobs that move through the Internet made up 12.5% of the total U.S. Printing market last year, according to research firm InfoTrend/CAP Ventures.
Gravure printing is used for long, high-quality print runs such as magazines, mail-order catalogues, packaging, and printing onto fabric and wallpaper. It is also used for printing postage stamps and decorative plastic laminates, such as kitchen worktops.
Printing at home or in an office or engineering environment is subdivided into:
Some of the more common printing technologies are:
Vendors typically stress the total cost to operate the equipment, involving complex calculations that include all cost factors involved in the operation as well as the capital equipment costs, amortization, etc. For the most part, toner systems beat inkjet in the long run, whereas inkjets are less expensive in the initial purchase price.
Professional digital printing (using toner) primarily uses an electrical charge to transfer toner or liquid ink to the substrate it is printed on. Digital print quality has steadily improved from early color and black & white copiers to sophisticated colour digital presses like the Xerox iGen3, the Kodak Nexpress, the HP Indigo Digital Press series and the InfoPrint 5000. The iGen3 and Nexpress use toner particles and the Indigo uses liquid ink. The InfoPrint 5000 is a full-color, continuous forms inkjet drop-on-demand printing system. All handle variable data and rival offset in quality. Digital offset presses are called direct imaging presses; although these receive computer files and automatically turn them into print-ready plates, they cannot insert variable data.
Small press and fanzines generally use digital printing or more rarely xerography. Prior to the introduction of cheap photocopying the use of machines such as the spirit duplicator, hectograph, and mimeograph was common.
On the effects of Gutenberg's printing
Early printers manuals The classic manual of early hand-press technology is
Patent Application Titled "Intaglio Printing Press with Mobile Carriage Supporting Ink-Collecting Cylinder" under Review
Jan 03, 2013; By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- According to news reporting originating from Washington,...
Patent Application Titled "Intaglio Printing Press with Mobile Carriage Supporting Ink-Collecting Cylinder" Published Online
May 30, 2013; By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- According to news reporting originating from Washington,...
WIPO ASSIGNS PATENT TO KBA-NOTASYS FOR "INTAGLIO PRINTING PRESS WITH MOBILE CARRIAGE SUPPORTING INK-COLLECTING CYLINDER" (GERMAN INVENTORS)
Jul 04, 2011; GENEVA, July 4 -- Publication No. WO/2011/077348 was published on June 30. Title of the invention: "INTAGLIO PRINTING PRESS WITH...
WIPO ASSIGNS PATENT TO KBA-NOTASYS FOR "INTAGLIO PRINTING PRESS WITH INK-COLLECTING CYLINDER" (GERMAN INVENTORS)
Jul 03, 2011; GENEVA, July 3 -- Publication No. WO/2011/077350 was published on June 30. Title of the invention: "INTAGLIO PRINTING PRESS WITH...