How Did Gutenberg’s Printing Press Work?

Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press, which relied on moving metal type, worked by casting individual letters and symbols of type in die, arranging them and pressing them to paper. With his invention, texts could be created much more effectively.

The mirror image of each letter, number or symbol was cut into a small block so it could be recreated easily. Each precast image was easily movable and could be arranged into any order, coated in oil-based ink and lowered onto paper with a screw press. Using his printing press, Gutenberg printed the Gutenberg Bible, which was one of the first books to be printed from a press. Gutenberg’s invention led to the Printing Revolution, in which books became less expensive and much easier to create, meaning libraries grew and information was more widespread.