The advancement of new technology has been taking place since the beginning of human history. It has been exceptionally fast in the 20th and 21st century. Technology nowadays is an important aspect of our daily lives. It is constantly improving its applications and the way we communicate with the rest of the world. It is almost impossible to believe what the technology has achieved.
Printing is a process for reproducing text and images using a master form or template. The earliest known form of printing as applied to paper was woodblock printing, which appeared in China before 220 A.D. Back then, woodblock printing was the only option. Things moved forward quickly over the next 1700 years, with the introduction of Movable Type, Etching, Rotary Press & Hectograph all making their stamp, and then eventually being replaced. However, the advances in technology and the printing innovations that have taken place over the years are really quite astonishing.
Later developments in printing technology are explained below:
1040 – Moveable Type
Humans have been printing for some 3000 years. It began with using ink on carved wooden blocks to create religious iconography. But despite being developed in the east around 1040 AD, this technique was only introduced to Europe around the 1400s. Movable type is the system of printing and typography using movable pieces of metal type, made by casting from matrices struck by letter punches. It is invented in China. Due to the time and effort involved in carving the blocks, which then deteriorated rapidly, this primitive form of printing was only done for high-value items.
1450- Gutenberg Printing Press, Germany
This was the first big jump in Printing Technology. The printing press is considered to be the most revolutionary invention in the history of the printing industry. It was invented by a goldsmith named Johann Gutenberg back in 1439. At the time, this revolutionary invention greatly increased the speed at which books were printed. By today’s standards, the process was still incredibly slow, though. These wooden machines had to be manually operated, and even the ink had to apply to the text-blocks manually.
1907 – The Photostat
The Commercial Camera Company entered the market with their ‘Photostat’ machine in the early 1900s. The Photostat machine was built around a prism, negative prints and developing baths. Though originally coined as the name of a particular model, the term ‘Photostat’ became a generalized term, used to describe all copiers. The Photostat machine immediately gained popularity for its (relative) ease of use.
1951 – Inkjet Printing
While similar technology was patented back in 1867, the first commercial inkjet product was released in 1951 by manufacturing giants, Siemens. Although introduced in 1951, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that inkjet printers could reproduce images created by personal computers. It uses the technique of pumping high pressure that directs liquid ink through a microscopic nozzle creating a continuous stream of ink droplets.
1976 – Commercial Laser Printer
Early commercial printers were large, mechanical and unwieldy devices. IBM launched its first commercial, high-volume laser printer, the 3800, in 1976 – a device big enough to take up a whole room. Some 3800s are even in use today.
1981 – PC-Compatible Xerox Printer
The first PC-compatible laser printer hit shelves in 1981. Laser Printing was invented by then Xerox product developer, Gary Starkweather in 1969. Already working within the photocopying market, Starkweather had the idea of using a laser beam to draw an image on paper. He then adapted a Xerox copier, which became one of the first commercial laser printers on the planet. The first printer considered a de facto requirement in modern offices was a laserjet released by HP in 1984.
1991 – Digital Printing
Innovative printing in the form of 3D printers, from full colour to full form, have recently dominated printing technology trends. Digital printing means new ways of working, colour management enhancement, the requirement of a more sophisticated management information system, consideration for DPI resolution and extended colour gamut, variations in press speed, the benefits and detriments of inline or offline finishing, and the use of laser die-cutting.
Though a highly specialised art, 3D printing is indicative of the advancements being made in printing – new and innovative thinking by the world’s most esteemed developers continues to produce printing technology that pushes the envelope.
As we all know, Technology makes our life easier and we are always dependent on new technologies that arise around us. But with each new advancement in the field of printing, the importance of paper and traditional printers become more apparent. Now at every office, we can find paperless workspace but printers and paper are becoming more of a permanent fixture in offices than ever before.
Although printing has been growing for the last 400 years, within the last five decades, printing technology has had an incredible economic and technological expansion. Printing continues to evolve and change to meet new demands, bringing more variables and even more printing options, technology, and advancements.
Sterling Print House is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company with strong Quality Management System to monitor and ensure quality parameter through for production process. For more details, contact our office in Cochin.