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Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and
images An Synthetic aperture radar, SAR radar imaging, radar image acquired by the SIR-C/X-SAR radar on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour shows the Teide volcano. The city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is visible as the purple and white area on the lowe ...
using a master form or template. The earliest non-paper products involving printing include
cylinder seal . Linescan camera image (reversed to resemble an impression). A cylinder seal is a small round cylinder, typically about one inch (2 to 3 cm) in length, engraved with written characters or figurative scenes or both, used in ancient times to ...
s and objects such as the
Cyrus Cylinder The Cyrus Cylinder or Cyrus Charter is an ancient clay cylinder, now broken into several pieces, on which is written a declaration in Akkadian language, Akkadian cuneiform script in the name of Persia's Achaemenid Empire, Achaemenid king Cyrus the ...

Cyrus Cylinder
and the
Cylinders of Nabonidus The Cylinders of Nabonidus refers to Cuneiform script, cuneiform inscriptions of king Nabonidus of Babylonia (556-539 BC). These inscriptions were made on clay cylinders. They include the Nabonidus Cylinder from Sippar, and the Nabonidus Cylinders ...
. The earliest known form of printing as applied to paper was
woodblock printing Woodblock printing or block printing is a technique for printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images An Synthetic aperture radar, SAR radar imaging, radar image acquired by the SIR-C/X-SAR radar on board the S ...
, which appeared in China before 220 AD for cloth printing. However, it would not be applied to paper until the seventh century.Shelagh Vainker in Anne Farrer (ed), "Caves of the Thousand Buddhas", 1990, British Museum publications, Later developments in printing technology include the
movable type Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system and technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of any ...
invented by
Bi Sheng Bi Sheng and his invention at Beijing Printing Museum Bì Shēng (畢昇 972–1051 AD) was a Chinese artisan, engineer, and inventor of the world's first movable type Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system ...
around 1040 AD and the
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a printing, print medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in whi ...
invented by
Johannes Gutenberg Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (; – 3 February 1468) was a German inventor An invention is a unique or novel device, method, composition or process. The invention process is a process within an overall engineering ...

Johannes Gutenberg
in the 15th century. The technology of printing played a key role in the development of the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
and the
Scientific Revolution The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in History of mathematics#Mathematics during the Scientific Revolution, mathematics, History of phys ...

Scientific Revolution
and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses.


History


Woodblock printing

Woodblock printing Woodblock printing or block printing is a technique for printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images An Synthetic aperture radar, SAR radar imaging, radar image acquired by the SIR-C/X-SAR radar on board the S ...
is a technique for printing text, images or patterns that was used widely throughout East Asia. It originated in China in antiquity as a method of printing on
textiles A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, o ...

textiles
and later on paper. As a method of printing on cloth, the earliest surviving examples from China date to before 220 A.D.


In East Asia

The earliest surviving woodblock printed fragments are from China. They are of silk printed with flowers in three colours from the Han Dynasty (before 220 A.D.). The earliest examples of woodblock printing on paper appear in the mid-seventh century in China. By the ninth century, printing on paper had taken off, and the first extant complete printed book containing its date is the
Diamond Sutra The ''Diamond Sūtra'' (Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Europ ...

Diamond Sutra
(
British Library The British Library is the national library A national library is a library A library is a curated collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. It provid ...

British Library
) of 868. By the tenth century, 400,000 copies of some sutras and pictures were printed, and the Confucian classics were in print. A skilled printer could print up to 2,000 double-page sheets per day. Printing spread early to
Korea Korea (officially the "Korean Peninsula") is a region in East Asia. Since 1945 it has been Division of Korea, divided into the two parts which soon became the two sovereign states: North Korea (officially the "Democratic People's Republic of ...

Korea
and Japan, which also used Chinese
logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign lang ...
s, but the technique was also used in
Turpan Turpan (also known as Turfan or Tulufan, zh, 吐鲁番, pinyin: Tǔlǔfán, ug, تۇرپان) is a prefecture-level city A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County from the neighboring Xiann ...

Turpan
and
Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coordinates = , largest_city = Ho Chi Minh City , languages_type = National language , languages ...

Vietnam
using a number of other scripts. This technique then spread to Persia and Russia.
Thomas Franklin CarterThomas Francis Carter (1882–1925) was an American scholar who wrote the first book-length history in the West on History of printing in East Asia, the Chinese origins of printing. Thomas Francis Carter's early life is not well documented. The fir ...
, ''The Invention of Printing in China and its Spread Westward'', The Ronald Press, NY 2nd ed. 1955, pp. 176–78
This technique was transmitted to Europe by around 1400 and was used on paper for
old master print An old master print is a work of art produced by a printing process within the Western tradition. The term remains current in the art trade, and there is no easy alternative in English to distinguish the works of "fine art" produced in printmaking ...
s and
playing card A playing card is a piece of specially prepared , heavy paper, thin cardboard, , cotton-paper blend, or thin plastic that is marked with distinguishing motifs. Often the front (face) and back of each card has a to make handling easier. They ar ...
s.


In Middle East

Block printing, called ''
tarsh In post-classical Arabic Classical Arabic ( ar, links=no, ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلْفُصْحَىٰ, ') or Quranic Arabic is the standardized literary form of the Arabic language Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Se ...
'' in
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
, developed in Arabic Egypt during the ninth and tenth centuries, mostly for prayers and
amulet An amulet, also known as a , is an object believed to confer protection upon its possessor. The word "amulet" comes from the Latin word amuletum, which Pliny's ''Natural History'' describes as "an object that protects a person from trouble". Anyt ...

amulet
s. There is some evidence to suggest that these print blocks made from non-wood materials, possibly
tin Tin is a with the Sn (from la, ) and  50. Tin is a silvery-colored metal that characteristically has a faint yellow hue. Tin is soft enough to be cut with little force and a bar of tin can be bent by hand with little effort. When bent ...

tin
, lead, or clay. The techniques employed are uncertain. Block printing later went out of use in Islamic
Timurid Renaissance The Timurid Renaissance was a historical period in Asian Asian may refer to: * Items from or related to the continent of Asia: ** Asian people, people in or descending from Asia ** Asian culture, the culture of the people from Asia ** Asian cui ...
. The printing technique in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
was embraced reproducing texts on paper strips and supplying them in different copies to meet the demand.


In Europe

Block printing first came to Europe as a method for printing on cloth, where it was common by 1300. Images printed on cloth for religious purposes could be quite large and elaborate. When paper became relatively easily available, around 1400, the technique transferred very quickly to small
woodcut Woodcut is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood—typically with Chisel#Gouge, gouges—leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts ...
religious images and
playing card A playing card is a piece of specially prepared , heavy paper, thin cardboard, , cotton-paper blend, or thin plastic that is marked with distinguishing motifs. Often the front (face) and back of each card has a to make handling easier. They ar ...
s printed on paper. These prints produced in very large numbers from about 1425 onward. Around the mid-fifteenth-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 Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system and technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of any ...
. These were all short heavily illustrated works, the bestsellers of the day, repeated in many different block-book versions: the
Ars moriendi The ''Ars moriendi'' ("The Art of Dying") are two related Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, know ...
and the
Biblia pauperum The ''Biblia pauperum'' ("Paupers' Bible") was a tradition of picture Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books") is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred to Christians, Jews, Samarit ...

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 Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system and technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of any ...
, with the range of estimated dates being between about 1440 and 1460.


Movable-type printing

Movable type is the system of printing and
typography Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including ...

typography
using movable pieces of metal type, made by casting from
matrices Matrix or MATRIX may refer to: Science and mathematics * Matrix (mathematics) In mathematics, a matrix (plural matrices) is a rectangle, rectangular ''wikt:array, array'' or ''table'' of numbers, symbol (formal), symbols, or expression (mathema ...
struck by letterpunches.
Movable type Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system and technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of any ...
allowed for much more flexible processes than hand copying or block printing. Around 1040, the first known movable type system was created in China by
Bi Sheng Bi Sheng and his invention at Beijing Printing Museum Bì Shēng (畢昇 972–1051 AD) was a Chinese artisan, engineer, and inventor of the world's first movable type Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system ...
out of
porcelain Porcelain () is a material made by heating substances, generally including materials such as , in a to temperatures between . The strength, and translucence of porcelain, relative to other types of , arises mainly from and formation of the ...

porcelain
. Bi Sheng used clay type, which broke easily, but Wang Zhen by 1298 had carved a more durable type from wood. He also developed a complex system of revolving tables and number-association with written Chinese characters that made typesetting and printing more efficient. Still, the main method in use there remained woodblock printing (xylography), which "proved to be cheaper and more efficient for printing Chinese, with its thousands of characters". Copper movable type printing originated in China at the beginning of the 12th century. It was used in large-scale printing of
paper money A banknote (often known as a bill (in the US and Canada), paper money, or simply a note) is a type of negotiable instrument, negotiable promissory note, made by a bank or other licensed authority, payable to the bearer on demand. Banknotes we ...
issued by the Northern Song dynasty. Movable type spread to Korea during the
Goryeo Goryeo (; ) was a Korea Korea (officially the "Korean Peninsula") is a region in East Asia. Since 1945 it has been Division of Korea, divided into the two parts which soon became the two sovereign states: North Korea (officially the "De ...
dynasty. Around 1230, Koreans invented a metal type movable printing using bronze. The
Jikji ''Jikji'' () is the abbreviated title of a Korean Buddhist document whose title can be translated to "Anthology of Great Buddhist Priests' Zen Zen ( zh, t=禪, p=Chán; ja, text= 禅, translit=zen; ko, text=선, translit=Seon; vi, te ...
, published in 1377, is the earliest known metal printed book. Type-casting was used, adapted from the method of casting coins. The character was cut in beech wood, which was then pressed into a soft clay to form a mould, and bronze poured into the mould, and finally the type was polished. The Korean form of metal movable type was described by the French scholar Henri-Jean Martin as "extremely similar to Gutenberg's".


The printing press

Around 1450,
Johannes Gutenberg Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (; – 3 February 1468) was a German inventor An invention is a unique or novel device, method, composition or process. The invention process is a process within an overall engineering ...

Johannes Gutenberg
introduced the first movable type printing system in Europe. He advanced innovations in casting type based on a matrix and
hand mould A hand mold is a simple mold used for low quantity work. It is used in the injection molding Injection moulding (U.S. spelling: injection molding) is a manufacturing process for producing parts by injecting molten material into a mould, or m ...
, adaptations to the screw-press, the use of an oil-based ink, and the creation of a softer and more absorbent paper. Gutenberg was the first to create his type pieces from an alloy of lead,
tin Tin is a with the Sn (from la, ) and  50. Tin is a silvery-colored metal that characteristically has a faint yellow hue. Tin is soft enough to be cut with little force and a bar of tin can be bent by hand with little effort. When bent ...

tin
,
antimony Antimony is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same ...

antimony
, copper and bismuth – the same components still used today. Johannes Gutenberg started work on his
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a printing, print medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in whi ...
around 1436, in partnership with Andreas Dritzehen – whom he had previously instructed in gem-cutting – and Andreas Heilmann, the owner of a paper mill. Compared to
woodblock printing Woodblock printing or block printing is a technique for printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images An Synthetic aperture radar, SAR radar imaging, radar image acquired by the SIR-C/X-SAR radar on board the S ...
, movable type page setting and printing using a press was faster and more durable. Also, the metal type pieces were sturdier and the lettering more uniform, leading to
typography Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including ...

typography
and
font In metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, and conducts Electrical resistivity and cond ...

font
s. The high quality and relatively low price of the
Gutenberg Bible The Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible, the Mazarin Bible or the B42) was the earliest major book printed using mass-produced movable metal type in Europe. It marked the start of the " Gutenberg Revolution" and the age of printed b ...

Gutenberg Bible
(1455) established the superiority of movable type for Western languages. The printing press rapidly spread across Europe, leading up to the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
, and later all around the world. Gutenberg's innovations in movable type printing have been called the most important invention of the second millennium.


Rotary printing press

The rotary printing press was invented by
Richard March Hoe Richard March Hoe (middle name spelled in some 1920s records as "Marsh") (September 12, 1812 – June 7, 1886) was an American inventor from New York City who designed a rotary printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applyin ...
in 1843. It uses impressions curved around a cylinder to print on long continuous rolls of paper or other substrates. Rotary drum printing was later significantly improved by William Bullock. There are multiple types of rotary printing press technologies that are still used today: sheetfed
offset Offset or Off-Set may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * "Off-Set", a song by T.I. and Young Thug from the ''Furious 7: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack'' * Offset (EP), ''Offset'' (EP), a 2018 EP by singer Kim Chung-ha * Offset (film), ...
,
rotogravure Rotogravure (or gravure for short) is a type of intaglio (printmaking), intaglio printing process, which involves engraving the image onto an image carrier. In gravure printing, the image is engraved onto a cylinder (geometry), cylinder because ...

rotogravure
, and flexographic printing.


Printing capacity

The table lists the maximum number of pages which various press designs could print ''per hour''.


Conventional printing technology

All printing process are concerned with two kinds of areas on the final output: # Image area (printing areas) # Non-image area (non-printing areas) After the information has been prepared for production (the
prepressPrepress is the term used in the printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images using a master form or template. The earliest non-paper products involving printing include cylinder seals and objects such as the Cyrus Cylin ...
step), each printing process has definitive means of separating the image from the non-image areas. Conventional printing has four types of process: # Planographics, in which the printing and non-printing areas are on the same plane surface and the difference between them is maintained chemically or by physical properties, the examples are:
offset Offset or Off-Set may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * "Off-Set", a song by T.I. and Young Thug from the ''Furious 7: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack'' * Offset (EP), ''Offset'' (EP), a 2018 EP by singer Kim Chung-ha * Offset (film), ...
lithography Lithography () is a method of printing originally based on the miscibility, immiscibility of oil and water. The printing is from a stone (lithographic limestone) or a metal plate with a smooth surface. It was invented in 1796 by the German aut ...
,
collotype , about 1900. Collotype is a dichromate-based photographic process invented by Alphonse Poitevin in 1855 to print images in a wide variety of tones without the need for Halftone, halftone screens. The majority of collotypes were produced between ...
, and screenless printing. #
Relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''wikt:relief, relief'' is from the Latin verb ''relevo'', to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the ...
, in which the printing areas are on a plane surface and the non printing areas are below the surface, examples: flexography and letterpress. #
Intaglio Intaglio, the process of cutting a design into a surface, may refer to: * Intaglio, a type of engraved gem or metal signet ring * Intaglio (printmaking), a group of printmaking techniques, including engraving and etching * Intaglio (rock art) * Inta ...
, in which the non-printing areas are on a plane surface and the printing area are etched or engraved below the surface, examples: steel die engraving,
gravure Rotogravure (or gravure for short) is a type of intaglio printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images using a master form or template. The earliest non-paper products involving printing include cylinder seals and ...

gravure
,
etching , who is believed to have been the first to apply the technique to printmaking. '', an etching by Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, also , ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch Drawing, draughtsman, painter, and printmak ...
,
collagraph Collagraphy (sometimes spelled collography) is a printmaking 300px, Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching">Self-portrait.html" ;"title="Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait">Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching, c.1630 Printmaking is the process of ...
. # Porous or
Stencil Stencilling produces an image or pattern by applying pigment to a surface under an intermediate object with designed gaps in it which create the pattern or image by only allowing the pigment to reach some parts of the surface. The stencil is b ...
, in which the printing areas are on fine mesh screens through which ink can penetrate, and the non-printing areas are a stencil over the screen to block the flow of ink in those areas, examples:
screen printing Screen printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a Substrate (printing), substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the ...
, stencil duplicator, risograph.


Letterpress

Letterpress printing is a technique of
relief printing Image:Principle of Relief Printing.svg, The basic concept of relief printing. ''A'' is the block or matrix; ''B'' is the paper; the thick black lines are the inked areas. (The thickness of the ink is greatly exaggerated for illustration.) Relief ...
. A worker composes and locks
movable type Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system and technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of any ...
into the bed of a press,
ink Ink is a gel, sol, or solution Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, Making a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in water. The salt is the solute and the water the solvent. In chemistry, a solution ...

ink
s it, and presses paper against it to transfer the ink from the type which creates an impression on the paper. There is different paper for different works the quality of paper shows different ink to use Letterpress printing was the normal form of printing text from its invention by
Johannes Gutenberg Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (; – 3 February 1468) was a German inventor An invention is a unique or novel device, method, composition or process. The invention process is a process within an overall engineering ...

Johannes Gutenberg
in the mid-15th century and remained in wide use for books and other uses until the second half of the 20th century, when
offset printing Offset printing is a common printing technique in which the ink Ink is a gel, sol, or solution Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, Making a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in water. The sal ...
was developed. More recently, letterpress printing has seen a revival in an artisanal form.


Offset

Offset printing is a widely used modern printing process. This technology is best described as when a positive (right-reading) image on a printing plate is inked and transferred (or "offset") from the plate to a rubber blanket. The blanket image becomes a mirror image of the plate image. An offset transfer moves the image to a printing substrate (typically paper), making the image right-reading again. Offset printing utilizes a
lithographic Lithography () is a method of printing originally based on the immiscibility of oil and water. The printing is from a stone ( lithographic limestone) or a metal plate with a smooth surface. It was invented in 1796 by German author and actor ...
process which is based on the repulsion of oil and water. The offset process employs a flat (planographic) image carrier (plate) which is mounted on a press cylinder. The image to be printed obtains
ink Ink is a gel, sol, or solution Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, Making a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in water. The salt is the solute and the water the solvent. In chemistry, a solution ...

ink
from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts an (acidic) film of water, keeping the non-image areas ink-free. Most offset presses utilize three cylinders: Plate, blanket, impression. Currently, most books and newspapers are printed using offset lithography.


Gravure

Gravure printing is an
intaglio printing File:Banknote portrait pattern (Intaglio print, tactile effect).jpg, 300px, Banknote portrait pattern made with intaglio printing. Denomination: 1000 Banknotes of the Hungarian forint, Hungarian forint. Depicted area: . Intaglio ( ; ) is the fami ...

intaglio printing
technique, where the image being printed is made up of small depressions in the surface of the printing plate. The cells are filled with ink, and the excess is scraped off the surface with a doctor blade. Then a rubber-covered roller presses paper onto the surface of the plate and into contact with the ink in the cells. The printing cylinders are usually made from copper plated steel, which is subsequently chromed, and may be produced by diamond engraving; etching, or
laser A laser is a device that emits light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined as ...

laser
ablation. 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.


Flexography

Flexography 250px, A flexographic printing plate. Flexography (often abbreviated to flexo) is a form of printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images using a master form or template. The earliest non-paper products involving pri ...
is a type of relief printing. The relief plates are typically made from
photopolymer A photopolymer or light-activated resin is a polymer A polymer (; Greek ''wikt:poly-, poly-'', "many" + ''wikt:-mer, -mer'', "part") is a Chemical substance, substance or material consisting of very large molecules, or macromolecules, composed ...
s. The process is used for flexible packaging, corrugated board, labels, newspapers and more. In this market it competes with gravure printing by holding 80% of the market in USA, 50% in Europe but only 20% in Asia.


Other printing techniques

The other significant printing techniques include: *
Dye-sublimation printer Dye-sublimation printing (or dye-sub printing) is a computer printing technique which uses heat to transfer dye onto materials such as a plastic, card, paper, or fabric. The sublimation name was first applied because the dye was considered to ma ...
*
Inkjet Inkjet printing is a type of computer printing File:Printer.ogv, A video showing an Inkjet printing, inkjet printer while printing a page. In computing, a printer is a peripheral machine which makes a persistent representation of graphic ...
, used typically to print a small number of books or packaging, and also to print a variety of materials: from high quality papers simulating offset printing, to floor tiles. Inkjet is also used to apply mailing addresses to direct mail pieces *
Laser printing Laser printing is an electrostatic digital printing process. It produces high-quality text and graphics (and moderate-quality photographs) by repeatedly passing a laser beam back and forth over a negatively charged cylinder called a "drum" t ...
(toner printing) mainly used in offices and for transactional printing (bills, bank documents). Laser printing is commonly used by direct mail companies to create variable data letters or coupons. *
Pad printing Diagram of pad printing process Pad printing (also called tampography) is a printing process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object. This is accomplished using an indirect offset ( gravure) printing process that involves an image being ...

Pad printing
, popular for its ability to print on complex three-dimensional surfaces *
Relief print Image:Principle of Relief Printing.svg, The basic concept of relief printing. ''A'' is the block or matrix; ''B'' is the paper; the thick black lines are the inked areas. (The thickness of the ink is greatly exaggerated for illustration.) Relief p ...
, mainly used for
catalogues Catalog or catalogue may refer to: *Cataloging **in Science and technology ***Library catalog, a catalog of books and other media **** Union catalog, a combined library catalog describing the collections of a number of libraries ***Astronomical ca ...
*
Screen-printing Screen printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate Substrate may refer to: Physical layers *Substrate (biology), the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the surface or medium on whic ...
for a variety of applications ranging from T-shirts to floor tiles, and on uneven surfaces *
Intaglio Intaglio, the process of cutting a design into a surface, may refer to: * Intaglio, a type of engraved gem or metal signet ring * Intaglio (printmaking), a group of printmaking techniques, including engraving and etching * Intaglio (rock art) * Inta ...
, used mainly for high value documents such as currencies. *
Thermal printing Thermal printing (or direct thermal printing) is a digital printing Digital printing is a method of printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images using a master form or template. The earliest non-paper products invo ...
, popular in the 1990s for fax printing. Used today for printing labels such as airline baggage tags and individual price labels in supermarket deli counters.


Impact of German movable type printing press


Quantitative aspects

It is estimated that following the innovation of Gutenberg's printing press, the European book output rose from a few million to around one billion copies within a span of less than four centuries.Buringh, Eltjo; van Zanden, Jan Luiten: "Charting the 'Rise of the West': Manuscripts and Printed Books in Europe, A Long-Term Perspective from the Sixth through Eighteenth Centuries", ''The Journal of Economic History'', Vol. 69, No. 2 (2009), pp. 409–45 (417, table 2)


Religious impact

Samuel Hartlib Samuel Hartlib or Hartlieb (c. 1600 – 10 March 1662)
M. Greengrass, "Hartlib, Samuel (c. 1600–1662)", ''Oxford Di ...
, who was exiled in
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...

Britain
and enthusiastic about social and cultural reforms, wrote in 1641 that "the art of printing will so spread knowledge that the common people, knowing their own rights and liberties, will not be governed by way of oppression".Ref: Briggs, Asa and Burke, Peter (2002) A Social History of the Media: from Gutenberg to the Internet, Polity, Cambridge, pp. 15–23, 61–73. In the Muslim world, printing, especially in Arabic scripts, was strongly opposed throughout the
early modern period The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, and since the History of writing, adve ...
, partially due to the high artistic renown of the art of traditional calligraphy. However, printing in
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
or
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was often permitted. Thus, the first movable type printing in the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
was in Hebrew in 1493, after which both religious and non-religious texts were able to be printed in Hebrew. According to an imperial ambassador to
Istanbul Istanbul ( , ; tr, İstanbul ), formerly known as Constantinople, is the List of largest cities and towns in Turkey, largest city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. The city straddles the Bosporus strait, and lie ...

Istanbul
in the middle of the sixteenth century, it was a sin for the Turks, particularly Turkish Muslims, to print religious books. In 1515, Sultan
Selim I Selim I ( ota, سليم الأول; tr, I. Selim; 10 October 1470 – 22 September 1520), known as Selim the Grim or Selim the Resolute ( tr, links=no, Yavuz Sultan Selim), was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire fr ...

Selim I
issued a decree under which the practice of printing would be punishable by death. At the end of the sixteenth century, Sultan
Murad III Murad III (Ottoman Turkish Ottoman Turkish ( ota, لِسانِ عُثمانى, , ; tr, Osmanlı Türkçesi) was the standardized register (sociolinguistics), register of the Turkish language used in the Ottoman Empire (14th to 20th centurie ...

Murad III
permitted the sale of non-religious printed books in
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
characters, yet the majority were imported from
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
.
Ibrahim Muteferrika Ibrahim Müteferrika ( tr, İbrahim Müteferrika; 1674–1745 CE) was a Hungarian-born Ottoman diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scient ...
established the first press for printing in Arabic in the Ottoman Empire, against opposition from the calligraphers and parts of the
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. It operated until 1742, producing altogether seventeen works, all of which were concerned with non-religious, utilitarian matters. Printing did not become common in the Islamic world until the 19th century. Hebrew language printers were banned from printing
guild A guild is an association of artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional ...
s in some Germanic states; as a result, Hebrew printing flourished in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
, beginning in 1470 in Rome, then spreading to other cities including Bari, Pisa, Livorno, and Mantua. Local rulers had the authority to grant or revoke licenses to publish Hebrew books,A Lifetime's Collection of Texts in Hebrew, at Sotheby's
,
Edward Rothstein Edward Benjamin Rothstein (born October 16, 1952) is an American critic. Rothstein wrote music criticism early in his career, but is best known for his critical analysis of museums and museum exhibitions. Rothstein holds a B.A. from Yale Universi ...
, ''
New York Times ''The New York Times'' (''NYT'' or ''NY Times'') is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times, 130 Pulit ...
'', February 11, 2009
and many of those printed during this period carry the words 'con licenza de superiori' (indicating their printing having been officially licensed) on their title pages. It was thought that the introduction of printing 'would strengthen religion and enhance the power of monarchs.'Meyrowitz: "Mediating Communication: What Happens?" in "Questioning the Media", p. 41. The majority of books were of a religious nature, with the church and crown regulating the content. The consequences of printing 'wrong' material were extreme. Meyrowitz used the example of William Carter who in 1584 printed a pro-Catholic pamphlet in Protestant-dominated England. The consequence of his action was hanging.


Social impact

Print gave a broader range of readers access to knowledge and enabled later generations to build directly on the intellectual achievements of earlier ones without the changes arising within verbal traditions. Print, according to John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, Acton in his 1895 lecture ''On the Study of History'', gave "assurance that the work of the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
would last, that what was written would be accessible to all, that such an occultation of knowledge and ideas as had depressed the Middle Ages would never recur, that not an idea would be lost". Print was instrumental in changing the social nature of reading. Elizabeth Eisenstein identifies two long-term effects of the invention of printing. She claims that print created a sustained and uniform reference for knowledge and allowed comparisons of incompatible views. Asa Briggs and Peter Burke (historian), Peter Burke identify five kinds of reading that developed in relation to the introduction of print: # Critical reading: Because texts finally became accessible to the general population, critical reading emerged as people were able to form their own opinions on texts. # Dangerous reading: Reading was seen as a dangerous pursuit because it was considered rebellious and unsociable, especially in the case of women, because reading could stir up dangerous emotions such as love, and if women could read, they could read love notes. # Creative reading: Printing allowed people to read texts and interpret them creatively, often in very different ways than the author intended. # Extensive reading: Once print made a wide range of texts available, earlier habits of intensive reading of texts from start to finish began to change, and people began reading selected excerpts, allowing much more extensive reading on a wider range of topics. # Private reading: Reading was linked to the rise of individualism because, before print, reading was often a group event in which one person would read to a group. With print, both literacy and the availability of texts increased, and solitary reading became the norm. The invention of printing also changed the occupational structure of European cities. Printer (publisher), Printers emerged as a new group of artisans for whom literacy was essential, while the much more labour-intensive occupation of the scribe naturally declined. Proof-correcting arose as a new occupation, while a rise in the numbers of bookselling, booksellers and librarians naturally followed the explosion in the numbers of books.


Educational impact

Gutenberg's printing press had profound impacts on universities as well. Universities were influenced in their "language of scholarship, libraries, curriculum, [and] pedagogy"


The language of scholarship

Before the invention of the printing press, most written material was in Latin. However, after the invention of printing the number of books printed expanded as well as the vernacular. Latin was not replaced completely, but remained an international language until the eighteenth century.


University libraries

At this time, universities began establishing accompanying libraries. "Cambridge made the chaplain responsible for the library in the fifteenth century but this position was abolished in 1570 and in 1577 Cambridge established the new office of university librarian. Although, the University of Leuven did not see a need for a university library based on the idea that professor were the library. Libraries also began receiving so many books from gifts and purchases that they began to run out of room. However, the issue was solved in 1589 by a man named Merton who decided books should be stored on horizontal shelves rather than Lectern, lecterns.


Curriculum

The printed press changed university libraries in many ways. Professors were finally able to compare the opinions of different authors rather than being forced to look at only one or two specific authors. Textbooks themselves were also being printed in different levels of difficulty, rather than just one introductory text being made available.


Comparison of printing methods


Digital printing

By 2005, digital printing accounts for approximately 9% of the 45 trillion pages printed annually around the world.When 2% Leads to a Major Industry Shift
" Patrick Scaglia, August 30, 2007.
Printing at home, an office, or an engineering environment is subdivided into: * small format (up to ledger size paper sheets), as used in business offices and libraries * wide format (up to 3' or 914mm wide rolls of paper), as used in drafting and design establishments. Some of the more common printing technologies are: * blueprint – and related chemical technologies * daisy wheel – where pre-formed characters are applied individually * dot matrix printer, dot-matrix – which produces arbitrary patterns of dots with an array of printing studs * line printer, line printing – where formed characters are applied to the paper by lines * thermal printer, heat transfer – such as early fax machines or modern receipt printers that apply heat to special paper, which turns black to form the printed image * inkjet – including bubble-jet, where ink is sprayed onto the paper to create the desired image * electrophotography – where toner is attracted to a charged image and then developed * laser printing, laser – a type of xerography where the charged image is written pixel by pixel using a laser * solid ink printer – where solid sticks of ink are melted to make liquid ink or toner 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 are more economical than inkjet in the long run, even though 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 onto which it is printed. Digital print quality has steadily improved from early color and black and white copiers to sophisticated colour digital presses such as 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 also called direct imaging presses, although these presses can receive computer files and automatically turn them into print-ready plates, they cannot insert variable data. Small press and fanzines generally use digital printing. Prior to the introduction of cheap photocopying, the use of machines such as the spirit duplicator, hectograph, and mimeograph was common.


3D printing

3D printing is a form of manufacturing technology where physical objects are created from 3D modeling, three-dimensional digital models using 3D printers. The objects are created by laying down or building up many thin layers of material in succession. The technique is also known as additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, or fabricating.


Gang run printing

Gang run printing is a method in which multiple printing projects are placed on a common paper sheet in an effort to reduce printing costs and paper waste. Gang runs are generally used with sheet-fed printing presses an
CMYK process color
jobs, which require four separate plates that are hung on the plate cylinder of the press. Printers use the term "gang run" or "gang" to describe the practice of placing many print projects on the same oversized sheet. Basically, instead of running one postcard that is 4 x 6 as an individual job the printer would place 15 different postcards on 20 x 18 sheet, therefore using the same amount of press time the printer will get 15 jobs done in roughly the same amount of time as one job.


Printed electronics

Printed electronics is the manufacturing of electronic devices using standard printing processes. Printed electronics technology can be produced on cheap materials such as paper or flexible film, which makes it an extremely cost-effective method of production. Since early 2010, the printable electronics industry has been gaining momentum and several large companies, including Bemis Company and Illinois Tool Works have made investments in printed electronics and industry associations including OE-A and FlexTech Alliance are contributing heavily to the advancement of the printed electronics industry.


Printing terminologies

Printing Terminology, terminologies are the specific terms used in the printing Industry (economics), industry. * Airshaft * Anilox * Basis weight of paper, Basis weight * Ben-Day dots * Bleed (printing) * Broadsheet * California Job Case * Camera-ready * Card stock * Catchword * CcMmYK color model * CMYK color model * Colophon (publishing) * Color bleeding (printing) * Composing stick * Computer to film * Computer to plate * Continuous tone * Die (philately) * Dot gain * Dots per centimeter * Dots per inch * Double truck * Dry transfer * Dultgen * Duotone * Duplex printing * Edition (printmaking) * Error diffusion * Flong * Foil stamping * Folio (printing) * For position only * Frisket * Galley proof * Gang run printing * Grammage * Grey component replacement * Halftone * Hand mould * Hellbox * Hexachrome * Hot stamping * Imposition * Inkometer * Iris printer * Iron-on * Job Definition Format * Key plate * Keyline * Kodak Proofing Software * Mezzotint * Nanotransfer printing * Non-photo blue * Overprinting * Pagination * Paste up * Pre-flight (printing) * Prepress * Prepress proofing * Press check (printing) * Registration black * Rich black * Set-off (printing) * Spot color * Stochastic screening * Transfer-print * Trap (printing) * Under color removal


See also

* Color printing * Cloud printing * Converters (industry) * Dickerson combination press * Electrotyping *
Flexography 250px, A flexographic printing plate. Flexography (often abbreviated to flexo) is a form of printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images using a master form or template. The earliest non-paper products involving pri ...
* In-mould decoration * In-mould labelling * Jang Yeong-sil * Laurens Janszoon Coster * Letterpress printing * Music engraving * History of music publishing, Music printing * Print on demand * Printed T-shirt * Printing press check * Security printing * Textile printing * Waterless printing


References


Further reading

* * Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, ''The Printing Press as an Agent of Change'', Cambridge University Press, September 1980, Paperback, 832 p. * *Hargrave, J. (2013). Disruptive Technological History: Papermaking to Digital Printing. ''Journal of Scholarly Publishing'', 44(3). 221-227. * Lafontaine, Gerard S. (1958). ''Dictionary of Terms Used in the Paper, Printing, and Allied Industries''. Toronto: H. Smith Paper Mills. 110 p. * Marshall McLuhan, ''The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man'' (1962) Univ. of Toronto Press (1st ed.); reissued by Routledge & Kegan Paul * * * * Tam, Pui-Wing ''The New Paper Trail'', ''The Wall Street Journal Online'', February 13, 2006 p. R8 * * Woong-Jin-Wee-In-Jun-Gi No. 11 Jang Young Sil by Baek Sauk Gi. 1987 Woongjin Publishing Co., Ltd. p. 61. On the effects of Gutenberg's printing


Early printers manuals

The classic manual of early hand-press technology is * :A somewhat later one, showing 18th century developments is *


External links

* *
Prints & People: A Social History of Printed Pictures
an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF)
Centre for the History of the Book

Printing Industries of the Americas
– trade association for printers and companies in the graphic arts

English website of the Gutenberg-Museum Mainz (Germany)
BPSnet British Printing Society

Taiwan Culture Portal: Ri Xing Type Foundry – preserving the true character of Chinese type

A collection of printing materials from the 19th Century
– Documents printed by R. Mathison Jr., The Job Printer, in Vancouver, B.C. – UBC Library Digital Collections
International Printing Museum, Carson, CA, Web site

Museum of Printing, Andover, MA, Web site

American Printing History Association, NY, Web site

Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, WI, Web site

History of Printing – TimelineWeb to print online design tool - ImprintNext
{{Authority control Printing, Documents Textual scholarship History of printing, *