Printing has a long and interesting history. Over the past 600 years the printing press has played an important role in the development of culture and the spread of literacy. The history of print goes back to 3000 BC but modern printing in the west began in the 15th century after the printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg (1398 – 1468). Originally the printing press was used to print books, but today it has become essential for promotional materials, instruction guides, product labels, and so much more.
The Inception of Print
Evidence of printing techniques exist today that are believed to originate from Mesopotamia, the modern day Iraq, from 3000 BC and earlier. Round seals were created to impress images onto clay tablets. Earlier techniques such as stamps used to print on cloths were used in China and Egypt. The Chinese started using wooden blocks to print images on silk and around 220 AD during the Han Dynasty a breakthrough occurred when three primary print colours, blue (cyan, red (magenta) and yellow were used. Combined with black, a whole kaleidoscope of other colours became possible.
A little further back, during the Roman Empire in 130 BC, the first “newspaper” appeared. It was called the ‘Acta Diurna’, Latin for ‘Daily Acts’, and at the time it was not printed but carved onto metal or stone by scribes who made copies to distribute news to the Empire’s provinces. This important breakthrough allowed print and newspapers to become synonymous for centuries afterwards and still persists today.
The First Movable Printing Press
An alchemist by the name of Bi Sheng invented the first moveable type printing press around 1040 AD. This important technological breakthrough allowed text or a book to be mass produced for the first time with incredible speed and efficiency. Because of the complexity of Asian writing systems made up of thousands of characters this method did not catch on and the wooden block method continued in China.
In the middle of the 15th century, Johannes Gutenberg invented what is considered the first printing press which started cost-efficient, production printing on an industrial scale which started the print industry out on a profitable, exponential growth journey. What set Gutenberg’s press apart from the Chinese version was the mechanisation of the process. Using a machine instead of hand assembly made efficient mass production of books possible. He also made use of superior ink using soot and linseed oil instead of water-based ink used by the Chinese.
The First Lithograph Offset Press
Invented by Robert Barclay in England in 1875, the first lithograph offset press used two cylinders, one of hard metal or stone and another made of rubber. However, the real breakthrough came a few years later from a mistake by Ira Washington Rubel, an American failed to insert paper into the press. He discovered that the metal plate transferred images onto the rubber cylinder and when the paper was replaced the images would appear on both sides. To his astonishment the images were sharper, clearer, far superior from the rubber impression. This mistake was quickly exploited and today he is credited with inventing the first offset printing press that we have come to know today.
Recent technology has led to today’s litho print machines that are hugely impressive, with quick drying times and versatile enough to print on all types of material and not just paper. In today’s world turnaround times and speed of production are vital for printing businesses who wish to gain a competitive advantage. High quality print machinery fully loaded with the latest LED and UV technologies and waste reduction are constantly being developed by manufacturers for their customers.
Advantages of Printing Services
Digital printing is the most preferred printing service in the printing sector and the most readily available option for small sized prints such as:
– Calling cards
– Direct mail advertising
– DVD/CD printing
The flexibility of digital printing is suitable for products that require regular updating. This printing procedure can be used to transfer any type of image onto surfaces such as fabrics, plastics and other materials. Digital printing services offer specialised solutions for professional printing demands and customers can customise it to their needs.
Digital printing is sturdy, resistant to fading, and waterproof and offers quality prints using 8-colour printing in addition to extremely high resolution.
One of the most important benefits of digital printing services is the cost saving offered to both the business owner and their consumers.
Powerful machines are used to complete jobs quickly with little or no error conserving energy and saving time. Jobs can be done in a few days although in special circumstances it can be done in one day.
Colour quality is high as there is virtually no colour distinction, requires no press proofing, and needs not film.
Because there are no errors in this type of printing it reduces wastage. It enables customised printing solutions and print-as-needed options.
Onpack is Australia’s most innovative, modern, narrow web label printing company situated in Melbourne. As a premium service provider the technology of printing has been an integral part of our digital printing capabilities for many years. We are leaders in the field of label printing for a variety of industries and our printing capabilities extend to a wide range of materials and adhesive requirements. our services include the highest quality printed products for short, medium, and long printing runs. We are proud to be working in this dynamic and historic field and look forward to offering you our professional services.