General Interest, Printer Technology -

The History and Evolution of Printing

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Newspaper, books, magazines, and other reading materials would have not been possible if printing wasn't invented. That's why for today's article, we're going to share a short summarization of the interesting history of printing and how it had evolved throughout the centuries.

Around 600 A.D.

Before the invention of ink and paper, the ancient Chinese used to carved on blocks of wood to print texts. Each page of their book was carved on a block of wood. Although it was considered as a tedious process, it remains as a significant breakthrough in creating multiple copies of the same text.

Around 960 A.D.

During the Song dynasty in China, a movable printing technique was developed by burning clay blocks to be formed on an iron plate.

The 1450s

The same movable printing technique developed by the Chinese was then improved by the development of metal characters by the German inventor named Johannes Gutenberg.


In 1473, William Caxton produced the book called "Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye" in England. It was the first English book to be printed.

This also made Caxton be the first retailer of books and the first one to establish a press in England. He printed around 100 books in his lifetime.

15th, 16th, and 17th centuries

Towards the end of the 16th century, the print media started booming and later grew by multifold in the successive centuries.


Color Lithography was also being developed during this time. Also called chromolithography, this was the first attempt to print multicolor patterns. The idea was introduced by the Frenchmen Godegry Engelman, which also got the patents for this technology.

Early 19th century

During the first two decades of the 19th century, the pace of paper printing grew by a great extent with the invention of the steam-powered press. This machine was invented by Friedrich Gottlob Koenig. A German company called Koenig and Bauer, later on, improved the rate of printing copies per hour from 480 of the previous technology to 2400 in just 18 years.

Late 20th century

Letterpress printing was further developed during this time. Also known as Rotary Letterpress printing, it was the technology that made newspaper printing much affordable to all the sections of the society. It was widely used until Offset printing was introduced in the 20th century.

The 2000s

Although many groundbreaking technologies were introduced, digital printing was what revolutionized the world especially since it didn't require the use of printing plates. Aside from that, the modern printers (i.e., digital laser printer and inkjet printer) are way simple to use compared to their predecessors.


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