The History of Printing

2nd January 2018

From scribes to bloggers, generations of people have always recorded their thoughts and feelings. At the centre of early modern history, however, printing allowed people all around the world to mass produce their thoughts and feelings and distribute their influence to the rest of the population. In our latest blog, we outline the history of printing and detail the journey from the early printing press to the modern inkjet printers of today.


Flat-Bed Printing Press


The middle of the 15th century saw the earliest developments of printing, with Johannes Gutenberg creating the flat-bed printing press. With no other alternative to printing prior to this mechanism, this system spread across Europe and the rest of the world and quickly overtook transcribing and scribes became almost redundant. Block printing had previously been used, but the flat-bed printing press is the most significant movement in the history of printing, as highlighted by the Wipers Times, the newspaper created by the allies in World War 1.




As colour printing and screenprinting built off of the printing press, the next greatest advancement in the history of printing was the invention of the photocopier. Much like the printing press, the photocopier contributed to the mass production of documents but also made the entire process quicker. Introduced by Xerox in the 1960’s, photocopiers gradually replaced other forms of copying.


Laser Printer


With the photocopier being used worldwide, Xerox had quickly become a multibillion-dollar company. With the combination of their laser printers and inkjet printers, Xerox spearheaded the revolution of printing and introduced these systems into the domestic market, allowing everyday folk to record and print their thoughts and feelings and distribute them.


With these systems still being used today, printing has hit a mass market, resulting in the average employee printing 8,000 pages worth of content each year. To find out more about our printing and photocopying services, contact Print & Digital today by calling us on 01543 415860.