The history of printing goes back to 3000 BCE when stamps and seals were used to duplicate images. In ancient India and China, the technique of printing on cloth certainly preceded the printing on paper or papyrus.
The discovery of clay tablets from Mesopotamia, dating much before 3000 BCE, are some of the best-preserved examples of earlier days of printing.
Chronological developments in printing history
This technique of printing images and alphabets using ink and woodblocks dates back to 200. The best surviving example comes from China, where images and texts were printed on silk cloth.
In India, some of the oldest literary texts from Buddhism and Hinduism are the symbol of this technique.
Movable type is the system of printing and typography using movable pieces of metal type, made by casting from matrices struck by letter punches. In 1040, the first movable type was created by Chinese Bi Sheng out of porcelain.
It is traditionally summarized that Johannes Gutenberg, of the German city of Mainz, developed European movable type printing technology with the printing press around 1439. It was more cost-effective, durable, and quicker when compared to woodblock printing and within a decade, its spread to Europe, only to be widely accepted around the world.
Rotary Printing Press
Invented by Hoe in 1843, this was a peculiar type of printing press in which impressions were carved out on a cylinder to print on long rolls of paper, cardboard, plastics, etc.
As a better solution to printing on smooth surfaces, lithography was invented by Senefelder in 1796. It used chemicals to print images where the positive part of an image would be a hydrophobic chemical, while the negative image would be water.
Offset printing is a widely used printing technique where the inked image is transferred (or “offset”) from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. When used in combination with the lithographic process, which is based on the repulsion of oil and water, the offset technique employs a flat image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a film of water, keeping the non-printing areas ink-free. The earliest offset printing dates back to the 1870s. it has a vast printing history.
Screen printing history
Originating from simple stenciling from Japan, this form of printing was modernized by English Samuel Simon in 1907. Pilsworth then adopted the idea in 1914 and started using this technique to create multicolor prints in subtractive mode.
The most renowned type of printing, which is still in existence, was invented in the 1960s. Introduced by Xerox, this form swiftly outdated the style of coping done with the help of Fairfax, carbon paper, etc.
This was a modified Xerox copier that was invented by Xerox in 1969. The first laser printer was released with an individual computer in 1981. However, the Star (the computer with the laser) was an expensive one that could only be afforded by a small number of labs and institutions. However, with the more widespread usage of such, these became more famous.
Invented in 1970, a dot matrix printer or impact matrix printer refers to a type of computer printer with a print head that runs back and forth on the page and prints by impact, striking an ink-soaked cloth ribbon against the paper, much like the typewriter.
Digital Press printing history
Invented in 1993 and the most widely used technique, this involves the digital printing of images on several surfaces like paper, plastic, vinyl, etc. It is different because every impression made on the paper could be different, the ink does not subtract, less waste of chemicals cost-effective, and quicker.
Discography is a method for reproduction/creation of murals using digital printing methods, 1998 invented by Rainer Maria Latzke, and patented in 2000. The discography is based on digitally cut-out motifs which are stored in a database. CAM software programs then allow entering the measurements of a wall or ceiling to create a mural design with low-resolution motifs.
3 D printing
It is a technique of converting a virtual 3-D image into a physical object. They work by printing successive layers on top of one another to make a 3-D object. They are faster, affordable, and easier to use compared to other fabrication technologies.