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Did You Ever Wonder How We Got To Where We Are?

January 26th, 2013

printing of books and the history of it by a book printer

Some of you reading this may be a bit overwhelmed when dealing with a book printing company with respect to all of the specifications required such as page count, paper, size and so forth and of course many reading this would not be. I just thought I would put it all into some historical perspective as to how it all came about. How did we get from writing on a single tablet or papyrus by one or a group of people in order to create a single copy of a book or a history to web offset printing with all of its modern bells and whistles? Actually, it took a few thousand years.

Our earliest endeavors at putting our thoughts, histories, war stories, love tales and more on a document for future generations to read was a singular attempt without any form of mass production. If you wrote your store down it was a book of one issue and kind of like a first and ONLY printing.

Our first attempts at mass produced printing of books or anything else to be so recorded was invented by the Chinese a few hundred years after they invented gunpowder with both being quite explosive inventions. It is felt that wood blocks, which were wood carvings similar to today’s linoleum carved art pieces, that when inked could stamp out an image, design or writing. This was how the first printing of books took place.

The Chinese actually took book printing and other forms of print to the next level by inventing movable type which allowed them to set a page or design with movable pieces in order to tell a story as well as create multiple pages using the same blocks arranged as needed in order to do so. This was the precursor of letterpress printing which also used movable type and is the same process with the same materials for the type as hundreds of years ago. In the 11th century the Chinese were printing books and other items using this technique.

Gutenberg brought us into the modern age with his invention of the printing press and with movable type and a manual “sheet fed” approach, being the forerunner of the sheet fed printing press, was able to automate book printing with his first printed version of the Bible. Gutenberg not only gave rise to the printing press but to book publishing as well as his press could mass produce the printing of books and more thus bringing first the Bible and then much more to the masses.

With the 1800’s the rotary press invented by Richard Hoe brought speed and efficiency to book printing and brought the process into the modern age. The rotary printing press produced high speed runs utilizing rolls of paper running over a curved cylinder and was the predecessor of today’s high speed web printing press.

Following the invention of the rotary press, offset web printing became the next thing as it brought book and other printing into the modern age. Here another process was added, ergo the term offset, in that the ink is not directly applied to the paper as with the rotary press. The ink is first applied to a rubber blanket which then transfers the image or copy to the paper.

If you enjoyed my little foray into the history of the printing of books and more than you could only benefit by reviewing some of my other blogs which get into the nitty-gritty on how to produce better files, save on hassles and learn how you can benefit from a more cost effective and quality printing experience.

When it comes to the printing of books let us  provide you with optimal  printing services and affordable prices.

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