The history of printing

print-historyIf you’re expecting Gutenberg and his printing press, look elsewhere. This post is about history in the making; the spirits of printing present and future versus the past. The history of printing is re-invented every day as marketers, designers and businesses seek creative avenues to promote their products and services.

Technical innovation has been integral to the advancement of the printing industry – and therefore the marketing and advertising worlds – but the true historical value of these advancements is in the application of printing rather than the processes themselves. The ability to mass produce text on paper changed the world forever; but so did the ability to print on vinyl, plastic and glass. Short-run printing, large-format printing, raised-letter printing: These are all borne from amazing technologies and have paved the way for a modern landscape dotted with promotional ads.

These ads in turn fuel the industry, which provides jobs to individuals, who care for their families. The cycle turns full circle as families join to create communities, and then to trade within those communities, and then to market in print. Calling cards have been around for centuries, but giraffes printed on telephone poles are new and invigorating.

The history of printing is also the history of humanity. In fact, prehistory is defined as the time during the development of human culture before the written word. Ergo, history is the time during the development of human culture after the written word could be printed to record said development. The history of print is more than a singular topic; it transcends the history of all other concepts or items. It is the human story, the human message, whether in an historical text or a marketing medium. Without print, there is no history. PRINT IS HISTORY.

What can you do with your print designs to make history today?

Image use Creative Commons via Flickr.

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