Is the press still printing?

Black and white image of inventors in 1880s

In outrageous irony, the printing press, invented by German goldsmith and inventor Johannes Gutenberg in 1450, was made popular by a pandemic.

The Black Death wiped out over a third of the European population, which meant a deficit in Western European monks who were, at the time, responsible for transcribing the Bible.

male hands with squeegee printing images on t-shirts by silkscreen method in a design studio

Other notable moments in history made possible by the printing press

The printing press was also pivotal in the Scientific Revolution, as accurate recordings of information could now be built upon by other scientists. Using the press to persuade communities in political campaigns became a popular form of propaganda during the Renaissance. Understanding the value of mechanical printing prompted King Henry VIII to fund Cambridge University’s printing press that still publishes over 2000 titles per year.

Einstein, synonymous with the word ‘genius’, commended the invention and use of the printing press as it allowed students to learn from accessible information that was kept accurate and updated.

Large format printing house

Modern-day printing

The market size of the Australian printing industry sits at just short of $7 billion and is expected to increase by 1.1% in 2022.

The Australian book market generated A$1.14 billion in sales in 2019. And these are just books! What about catalogues, trade publications and journals and marketing collateral?

Today, printing is so much more than words and colours on paper. Printing is how a brand stands out. It’s how a first impression lands. It’s how professional an outfit can look and deliver its service or product like medical records or PVC branded conference stationery. Custom branding and printing can win world records.

Printers make up the largest portion of the Printing and Graphic Arts industry workforce. Printing in Australia comprises commercial, digital, offset lithographic and screen printing. PVC Welding, polypropylene cutting and printing and custom leather printed products are all additional modern-day printing solutions used by businesses and institutions across the globe.

So, is the printing press still printing? Based on these statistics, we would most definitely think so.

Some other interesting insights into modern-day printing

Printing press - Large format printer plotter
  • Colour in printing is essential. It’s how Hulk became green. (True story: he was supposed to be grey but due to a printing error and creator Stan Lee preferring the green hue, the Incredible Hulk stayed green.)
  • JK Rowling’s final Harry Potter book, ‘The Deathly Hallows’, broke printing records with an initial print run of 12 million copies.
  • The largest printed catalogue measures 6.35 centimetres thick.
  • The longest lino print is 33.51 metres, a record set by Northern Print in the UK.
  • The earliest book published in English was the ‘Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye’ in 1474 and was sold at auction in 2014 for £1,082,500.
  • Fonts were originally created by hand and named after the individual. Claude Garamond’s font remains a standard font still used today.

Need us to help you find a way to make your brand stand out using custom printing solutions? Contact us today.

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