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History of Printing

The history of printing

Printing goes back to the duplication of images by means of stamps in very early times. The use of round seals for rolling an impression into clay tablets goes back to early Mesopotamian civilization before 3000 BC, where they are the most common works of art to survive, and feature complex and beautiful images.The printing press is considered one of the most important inventions in history. This device has made it possible for books, newspapers, magazines, and other reading materials to be produced in great numbers, and it plays an important role in promoting literacy among the masses. It was developed based on early principles of printing, and it has undergone many modifications over the years to meet the needs of people in different eras. In both China and Egypt, the use of small stamps for seals preceded the use of larger blocks. In Europe and India, the printing of cloth certainly preceded the printing of paper or papyrus. This was also the case in China. The process is essentially the same in Europe special presentation impressions of prints were often printed on silk until the seventeenth century.

Rotary printing press
Main article: Rotary printing press
A rotary printing press is a printing press in which the impressions are carved around a cylinder so that the printing can be done on long continuous rolls of paper, cardboard, plastic, or a large number of other substrates. Rotary drum printing was invented by Richard March Hoe in 1843 and patented in 1847, and then significantly improved by William Bullock in 1863. Intaglio.

Intaglio printing.
The top line is the paper, to which a slightly raised layer of ink adheres; the matrix is beneath Main article: Intaglio (printmaking)

Intaglio is a family of printmaking techniques in which the image is incised into a surface, known as the matrix or plate. Normally, copper or zinc plates are used as a surface, and the incisions are created by etching, engraving, drypoint, aquatint or mezzotint. Collographs may also be printed as intaglio plates. To print an intaglio plate the surface is covered in thick ink and then rubbed with tarlatan cloth to remove most of the excess. The final smooth wipe is usually done by hand, sometimes with the aid of newspaper or old public phone book pages, leaving ink only in the incisions. A damp piece of paper is placed on top and the plate and paper are run through a printing press that, through pressure, transfers the ink from the recesses of the plate to the paper.

Lithography (1796)
Lithography press for printing maps in Munich.
stone used for a lithograph with a view of Princeton University (Collection: Princeton University Library, NJ)

Lithography Invented by Bavarian author Aloys Senefelder in 1796, lithography is a method for printing on a smooth surface. Lithography is a printing process that uses chemical processes to create an image. For instance, the positive part of an image would be a hydrophobic chemical, while the negative image would be water. Thus, when the plate is introduced to a compatible ink and water mixture, the ink will adhere to the positive image and the water will clean the negative image. This allows for a relatively flat print plate which allows for much longer runs than the older physical methods of imaging (e.g., embossing or engraving). Highvolume lithography is used today to produce posters, maps, books, newspapers, and packaging just about any smooth, massproduced item with print and graphics on it. Most books, indeed all types of highvolume text, are now printed using offset lithography.

In offset lithography, which depends on photographic processes, flexible aluminum, polyester, mylar or paper printing plates are used in place of stone tablets. Modern printing plates have a brushed or roughened texture and are covered with a photosensitive emulsion. A photographic negative of the desired image is placed in contact with the emulsion and the plate is exposed to ultraviolet light. After development, the emulsion shows a reverse of the negative image, which is thus a duplicate of the original (positive) image. The image on the plate emulsion can also be created through direct laser imaging in a CTP (ComputerToPlate) device called a platesetter. The positive image is the emulsion that remains after imaging. For many years, chemicals have been used to remove the nonimage emulsion, but now plates are available that do not require chemical processing.

Color printing
Calvert Lithographic Company, Detroit, MI. Uncle Sam Supplying the World with Berry Brothers Hard Oil Finish, c. 1880. Noel Wisdom Chromolithograph Collection, Special Collections Department, The University of South Florida Tampa Library.

became the most successful of several methods of colour printing developed by the 19th century; other methods were developed by printers such as Jacob Christoph Le Blon, George Baxter and Edmund Evans, and mostly relied on using several woodblocks with the colors. Handcoloring also remained important; elements of the official British Ordnance Survey maps were colored by hand by boys until 1875. Chromolithography developed from lithography and the term covers various types of lithography that are printed in color. The initial technique involved the use of multiple lithographic stones, one for each color, and was still extremely expensive when done for the best quality results. Depending on the number of colors present, a chromolithograph could take months to produce, by very skilled workers. However much cheaper prints could be produced by simplifying both the number of colors used, and the refinement of the detail in the image. Cheaper images, like the advertisement illustrated, relied heavily on an initial black print (not always a lithograph), on which colors were then overprinted. To make an expensive reproduction print as what was once referred to as a "'chromo'", a lithographer, with a finished painting in front of him, gradually created and corrected the many stones using proofs to look as much as possible like the painting in front of him, sometimes using dozens of layers.

Alois Senefelder, the inventor of lithography, introduced the subject of colored lithography in his 1818 Vollstaendiges Lehrbuch der Steindruckerey (A Complete Course of Lithography), where he told of his plans to print using color and explained the colors he wished to be able to print someday. Although Senefelder recorded plans for chromolithography, printers in other countries, such as France and England, were also trying to find a new way to print in color. Godefroy Engelmann of Mulhouse in France was awarded a patent on chromolithography in July 1837, but there are disputes over whether chromolithography was already in use before this date, as some sources say, pointing to areas of printing such as the production of playing cards.

Offset press (1870s)
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 (planographic) image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the nonprinting area attracts a film of water, keeping the nonprinting areas inkfree.

Screenprinting (1907)
Screenprinting has its origins in simple stencilling, most notably of the Japanese form (katazome), used who cut banana leaves and inserted ink through the design holes on textiles, mostly for clothing. This was taken up in France. The modern screenprinting process originated from patents taken out by Samuel Simon in 1907 in England. This idea was then adopted in San Francisco, California, by John Pilsworth in 1914 who used screenprinting to form multicolor prints in a subtractive mode, differing from screenprinting as it is done today.

A flexographic printing plate.
Flexography (also called "surface printing"), often abbreviated to "flexo", is a method of printing most commonly used for packaging (labels, tape, bags, boxes, banners, and so on). A flexo print is achieved by creating a mirrored master of the required image as a 3D relief in a rubber or polymer material. A measured amount of ink is deposited upon the surface of the printing plate (or printing cylinder) using an anilox roll. The print surface then rotates, contacting the print material which transfers the ink. Originally flexo printing was basic in quality. Labels requiring high quality have generally been printed Offset until recently. In the last few years great advances have been made to the quality of flexo printing presses. The greatest advances though have been in the area of PhotoPolymer Printing Plates, including improvements to the plate material and the method of plate creation. usually photographic exposure followed by chemical etch, though also by direct laser engraving.

Photocopier (1960s)
Xerographic office photocopying was introduced by Xerox in the 1960s, and over the following 20 years it gradually replaced copies made by Verifax, Photostat, carbon paper, mimeograph machines, and other duplicating machines. The prevalence of its use is one of the factors that prevented the development of the paperless office heralded early in the digital revolution.

Thermal printer
A thermal printer (or direct thermal printer) produces a printed image by selectively heating coated thermochromic paper, or thermal paper as it is commonly known, when the paper passes over the thermal print head. The coating turns black in the areas where it is heated, producing an image.

Laser printer (1969)
The laser printer, based on a modified xerographic copier, was invented at Xerox in 1969 by researcher Gary Starkweather, who had a fully functional networked printer system working by 1971. Laser printing eventually became a multibilliondollar business for Xerox.
The first commercial implementation of a laser printer was the IBM model 3800 in 1976, used for highvolume printing of documents such as invoices and mailing labels. It is often cited as "taking up a whole room," implying that it was a primitive version of the later familiar device used with a personal computer. While large, it was designed for an entirely different purpose. Many 3800s are still in use.
The first laser printer designed for use with an individual computer was released with the Xerox Star 8010 in 1981. Although it was innovative, the Star was an expensive ($17,000) system that was only purchased by a small number of laboratories and institutions. After personal computers became more widespread, the first laser printer intended for a mass market was the HP LaserJet 8ppm, released in 1984, using a Canon engine controlled by HP software. The HP LaserJet printer was quickly followed by other laser printers from Brother Industries, IBM, and others.
Most noteworthy was the role the laser printer played in popularizing desktop publishing with the introduction of the Apple LaserWriter for the Apple Macintosh, along with Aldus PageMaker software, in 1985. With these products, users could create documents that would previously have required professional typesetting.

Dot matrix printer (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 inksoaked cloth ribbon against the paper, much like a typewriter. Unlike a typewriter or daisy wheel printer, letters are drawn out of a dot matrix, and thus, varied fonts and arbitrary graphics can be produced. Because the printing involves mechanical pressure, these printers can create carbon copies and carbonless copies. Each dot is produced by a tiny metal rod, also called a "wire" or "pin", which is driven forward by the power of a tiny electromagnet or solenoid, either directly or through small levers (pawls). Facing the ribbon and the paper is a small guide plate (often made of an artificial jewel such as sapphire or ruby ) pierced with holes to serve as guides for the pins. The moving portion of the printer is called the print head, and when running the printer as a generic text device generally prints one line of text at a time. Most dot matrix printers have a single vertical line of dotmaking equipment on their print heads; others have a few interleaved rows in order to improve dot density.

Inkjet printer
Inkjet printers are a type of computer printer that operates by propelling tiny droplets of liquid ink onto paper.

Dyesublimation printer
A dyesublimation printer (or dyesub printer) is a computer printer which employs a printing process that uses heat to transfer dye to a medium such as a plastic card, printer paper or poster paper. The process is usually to lay one color at a time using a ribbon that has color panels. Most dyesublimation printers use CMYO colors which differs from the more recognised CMYK colors in that the black dye is eliminated in favour of a clear overcoating. This overcoating (which has numerous names depending on the manufacturer) is effectively a thin laminate which protects the print from discoloration from UV light and the air while also rendering the print waterresistant. Many consumer and professional dyesublimation printers are designed and used for producing photographic prints.

Digital press (1993)
Digital printing is the reproduction of digital images on a physical surface, such as common or photographic paper or paperboardcover stock, film, cloth, plastic, vinyl, magnets, labels etc.
It can be differentiated from litho, flexography, gravure or letterpress printing in many ways, some of which are; Every impression made onto the paper can be different, as opposed to making several hundred or thousand impressions of the same image from one set of printing plates, as in traditional methods. The Ink or Toner does not absorb into the substrate, as does conventional ink, but forms a layer on the surface and may be fused to the substrate by using an inline fuser fluid with heat process(toner) or UV curing process(ink). It generally requires less waste in terms of chemicals used and paper wasted in set up or makeready(bringing the image "up to color" and checking position). It is excellent for rapid prototyping, or small print runs which means that it is more accessible to a wider range of designers and more cost effective in short runs.

Frescography (1998)
With CAMprogram created Frescography
Frescography is a method for reproduction/creation of murals using digital printing methods. The frescography is based on digitally cutout motifs which are stored in a database. CAM software programs then allow to enter the measurements of a wall or ceiling to create a mural design with low resolution motifs. Since architectural elements such as beams, windows or doors can be integrated, the design will result in an accurately and tailorfit wall mural. Once a design is finished, the low resolution motifs are converted into the original high resolution images and are printed on canvas by Wideformat printers. The canvas then can be applied to the wall in a wallpaperhanging like procedure and will then look like onsite created mural.

3D printing
Threedimensional printing is a method of converting a virtual 3D model into a physical object. 3D printing is a category of rapid prototyping technology. 3D printers typically work by 'printing' successive layers on top of the previous to build up a three dimensional object. 3D printers are generally faster, more affordable and easier to use than other additive fabrication technologies. Technological developments

Woodcut is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the nonprinting parts are removed, typically with gouges. The areas to show 'white' are cut away with a knife or chisel, leaving the characters or image to show in 'black' at the original surface level. The block is cut along the grain of the wood (unlike wood engraving where the block is cut in the endgrain). In Europe beechwood was most commonly used; in Japan, a special type of cherry wood was popular.
Woodcut first appeared in ancient China. From 6th century onward, woodcut icons became popular and especially flourished in Buddhist texts. Since the 10th century, woodcut pictures appeared in inbetweenings of Chinese literature, and some banknotes, such as Jiaozi (currency). Woodcut New Year picture are also very popular with the Chinese.
In China and Tibet printed images mostly remained tied as illustrations to accompanying text until the modern period. The earliest woodblock printed book, the Diamond Sutra contains a large image as frontispiece, and many Buddhist texts contain some images. Later some notable Chinese artists designed woodcuts for books, the individual print develop in China in the form of New Year picture as an artform in the way it did in Europe and Japan.
In Europe, Woodcut is the oldest technique used for old master prints, developing about 1400, by using on paper existing techniques for printing on cloth. The explosion of sales of cheap woodcuts in the middle of the century led to a fall in standards, and many popular prints were very crude. The development of hatching followed on rather later than in engraving. Michael Wolgemut was significant in making German woodcut more sophisticated from about 1475, and Erhard Reuwich was the first to use crosshatching (far harder to do than in engraving or etching). Both of these produced mainly bookillustrations, as did various Italian artists who were also raising standards there at the same period. At the end of the century Albrecht Durer brought the Western woodcut to a level that has never been surpassed, and greatly increased the status of the singleleaf (i.e. an image sold separately) woodcut.

Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, gold or steel are engraved, or may provide an intaglio printing plate, of copper or another metal, for printing images on paper, which are called engravings. Engraving was a historically important method of producing images on paper, both in artistic printmaking, and also for commercial reproductions and illustrations for books and magazines. It has long been replaced by photography in its commercial applications and, partly because of the difficulty of learning the technique, is much less common in printmaking, where it has been largely replaced by etching and other techniques. Other terms often used for engravings are copperplate engraving and Line engraving. These should all mean exactly the same, but especially in the past were often used very loosely to cover several printmaking techniques, so that many socalled engravings were in fact produced by totally different techniques, such as etching.
In antiquity, the only engraving that could be carried out is evident in the shallow grooves found in some jewellery after the beginning of the 1st Millennium B.C. The majority of socalled engraved designs on ancient gold rings or other items were produced by chasing or sometimes a combination of lostwax casting and chasing.
In the European Middle Ages goldsmiths used engraving to decorate and inscribe metalwork. It is thought that they began to print impressions of their designs to record them. From this grew the engraving of copper printing plates to produce artistic images on paper, known as old master prints in Germany in the 1430s. Italy soon followed. Many early engravers came from a goldsmithing background. The first and greatest period of the engraving was from about 1470 to 1530, with such masters as Martin Schongauer, Albrecht Durer, and Lucas van Leiden.

Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal (the original processin modern manufacturing other chemicals may be used on other types of material). As an intaglio method of printmaking it is, along with engraving, the most important technique for old master prints, and remains widely used today.

Halftone is the reprographic technique that simulates ones it is continuous tone imagery through the use of equally spaced dots of varying size. 'Halftone' can also be used to refer specifically to the image that is produced by this process.
The idea of halftone printing originates from William Fox Talbot. In the early 1850s he suggested using "photographic screens or veils" in connection with a photographic intaglio process.
Several different kinds of screens were proposed during the following decades, but the first halftone photoengraving process was invented by Canadians GeorgeEdouard Desbarats and William Leggo Jr. On October 30, 1869, Desbarats published the Canadian Illustrated News which became the world's first periodical to successfully employ this photomechanical technique; featuring a full page halftone image of His Royal Highness Prince Arthur, from a photograph by Notman. Ambitious to exploit a much larger circulation, Debarats and Leggo went to New York and launched the New York Daily Graphic in March 1873, which became the world's first illustrated daily.
The first truly successful commercial method was patented by Frederic Ives of Philadelphia in 1881. But although he found a way of breaking up the image into dots of varying sizes he did not make use of a screen. In 1882 the German George Meisenbach patented a halftone process in England. His invention was based on the previous ideas of Berchtold and Swan. He used single lined screens which were turned during exposure to produce crosslined effects. He was the first to achieve any commercial success with relief halftones.

Xerography (or electrophotography) is a photocopying technique developed by Chester Carlson in 1938 and patented on October 6, 1942. He received U.S. Patent 2,297,691 for his invention. The name xerography came from the Greek radicals xeros (dry) and graphos (writing), because there are no liquid chemicals involved in the process, unlike earlier reproduction techniques like cyanotype.
In 1938 Bulgarian physicist Georgi Nadjakov found that when placed into electric field and exposed to light, some dielectrics acquire permanent electric polarization in the exposed areas. That polarization persists in the dark and is destroyed in light. Chester Carlson, the inventor of photocopying, was originally a patent attorney and parttime researcher and inventor. His job at the patent office in New York required him to make a large number of copies of important papers. Carlson, who was arthritic, found this a painful and tedious process. This prompted him to conduct experiments with photoconductivity. Carlson experimented with "electrophotography" in his kitchen and in 1938, applied for a patent for the process. He made the first "photocopy" using a zinc plate covered with sulfur. The words "102238 Astoria" were written on a microscope slide, which was placed on top of more sulfur and under a bright light. After the slide was removed, a mirror image of the words remained. Carlson tried to sell his invention to some companies, but because the process was still underdeveloped he failed. At the time multiple copies were made using carbon paper or duplicating machines and people did not feel the need for an electronic machine. Between 1939 and 1944, Carlson was turned down by over 20 companies, including IBM and GE, neither of which believed there was a significant market for copiers.

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