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12 Printing facts you may not know…

Hot off the Press
Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the press in 1439 is widely considered to be the origin of mass communication. He invented a process for mass-producing movable type, combined it with oil-based ink and a wooden printing press similar to the agricultural screw presses of the period – and combined them into a practical system which allowed the mass production of printed books, and was economically viable for printers and readers alike.

Stop the Press
The fist English newspaper was the Oxford Gazette published in 1665. In 1666 production moved to London and the name changed to the London Gazette – which is still in circulation today. Perfect for your Fish & Chips.

The Possibilities are Endless
The Fourdrinier paper Machine was invented in 1798 by Nicolas-Louis Robert, the Fourdrinier paper Machine was the first machine that could produce a continuous roll of paper. It placed the pulp onto a continuous screen, or wire, that moved like an endless belt rather than individual screens and made today’s high-speed paper machines possible.

The First Billboard
The worlds first 24 –sheet billboard was displayed at the Paris Exposition in 1889. The same format was quickly adopted for advertising, particularly for circuses, travelling shows and movies.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…
In 1894 the picture postcard was introduced. Early examples included pictures of famous landmarks, scenic views, photographs and cheeky illustrations. Postcards really came into their own when steam locomotives began to offer affordable transport turning British seaside towns into tourist destinations.

I’m stuck on you…
The first self-adhesive label was invented in 1935. The label backing sheet had a synthetic coating that allowed the label to be easily removed – opening the door for all the sticker books, marketing and business applications so familiar today.

The Science of Colour
Pantone© began as a commercial printing company in the 1950’s. In 1956, they hired Hofstra university graduate Lawrence Herbert as a part-time employee. Herbert used his Chemistry Knowledge to arrange order and simplify the company’s stock of pigments and production of coloured inks. This system has been widely adopted by graphic designers, reproduction and printing houses ever since.

Screen Printing
Although the technique of screen printing was developed at the beginning of the 20th Century, it was Andy Warhol in the 1960’s that really made it popular. The versatility of screen printing means it is still widely used today for many mass-produced graphics onto a wide range of media.

Direct Mail or Junk Mail?
The term “Direct Marketing” was first used in 1967 in a speech by Lester Winderman. He pioneered direct marketing techniques with brands such as American Express and Columbia Records; however the practice of selling via mail order had begun in the US in the early 1820’s with the invention of the typewriter.

Hello Mac
Apple built on pioneering work of Xerox Parc to produce the first commercially successful computer to use a graphical interface – the Macintosh. Launched in 1984 with Ridley Scott’s famous advertising campaign, the Macintosh ushered in a new dawn of accessible computing, shifting computers away from scientists in research labs to the hands of designers.

The Digital Revolution
The introduction of Digital print has revolutionised the print industry in many ways since the 1980’s. No printing plates means low set up costs, quick turnaround short run lengths. It has lead to personalised direct mail, bespoke book printing, and personalised greeting cards which can all be delivered next day.

The Future’s Green
The environment is at the top of the agenda as we look to the future. Sustainable business practices, responsible procurement, recycling and carbon offsetting are all major factors consumers and business customers are likely to take into consideration when choosing a supplier.

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