The Evolution Of Printing

Are you familiar with modern printing practices? If you are, then have you ever thought about how we got here? When did printing begin – and where are we now? Read on as we take you on a journey through the fascinating evolution of printing and see how you can take advantage of creative printing today!


Woodblock Printing – 200 AD

Thought to be the earliest form of printing, woodblock printing dates back to 200 AD. It began life as wood being carved into different letters and shapes. The shapes were then dipped into ink and pressed onto paper to create the print. While this might sound basic, it was revolutionary at the time!

Printing Press – 1440

Another revolution came with the arrival of the printing press in 1440. This used a “machine” powered by a lever (though it might not be very high tech by modern standards!) which could press the carved letters into ink and then onto paper.

Rotary Press – 1843

The next big advance in printing took over four hundred years to arrive – though it was game-changing! The rotary press utilised cylinders that spun to move large amounts of paper through an ink press. This meant that people could print a high volume of material much more quickly.

Screen Printing – 1910

In 1910, a new form of printing was developed. ‘Screen printing’ is the term for ink being pressed through a mesh stencil and onto either fabric or paper, giving it a diverse range of uses.

Inkjet Printing – 1951

Heading into the second half of the twentieth century, inkjet printing arrived. This was the start of modern printing, which works by spraying ink through jets onto the paper. This technology is being continually developed right into the present day.

Laser Printing – 1969

Laser printing is another more modern form of printing, which creates high-quality images. These images were made by a laser beam passing back and forth over a negatively charged cylinder. This was another leap forwards for printing, and one that might be quite familiar to you.

Digital Printing – Current

Bringing it into the present day, we now have digital printing. This has made printing more accessible to everyone; you can utilise this amazing service by sending your digital file straight from your computer or phone to the printer. This process creates high-quality images that would be completely unbelievable to those who first invented woodblock printing back in 200 AD!

Are you interested in design and print options for your own business? TL Colour offers a range of creative printing and large format colour printing suitable for a range of materials; get in touch to see how we can help you.


Image Source: Pexels