Carving an image on a block of wood, removing the areas that don’t need to be printed, and then inking the block and printing it on a paper or a fabric. That’s how draggy printing used to be in 220 AD. But it’s fascinating how the journey of printing of around two millenniums has resulted in personalizing the message according to the audience and solidifying materials to obtain a 3D object. Let’s take a look at this thought-provoking transformative change of printing over the years that has extensively influenced our lifestyle and comfort.


Woodblock Printing

Drawing its roots from China in the 4th century, the woodblock printing was first used to draw the designs on a silk cloth. The wooden block was carved accordingly and then inked which formed a mirror image on a cloth or a paper. This art of carving a wooden block is known as xylography. Although color printing was a bit hectic as it required multiple wooden blocks, each for one color; even overprinting led to the formation of other colors.

Presses have been used in Asia just by framing an upper and a lower block with engraved sections opening to the back and fitted with the plugs. A cloth is braced between the two blocks and different colors are filled in those sections which result in a multi-colored pattern.


Movable Type

The technique invented by Bi Sheng in which individual characters were carved on identical pieces of fine clay. The block was then hardened by fire which made it durable and ready to use anytime, anywhere. The pieces were easy to attach and detach from the block which made the process enduring and fast.


Printing Press

As the name suggests, it’s a device used to pressurize an inked surface that rests on any print medium that transfers the ink to the desired medium. This process was one of the greatest progresses in the printing sector.



Conventionally, this process uses strong acids or mordant to carve the metal in order to create a design. Pure etching consists of an acid resistant waxy ground which is then scratched with an etching needle following which it is dipped in acid. The plate so formed is inked and then wiped leaving ink on the etched lines.



Precisely it is a fry point method that is done by coarsening a metal plate with little dots by a “rocker” (a metal tooth having small teeth). The metal plate is filled with ink and wiped through which results in an eminent and smooth print.



This variant of etching uses an acid resistant powdered rosin to generate a tonal effect and the image is molded by large sections.



Lithography is a cheap method invented by a German author AloisSenefelder for publishing theatrical works that drew an image with oil, fat or wax on a smooth surface of a lithographic limestone plate.



An extension to lithography, this process is used to make colorful prints. This process eliminated the intaglio techniques and gave way to print on even surfaces with the use of chemicals. It was one of the most successful methods of color printing.


Rotary Printing Press

Rotary printing press featured a cylindrical press on the exterior of which images to be printed were carved.



A special ink or ribbon is used to duplicate a special master paper in gelatin process. The sheet is then constrained against a moist gelatin surface on which the image is reproduced as a mirror image.


Dot Matrix Printing

This type of computer printing uses a print head that moves in an alternating motion that can be up-and-down or back-and-forth.It prints by striking a cloth ribbon that has been soaked in ink and has letters on a dot matrix with which various fonts and random graphics can be produced.



This dry photocopying technique invented by Hungarian physicist PálSelényi functions on the basis of electrostatic charges. This method is used in photocopiers, laser printers, and fax machines.


Inkjet Printing

It is a technique that involves reforming of a digital image on paper, plastic, or any other substrates. This technology has developed to an extent where the ink comprises of living cells which can create biosensors for tissue engineering. The ink that is deposited on the paper is contained by an ink cartridge. It is essential to use a good cartridge for your printer so that you get a fine print quality. A bunch of decent products for printing can be found at the Super Media Store.


Dye-Sublimation Printer

The Dye-Sublimation Printeruses heat to transfer images on plastic, paper, card, or fabric. These printers use special inks to imprint on textiles in which the dyes sublimate. The technique doesn’t involve higher temperatures but higher pressures.


Laser Printing

Known for its high-quality texts and graphics which are formed by passing laser back and forth repeatedly over a negatively charged cylinder termed as a “drum”. The drum then collects electrically charged powdered ink and replicates it on the paper which is then heated to create a print. It is done through toner powder that a toner cartridge carries. A bad choice in cartridges can be fatal to your printer, so be wise and choose some of the best products from the Super Media Store.


Thermal Printing

Largely depending on thermal paper for printing, the thermal printer doesn’t use any ink or toner like other printers. The thermal printer makes use of heat to produce the image on a paper.


3D Printing

A very complicated process that solidifies material to print a 3-dimensional object. Printing that is safer to use than a hair dryer and also smells like a waffle. The emissions from 3D printing are equal to cooking on a stove. Any color can be printed through 3D printers. 3D printing involves a lot of creativity and which not too tough to learn as it might look like.

A CAD (computer-aided design) file is prepared to make a design. The design is then divided into horizontal layers which are called slicing which is done with the help of a slicing software. As soon as you make the design and slice it, you are ready to print a 3D object.


Digital Printing

A technique that directly links computers with printing processes. A process that is simpler and faster than offset printing. The most important factor that needs to be considered here is that digital printing doesn’t require to change plates unlike traditional methods of printing which directly results in increased efficiency of the machine.


To conclude, let’s just say that printing has reached to a point where we cannot predict its growth. It certainly seems like this is the point from where we cannot develop further because everything we can think of has been invented. Any new invention in this sector would be a surprise and unpredictable.

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