The printing industry is a very important and useful industry. The industry has gone through a lot of changes. My report will discuss the history, changes, and present of the printing business.
The first printing was actually in China and was called yin (meaning to authenticate by the impression of a seal on clay). Seals were followed by taking ink rubbings from stone inscriptions, which has directly led the way to the making of books by inked impressions from wood. Ink rubbings were made by taking a moistened paper and laying it on the stone inscription. With a stiff brush the paper was then forced into every depression and crevice of the stone. As soon as the paper was dry, a stuffed pad of cotton or silk is dipped in sized ink and passed lightly, and evenly over it, When the paper is peeled off it is imprinted with a perfect and durable impression of the inscription, which comes out in white on a black back ground. This is a process similar to block printing. China was the first country to print with paper, ink, and carved wooden blocks, a process called xylography. In this process, a single carved wooden block of text was used to print impressions on whole pages. By the 11th century, the Chinese had cut the blocks into individual characters, creating the world's first movable type.
The Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans printed from movable type well before the Western world discovered the art in the 15th century. Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz, Germany, is generally credited with the invention of printing from movable type between 1440 and 1450. Historians believe that his invention consisted of the combination of a number of existing processes. His major contribution probably was the making of adjustable metal molds for casting types of different sizes accurately and in large quantities. By the end of the year 1500, printing presses had been set up in more than 250 cities throughout Europe. Books printed before the end of 1500 were called incunabula, meaning "cradle books".Gutenberg's process spread quickly to other European nations.
Among the printers of the period incunabula the names of Gutenberg, Johann Fust, and Peter Schoffer are outstanding. Anton Koberger of Nuremberg, a publisher and printer, printed many important volumes. Among them were editions of the Bible in Latin and German. The copies of the 42-line Bible that remain--about 40 in all--are among the world's most valuable books. It is known as the 42-line Bible because most of its pages are 42 lines long. It was printed in three volumes. The Library of Congress and the national libraries of Britain and France have complete and perfect sets. His most famous book is probably the 'Nuremberg Chronicle', printed in 1493. It is illustrated with hundreds of woodcuts. The portraits are all imaginary, and the same block is often repeated as the picture of different persons. Gutenberg's process spread quickly to other European nations. Over time, the literacy rate gradually rose among the population of Europe. Literature and scientific and religious texts, once read only by scholars, nobility, and the educated priesthood, were now available to an ever-widening audience.
William Caxton set up the first printing press in England in 1476. His books were mainly in English instead of Latin. They included Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales' and Thomas Malory's 'Morte d'Arthur'. Few have survived because they were read to shreds.
Not all advances in printing technology came from printers or designers and manufacturers. In 1796 German author Aloysius Senefelder, in his search for an inexpensive means of publishing his own plays, developed the techniques of lithography. Lithography is a printing process in use throughout the world. It involves a thin metal plate that carries the image area and the non-image area on the same plane; that is, the image and non-image areas are neither raised nor depressed. They are kept separate chemically by the use of the well-known principle that water and oil do not mix.
Joseph-Nicephore Niepce, a French landowner and inventor, discovered in the 1820s that certain chemical compounds were sensitive to light. His work marked the origins of photogravure and eventually led to the invention of photography and the use of photographic processes to reproduce images.
Beginning with the invention of the offset technique in the United States, a series of 20th-century innovations made mass production, high speed, and economy in printing possible. Automated composition, first developed after the 1920s, gave way to programmed composition in the 1950s. Many of today's computerized typesetting machines can set 1,000 characters (individual letters or symbols) per second. Phototypesetting equipment of the future could conceivably reach speeds of nearly 3,000 characters per second, or about 10,000,000 characters per hour.1
Inventors also created pressureless printing, which eliminated the need for a printing press. In 1948, two Americans conceived of a type of electrostatic printing in which the coloring agent is not ink but a powder that is sensitive to the pull of an electric charge induced on a plate. This technique gave birth to xerography and the now-familiar copying machines. The various processes developed to duplicate and reproduce documents have been grouped under the name reprography.
Knowing the history of printing is very important because it helps show its significance. Before printing only the rich knew how to read because only the rich could afford writings due to the fact that they were all hand copied. So when the bible was first printed it meant that the religion could be spread better. Soon reading became a necessity for every one. Also newspapers were invented giving the public a voice and a tool to protect the bill of rights. Writing became "the great means of communication" and the press became a symbol of freedom.
Printing has evolved into a major industry. It has become more efficient through new technology and is vital to many other industries such as advertising, magazines, newspapers, schools, and much more. One example of a printing company is Enterprise.
Enterprise press one of New York City's many printing companies was started by the Hort family in 1911 and is still run by the same family today in 1996. For a business to survive for 85 years is very hard. Enterprise was started in the industrial revolution as the techniques of mass production were being invented and improved. The business has grown tremendously since its start.
In an interview, Andrew Hort (co-owner) was asked how Enterprise has survived for eighty five years? He said it was due to many factors. They have not let their market get too specific. They don't work for just one industry. So if one industry crashes such as the financial market, they still can turn to their fashion business and so on. Also they don't let a customer cover more than three percent of their business so even if they lose their biggest customer they are not in trouble. Another thing that helps them is that they do every thing "in-house"(meaning they don't just do printing they do design shipping and ect.) so they don't have to pay sur-charges. They work fast because they control it all.
One of the major reasons they have survived is due to the fact that they are not a corporation, but a family business. They don't have to pay stock holders so they can take the money if they are having trouble and reinvest it into the businesses. For example during the recession a couple years ago they just cut their(Andrew and Benjamin Hort) own salaries and put it into the business.
Another thing that helps is that they advance with technology so production changes over the years. One of the main advances was computers. They made printing more accurate, consistent, faster, and efficient, Lithography also changed their process.
When asked if the government has helped or hurt Enterprise? he said they hurt by restricting their trash and having restrictions on the works that they must get hearing tests which cost the company a couple thousand dollars a year. Also the government of New York city has hurt them by ticketing the trucks that make paper shipments to them. They get sixty-five dollar tickets every time the trucks that make paper shipments which raises Enterprises cost. That is something New Jersey printers don't have to deal with so the city ends up giving New Jersey printers an edge. When asked the reason why Enterprise expanded he said it was not forced but chosen in order to make Enterprise a stronger company.
What creates change in the printing business is many things. The resources available, the skill or the lack of skill, the money, and so on. The biggest factors is technology. Technology has driven the printing industry into the force that it is today. Need is also a large factor the need for reading material and such is what has forced technology to keep up with the wants. Technology does not just happen you make something better because someone wants or needs it to be better.
The importance of printing can not be denied nor can its growth There are still changes being made to improve every detail of the business. Business' such as Quad graphics founded by Harry Quadracci are breaking new ground. Harry Quadracci used to work for printing giant W.A Krueger but left after being disgusted with a labor-management battles that victimized both sides. He left in 1971 to start his own business. "We wanted a company for employees and by employees, rather than by employees for stock holders ".2 On that theory he has built a $582 million company that prints more then 400 publications and catalogs.
Quad Graphics is very family friendly. They give $4,000 to a worker for the adoption of a child, double what any other one of the few companies who offer this benefit. There is a daycare center open from 6am-8pm which costs $15 a day and also summertime programs. Quad employees also have access to a fitness center which is open to spouses as well as workers. You can order head and neck massages at your desk for $15 a half hour. Quad also has a free Medicare clinic free for employees and their families. They may also use their private physicians for free. The management of the place is just teams not authorities. Quad also does plenty of work to help out the community. With even more unmentioned benefits for the worker Quad is proving that to succeed you don't have to be heartless.
There are many different types of businesses Quad and Enterprise are both companies that have not given into the ruthless side of business. Something that is not as easy as it appears. In a vital and competitive business such as printing you must have the ability to change. Something that both these companies has figured out which enables them to be kinder bosses.
Over the years printing has evolved from being a luxury to a necessity, and is still growing. There is now computers which let the public print there own work. With at home printers getting more and more advanced you must ask will this become a threat to the printing industry? the only way to find out is to watch.
<1> A Short History of the Printed Word, Warren Chappell, Nonpareil Books, Boston, 1970.
<2> "Changing Business as Usual: Five companies that built their success on a new definition of corporate values", Janet Ramford, Working Woman, Nov.'93, p.62.
<3> The Invention of Printing in China and Its Spread Westward, Thomas Carter, The Ronald Press Company, New York, 1955.
<4> "The Lithographic Print and Process", Steven Shoahan, American Artist, August '95, p10.
<5> The Printed Book in America, Joseph Blumenthal, David R. Godine Publisher, Boston, 1977.
<6> An interview with Andrew Hort (co-owner) of Enterprise.