“What gunpowder did for war the printing press has done for the mind.” - Wendell Phillips
We rarely think about what life was like before print; cave paintings and chalk tablets might come to mind; ideas of a more primitive past before the invention of modern printing methods.
In pre-15th century China, press printing with wooden blocks was the norm. They carried this practice to Korea and eventually into Europe, where it was adapted into a larger-scale mechanical printing press that could produce up to 500 books a week.
These developments caused a surge in reading among people who weren’t previously literate, and as information became more accessible, so did the desire to read it.
Instead of wealthy households having a monopoly on printed works, they became more affordable.
Over time, education also became more important, and a greater range of educational material was made available to the masses. Education led to improved communication, and reading became a common pastime. This saw further success for writers and the growth of educational establishments.
It’s easy to forget that before these early advances, people couldn't own their own books, study together, or write to each other.
It’s become even easier to forget about print as digital media improves and becomes the primary way of accessing information and communicating, but it’s important to look back and remember how print has changed the way the world works, the way we learn, and the way we communicate. Without it, things would be very different.
Think about it, how would life be if you couldn’t buy a book from a bookshop, read the headlines in your local newspaper, or hand out business cards at networking events?
“Basically, books were a luxury item before the printing press.” - Nate Silver
Today, we take print media for granted. We forget how it began, what we’ve gained from it and where it’s led us.
Print laid the foundation for digital, and though we often hail digital media as more affordable and easier to access, there’s a charm to print that gives it certain advantages over digital.
So, whether you’re looking for help or advice with your next digital or print project, if you need graphic design to make your content more effective and engaging, or you’re looking for a professional printing solution, we can help!