Printing has come a very long way since the first-ever recorded method of printing in 3500 BCE. Even at Foote Printing, our methods and process have vastly changed since our company was founded in 1907!
The history of printing starts as early as 3500 BCE, when Sumerian civilizations used cylinder seals to certify documents written in clay. Other early forms include block seals, hammered coinage, pottery imprints, and cloth printing. Initially, a method of printing patterns on cloth such as silk, woodblock printing originated in China around 200 AD, and was transferred to paper by the 7th century, leading to the spread of book production in Asia. Movable type was invented in the Song dynasty in the eleventh century, but it received limited use compared to woodblock printing. Woodblock printing was also used in Europe until the fifteenth century when a process for mass-producing metal type and the printing press were invented to support an economic book publishing industry. This industry enabled the communication of ideas and sharing of knowledge on an unprecedented scale. Alongside the development of text printing, new and lower-cost methods of image reproduction were developed, including lithography, screen printing, and photocopying.
It is traditionally surmised that Johannes Gutenberg, of the German city of Mainz, developed European movable type printing technology with the printing press around 1439, and in just over a decade, the European age of printing began. However, the evidence shows a more complex evolutionary process spread over multiple locations. Also, Johann Fust and Peter Schöffer experimented with Gutenberg in Mainz. Today, practically all movable type printing ultimately derives from Gutenberg's movable type printing, which is often regarded as the most important invention of the second millennium.
Foote Printing in Cleveland, Ohio is here to help you with any and all of your printing needs! Contact us today to learn more and check out our video library to watch more educational videos like this!