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History of Printing Processes and Business Printing
While there have been reports of a printed book called ‘Diamond Sutra’ as long back as 868BC in China, the real documented history of printing started with Gutenberg. Before Gutenberg printing was extremely decorative and ornate and involved carving into stone, wood or metal. Natural inks and paints were used too. The process was manual and required a lot of time.
The Start of the Printing Process
Johannes Gutenberg from Mainz, Germany is applauded as the man who changed the face of printing. He invented the movable printing press in 1440. The first printing press was wooden and later it was adapted to use metal plates. The 42-line Gutenberg Bible This basic printing can be compared to what we would today refer to as stamp printing. There were various adaptations of this printing process but the basis of the printing remained the same till the 20th century.
Almost 300 Years Later
Ottmar Mergenthaler’s linotype composing machine was the next great invention that marked a significant threshold in printing in 1886. The machine allowed the same person to be the machinist, the typesetter, justifier, typefoudner and type distributor. The New York Tribune was the first to use it. Ever since the design was modified a number of times and more than 1500 patents have been issues with regards to this style of printing.
In the 1800’sthe iron printing press was invented along with the rotary printing press. Embossed printing was invented by Louis Braille. Paper was mass produced from wood pulp in 1870 and web offset was also used to print on both sides of the paper in this era. Around 1870, offset printing became the most commonly used method of printing. This process involved transferring the image from a plate to the rubber blanket from where it was transferred to the material that required printing.
Lithography, Teletypesetting and Phototypesetting
As offset lithography became common in 1904, the first comic book was also published in this year. In 1907, silk fabric was used as a printing screen by Samuel Simon of Manchester England. He was also awarded a patent for this process.
The teletypesetter was developed by F.E. Gannett of Rochester, W.W. Morey of East Orange and the Morkrum-Kleinschmidt Company. This was called the ‘Walter Morey’ teletypesetter. This invention was soon followed by the phototypesetter, created by Frenchmen Louis Marius Moyroud and Rene Alphonse Higonnet. The phototypesetter used strobe light and optics to project images and letters from a spinning disk on to paper.
The Boom Begins
It is interesting to note that there was a time in 1954 when there were more radio channels than daily newspapers. In the 1960’s photocopying was introduced by Xerox. Other forms of copying like carbon paper, Photostat and mimeograph became redundant over time.
However, things changed swiftly as digital technology changed the way in which printing was handled. The laser printer as introduced in 1969. It was a modified xerographic copier and by 1971 the world had a completely operational networked laser printing system.
Not many know that the dot matrix printer was developed later in 1970. It was essentially an impact printer that could be used with a computer. The inkjet printer with its infallible quality and the digital printers came later.
Almost all kinds of printing are computerized these days. Essentially, the printing methods that are used for business printing like envelope printing, business form printing, label printing and check printing use printing options like offset, screen printing, inkjet and laser. While offset is uses rollers and assured good quality, the inkjet technology uses thermal, piezoelectric or continuous transfer methods and requires special paper in order to prevent bleeding. Laser printing is the faster and more efficient way of printing that is used in most offices that do not requires very high level of printing quality.
Irrespective of the kind of printing technology that is used, most of the printing is digital in nature. It provides for better flexibility in terms of the medium in which the printing is required and allows for proofing the work before any mass printing is approved.
There are various advantages of using digital printing. When you choose digital printing you make sure that there is no cost of initial setting up like in the case of offset printing. Once the digitized version of the printing material has been created, it can be approved without really printing a single copy. This means that there is no need to physically send the proof for approval and this can be done via email. The turnaround time for any batch of production is quicker. One can also be sure that each and every copy of the print shall be identical to the other.
The fact that there is no initial set up cost ensures that digital printing is the best option when you need to get smaller runs done. It is also an easy to implement process when you want slight variations in each print that has been created. For example, mailing lists can be used to address letters to individual customers without having to create those many copies of the same file.
Some people criticize digital printing because the quality of printing cannot be matched to that of offset printing. While offset printing is great for very large jobs that require extremely high level of image quality printing, the difference in quality of printing between digital and offset is hardly noticeable by the untrained eye. So choosing offset is a good idea when you want to print a glossy magazine that has a lot of scenic images or models or food recipes too. But in most other cases, digital printing proves to be the most convenient.
Businesses have benefited significantly with digital printing. Business forms, checks, envelopes and labels have been filled with newness and uniqueness with the customized possibilities that digitization brings about. Whether you want to write a personal message on a food gift or send across individually printed holiday cards, digital printing makes it all possible.
Checks are the oldest form of non-cash payment that you can think of. They have been known to be used by Romans as far back as the first century B.C. the Persian Empire also used letters of credits that were called Chaks. In the 9th century, Muslims were known to use something similar too. To read more about Personal Checks click here
Checks were used as a surrogate form of payment as far back as the first century B.C by the Romans. There are various records of these checks being used by Persians, in the 3rd century, the Muslims in the 9th century and the Knights of Templar too. Business checks however, were used for the first time in the United States of America in 1681 when a Boston businessman wrote checks to raise funds by mortgaging his land and writing checks against the payment. To read more about Business Checks click here
Security – Computer checks are far more secure than manual checks since they are equipped with various security options that make scanning and copying a check impossible.
How to Move from Manual Checks to Computer Checks for QuickBooks, Peachtree,
It is obvious that the benefits of QuickBooks checks far outweigh those of manual checks. However, there are some things that you will need to keep in mind when are making the change. The first thing that you will need is accounting software that supports check printing. It is best to get one of the popular accounting software options like QuickBooks, Microsoft Money or PeachTree. These specific computer checks are available at most online check printers too.
There are different kinds of checks that you can print with software like QuickBooks.
The emergence of the computer check cam about with the advent of various accounting software options. As software options such as QuickBooks, Quicken and Microsoft Money became popular, computer checks became more sought after. Businesses saw a large number of advantages of the computer check in comparison to the printed business check. To read more about Computer Checks click here
As printing presses opened across the world, it started to become apparent to businesses that printing could help in streamlining businesses processes to a large extent. While most of the forms were handwritten earlier, the printing process helped in making the processes more standard. Templates were developed and these initial formats were created for offset printing. but things changed as computerization of everything changed the manner in which businesses worked. To read more about Business Forms click here
It is interesting to note that the first labels created aimed at catching the eye of the customer. They were in fact used as a marketing tactic to make sure that the customer was attracted towards the product that was labeled. Label tags have been used to identify products since the 1880’s. Gum was used to stick the label to the product or produce that was being marketed. The use of these tags in business really started in 1930. To read more about Labels click here
While letters go back a long time in history, envelopes were made by till the mid 1940’s. In the early days, letters were folded and a wax seal was used to attach the two together. If the letter was received with the seal intact, one could be sure that it had not been tampered with. Over time, people started to make handmade mailing covers envelopes to slip the letter in. However, the first machine made envelope was developed only in 1945. To read more about Envelopes click here
The origins of wedding invitations lie in announcements made loudly by town crier and everyone who was in earshot was invited. The start of these invitations as we know it started with the nobility in The Middle Ages. Monks skilled in the art of calligraphy were paid to create beautiful invitations for weddings. These invitations, more often than not, carried the Coat of Arms or the personal crest of the father of the bride or the groom. To read more about Wedding Invitations click here
The joy of receiving food gifts can only be explained by the pleasure that one gets in peeling off layer by layer and discovering something interesting in each layer that is peeled off from the food gift basket. Interestingly, the origins of gifting a food basket go back to the days when baskets were woven from materials available locally. These baskets were used to collect food as they were gathered by hunters and food gatherers. These were also used to give as gifts to near and dear ones. To read more about Food Gifts click here
Full Color Products
A postcard can say so much more than a letter with only words. This only goes to prove that a picture can say a thousand words. The first postcard was issues in the United Kingdom in 1870. But at this stage the postcards were not printed and only had a pre-printed stamp on them. The first picture postcard was issued in 1894 and smaller court cards were issued between 1895 and 1899. To read more about Full Color Products click here
Surprising that it may sound to you, the term picnic was first used in the 17th century. Based on Origines de la Langue Françoise de Ménage, it is a French word that was created by joining ‘piquer’ and a nonsense syllable. ‘Piquer’ means to peck and therefore the tradition of eating out. The phrase was used out of the French context in 1748 but it was acknowledged as an English word only in 1800. To read more about Picnic Products click here
The tax system in the United States has gone through many changes in the past. Some of these changes have been based on historic events while others were a part of changes made in the constitution. In colonial times, the tax required from the colonies was limited to custom, excise and a few others. At this time the colonies were responsible for most of the work required to be done in the state. To read more about Tax Forms click here
The first known promotional products used in the United States of America were promotional commemorative buttons that were used in the election of George Washington in 1789. But by the time the world reached the 19 the century, calendars and some other pieces of stationery had made their way through into the category. To read more about Promotional Products click here
Ancient Egyptians, Chinese and romans were all known to send colorful greetings to each other during the holiday period. Printers did not see the potential in holiday cards till the 18th century. The Christmas card was sent by Sir Henry Cole when he realized that Christmas was round the corner and the annual letters to friends and family had not been written. He decided to hire John Horsely to create s set of lithographic hand written cards that could convey his wishes to all his friends. This very first holiday card was also intended to give a message with regards to the needs of the poor. To read more about Holiday Cards click here