COMM12022 Blog #4

Revolution of Print


Today, we can have almost anything we need in printed form for anyone to read. Once upon a time though, there was no such thing. In the early 1400s a technique of ‘printing’ came about when locals would lay a piece of paper on a carved ink block and then rub its back to transfer the ink (Gascoigne, 2001).


From there, in the middle of the 15th century, Gutenberg is associated with being the first to produce a ‘press and supply’ of metal, a print.


“Gutenberg’s great achievement in the story of printing has several components. One is his development of the printing press, capable of applying a rapid but steady downward pressure. More significant are Gutenberg’s skills with metal (his original trade is that of a goldsmith). These enable him to master the complex stages in the manufacture of individual pieces of type, which involve creating a master copy of each letter, devising the moulds in which multiple versions can be cast, and developing a suitable alloy (type metal) in which to cast them” (Gascoigne, 2001).


From the development of Gutenberg’s printer, came books and texts. The first, most like to the books we know, was Aldus Manutius is the first printer to come up with smaller, more portable books. He is also the first to use Italic type.


Originally, books were for those from money as they were expensive and hard to come by. But as time drew on, and the printing process became easier and more accessible, books became relied upon assets, for entertainment, education and many other uses. 


There is worry for the world of print though, with Agarwal saying “Online education for students around the world will be the next big thing in education. This is the single biggest change in education since the printing press “ (Argwal, 2012). If textbooks are not needed for students who utilise ‘textbooks’ online, there will be a steep decline in the need for printing houses and publishing houses.



Gascoigne, Bamber. “History of Printing” HistoryWorld. From 2001, ongoing. [Accessed 12 May 2016].

Moodie, G 2014, ‘Gutenberg’s effects on universities’, History Of Education, 43, 4, pp. 450-467, Education Research Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 12 May 2016. (2016). The history of printing | The evolution of print from Gutenberg to now. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 May 2016].

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