When was the typography invented?

The history of typography begins in the ancient times, when punches and dies were used for the first time, in order to create seals and currency. In the present day, we can enjoy books, newspapers, flyer, poster etc, but printing has come a long way to become what it is today.

History left us many evidence of printing over the time, such as the brick stamps discovered in the Mesopotamian cities of Larsa and Uruk or the Babylonian cylinder seals. In the 11th-century in China is invented typography with movable types, by Bi Sheng during the Song Dynasty. He manufactured movable types from ceramic materials. A major role in inventing of moveable printing press is played by Johannes Gutenberg.

He independently invented the technology in 15th-century in Germany. Due to its achievement, people could print with lower costs and in a more efficient time. Until Gutenberg, books were created by hand. It is possible that Gutenberg’s printing press was an adaptation of the binding press that has a fixed level lower surface and a movable level upper surface.

Gutenberg work as a goldman and he begin his printing activity at Strasbourg. He also founded a society with Johannes Fust at Mainz. In the year of 1455 had appeared the first book of Gutenberg, a bible written in Latin. Because of the disagreements between Gutenberg and his associate, lose the benefits obtained from the printing of the Bible, but manages to establish a printing later.

Around 1500, the printing was used for advertising and replaces people who were advertising in the central markets with flyers. One hundred years later, newspaper began to be more widespread and appear printed pamphlets. In 1799, the Austrian Alois Senefelder had invented the lithography print. He discovers that it is possible to print on a flat, smooth, fine-grained limestone.

In the 19th century, lithography is used to reproduce qualitative images for books and other publications in one color as well as in more colors.

In 1803 was invented the paper machine. To produce paper people used in particular flax and cotton fibers. In 1804 take place another important development in the evolution of typography. Lord Earl of Stanhope replaced the wooden screw press that remained unchanged since the days of Gutenberg, with release of iron print. Also, he introduced the possibility to save pages on the matrix, in order to reprint a sentence or a phrase.

1814 is the year when Frederich Keening had inventing the steam printing press, used by “The Times” periodical.

In 1827, the number of copies made per hour increased from 1100 to 5000. It is quite an achievement and 13 years later the American Richard March Hoe made a rotary press that could work up to 20.000 copies per hours. It is very impressive, if you look back at the first books created with a printing press. By 1890s, rotary presses were available in a wide variety, until the 70s, when the offset technology appeared. Today, printing technologies are various, in order to increase the production and to reduce the cost.

Therefore, typography has an interesting and remarkable history, essential to the evolution of culture.

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