November 12, 2015
We have talked before about the importance and influence of typography. It was an industry that was changed forever with the invention of the printing press. Now the printed word could be mass produced. It could also be reliably duplicated. The tyranny of the ink and the pen had ended. The printed word would reign supreme!
The First Press
Johannes Gutenburg, a German blacksmith and inventor, created the first printing press with movable typeset. He spent years perfection his invention and although the historical record is somewhat muddied, it is thought that his first, fully realized product was built in 1439. He not only create a revolutionary design, he was also the first to make use of a metal alloy he invented by combining lead, tin, and antimony. Gutenburg has also been credited with introducing oil-based ink to the printing world.
Printing as Art
With Gutenberg’s invention, book printing and typesetting became an art form. Creative individuals discovered innovative new ways to print, shape, and organize letters. They discovered that some fonts were more popular than others. The ability to print beautiful pages, in intricately bound books was held in high esteem. Unfortunately, there were limits to what was possible with the use of a printing press. The structure of all printed material had to be the same. Letters could only be organized in ubiquitous grid systems. Finally, hundreds of years later, with the invention of the computer, printers and designers were truly set free.
The Freedom of Digital
With computers came the ability for endless expression and creativity. No design or idea was too complicated. Colors, shapes, styling, it was all limited only by a designer’s imagination. When a designers has a truly incredible imagination, amazing things can happen. Things like Paper Eskimo’s Poppit Collection of birthday party invitations.
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