Chapter 5

Class 10
Find out more about the changes in print technology in the last 100 years. Write about the changes, explaining why they have taken place, what their consequences have been.


Find out more about the changes in print technology in the last 100 years. Write about the changes, explaining why they have taken place, what their consequences have been.


Eighteenth century innovations:

  • At the end of the eighteenth century, there were several remarkable innovations in the graphic techniques and those that were utilized to make their materials. Bewick developed the method of using engraving tools on the end of the wood. Senefelder discovered lithography. Blake made relief etchings.

Nineteenth century innovations:

  • Early in the nineteenth century Stanhope, George E. Clymer, Koenig and others introduced new kinds of type presses, which for strength surpassed anything that had previously been known.
  • Bryan Donkin developed a commercial application of Fourdrinier machines and invented the composition roller.

Twentieth century innovation:

Books and newspapers are printed using the technique of offset lithography.

Other common techniques include

  • Flexography used for packaging, labels, newspaper
  • Relief print,(mainly used for catalogues),
  • Screen printing From T – shirt to floor tiles
  • Rotogravure is mainly used for magazines and packaging.
  • Inkjet used typically to print a small number of books or packaging, and also to print a variety of material from high quality papers stimulate offset printing floor tiles; Inkjet is also used to apply mailing addresses to direct mail pieces.
  • Hot wax dry transfer
  • Laser printing mainly used in office transactional printing (bills, bank documents printing is commonly used by direct mail compound to create variable data letters or coupons, etc.
  • Gravure : For gravure printing, the image to be printed is made up of small holes sunk into the surface of the printing plate. The cells are filled with ink and the excess is scraped off the surface. Then a rubber – covered roller presses paper into the surface of the plate and into contact with the ink in the cells. The printing plates are usually made from copper and may be produced by engraving etching. Gravure printing is used for long, high – quality print runs such as magazines, mail – order catalogs, packaging, and printing onto fabric and wallpaper. It is also used for printing postage stamps and decorative plastic laminates such as kitchen worktops.
  • Digital Printing:Printing at home or in an office or engineering environment is subdivided into:
  1. Small format (up to ledger size paper sheets), as used in business offices and libraries
  2. Wide format (up to 3’ or 914 m wide rolls of paper), as used in drafting and design establishments.
  • Some of the more common technologies are:
  1. Line printing – Where pre – formed characters are applied to the paper by lines
  2. Daisy wheel – where pre-formed characters are applied individually
  3. Dot- matrix – which produces arbitrary patterns of dots with an array of printing studs
  4. Heat transfer – like early fax machines or modern receipt printers that apply heat to special paper, which turns black to form the printed image
  5. Laser – where toner consisting primarily of polymer with pigment of the desired colors is melted and applied directly to the paper to create the desired image

Reasons and consequences behind these changes :

Vendors typically stress the total cost to operate the equipment, involving complex calculations that include all cost factors involved in the operation as well as the capital equipment costs, amortization , etc. for the most part, toner systems beat inkjet in the long run, whereas inkjets are less expensive in the initial purchase price. Professional digital printing (using toner) primarily uses an electrical charge to transfer toner or liquid ink to the substrate it is printed on. Digital print quality has steadily improved from early color digital presses like the Xerox iGen3, the Kodak express and the HP Indigo Digital press series. The iGen3 and Express use tenor particles and the Indigo uses liquid ink. All three are made for small runs and variable data, and rival offset in quality. Digital offset presses are called direct imaging presses; although these receive computer files and automatically turn them into – print – ready plates, they cannot insert variable data. Small Press and fanzines generally use digital printing or more rarely xerography. Prior to the introduction of cheap photocopying, the use of machines such as the spirit duplicator, hectograph, and mimeograph was common.

Buy Latest Books

Teacher's Corner