The Importance of the Printing Press

Gutenberg’s printing press is one of the most important and influential inventions of all time. It’s difficult to imagine just how different the world would be without the inventionĀ  of the printing press. Many argue that Gutenberg’s printing press was the catalyst that brought about the Renaissance. But what made Gutenberg’s printing press so important?

Before the printing press

Before Gutenberg invented the printing press, very few people had access to literature and written material. All written works were done by hand or by rudimentary printing methods. This had some major disadvantages:

  • Writing or copying literature was a very time and labor intensive process.
  • Literature was safeguarded — and therefore not available to most people — due to the effort involved in producing it, and the delicate nature of written works.
  • Few people had ready access to literature and written materials, not only because of security measures, but also because the cost was naturally very high.
  • If something happened to a written work, it could potentially be lost forever.

Why Gutenberg’s press is so important.

Johannes Gutenberg built his printing press sometime around 1440. Gutenberg’s printing press wasn’t the first method of printing, however. Woodblock printing began around AD 200, and movable type came to be around AD 1040.

Gutenberg first printed the Gutenberg Bible sometime in the 1450s. While not his first work, the Gutenberg Bible is certainly his most famous and influential work. Within three decades, there were over one hundred printing presses throughout Europe.

The printing press wasn’t the first method of printing, but it may have had more of an impact on civilization than any other type of printing. Thanks to Gutenberg’s printing press, the global population had access to written material. No longer was literature reserved for monks and clergymen. The printing press sparked the first information age. People could have books in their homes for the first time ever. The printing press made it possible to spread ideas and information on a large scale.

Is printing still important today?

We live in the digital age. Businesses, schools, and homes are increasingly choosing digital content over printed paper. Printing is still an important part of manufacturing, however — packaging is key to marketing and also to consumer safety, and brands grow every more demanding in this area.

Of course, the printing presses of today are quite different from Gutenberg’s original printing press. They’re more sophisticated, they work better, and they’re automated. Indramat servos are ideal for printing, among other applications. Call us today if you need Indramat repair, or service for your Indramat servos!