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Printing - History of labeling - Labels and Printing

Printing - History of labeling - Labels and Printing

Printing, abbreviated printing (also known as book printing) is the process of repeatedly reproducing an identical print of text or other images, usually in ink on paper using a printing press. In modern conditions it is most often performed on an industrial scale and with computer technology and is an essential part of publishing.
Printing has a long history. The earliest prints are on non-paper materials obtained with the so-called cylindrical seals used in ancient Mesopotamia. The earliest prints on paper were made with wooden blocks in China. [1] Later improvements include the movable set, also invented in China around 1040. [2] and the printing press, invented by Johann Gutenberg in the 15th century. The development of book printing played a crucial role in the advent of the Renaissance and the scientific revolution and is at the heart of today's knowledge-based economy. [3]

Like calligraphy before it, printing was discovered in the 6th century in China, with the text and illustrations originally carved on wooden blocks (see woodcuts). [4] The engravers tried to imitate the handwriting of the calligraphers, with thin and thick strokes. The oldest known printed book in the world is the Diamond Sutra from 868. In the 9th century in China Pi Cheng began printing with movable individual typefaces made of hardened clay, and in the 13th century in the Far East (China, Korea, Japan) enters the printing of metal letters, but does not develop significantly because it is not appropriate for the ideographic signs used (hieroglyphs). [5]

Manual set and flat printing
Crucial to the development of book printing was the invention of Johann Gutenberg, who introduced a printing matrix in which individual metal letters could be arranged. Each letter is poured through a steel mold (matrix), in which a softer metal is poured - molten lead mixed with tin and antimony. The letters are then arranged in order, forming a matrix (column), which is disassembled after printing the print run and the letters can be used again. The art of designing the shape of the letters themselves is called typography, and the arrangement of the text on the page itself is called typesetting. This technology is called a manual set (also a metal (movable) set) [6].

Cassettes with metal printing letters for manual typesetting
Gutenberg opened his printing house in Mainz, Germany in 1444 and began work on the Gutenberg Bible, which was published in 1456. Manual typing allows the typed text to be read and corrected before printing.
Gutenberg used a wooden press with a simple construction that resembled a grape press for printing. Before printing, the paper is moistened to get a better print. The collected column is irrigated with ink using ink pads. This original design of the printing press was not improved until 200 years later, when ink pads were replaced with rollers. The metal letters (signs) are each stored in their own box and the worshiper arranges them line by line, filling in the column and shaping the page. After printing, the printed letters are returned to the appropriate boxes for reuse. The colored elements (decorations and initials) are then added manually. This method is called flat printing (letterpress printing).

The first printing of books in Cyrillic on this technology was done by Fiol Schweipolt, a Catholic of German origin, in Krakow in 1491. The first printed books were Octoich and the Hourglass. Punches for 230 letters and signs have been made for this purpose. [7] He was later banned from printing church books in Cyrillic.

Ottoman Empire
In the Ottoman Empire, Bayezid II in 1483 banned the printing of books in Arabic. Although books in Hebrew (from 1493), Greek and Armenian were published in Constantinople, Thessaloniki and other cities, it was not until the 19th century that books in Arabic began to be published.

First printed books
Books printed in Europe from the beginning of printing until 1501 are very rare, as their circulation was 100-300 copies. They are called incunabula (from Latin: incunabula - swing, beginning). Among them are the Nuremberg Chronicles (1493), the Psalter of Mainz and others.
The term was first used by Bernard von Malinkrod in a pamphlet in Latin: "De ortu et progressu artis typographicae" ("Development and progress of typographic art") from 1639 and was established in the 18th century. two types: woodcut and typographic. Gutenberg's Bible is printed in a typographical way. Most of the publications are in Latin, but books have been published in other languages ​​as well. The main buyers of the incunabula were scientists, nobles, lawyers and priests. As a rule, incunabula were printed in Gothic font without separate paragraphs.
Development until the 20th century
The printing house, based on Gutenberg's invention, spread rapidly throughout Europe, reaching England in 1476, when William Caxton opened his printing house. Stephen Day moved printing to America in 1638. The next refinement was the presses, made of iron and with a lever mechanism instead of a screw. Count Stanhope developed the first printing press of this type around 1800, and it was further developed by George Climer, whose Colombian press (many copies of which still exist) is easier to use. A period of rapid innovation in the design of the printing press followed, and in 1814 the Times printed on a cylindrical press powered by steam and designed by Friedrich Koenig. She printed the newspaper on sheets of paper and, together with the first roll press, was brought to America in 1865 by William Bullock. The pedal press is a machine used for small orders, powered by paper by hand and driven by the printer with a foot
Along with the improvement of the presses, the fonts used also developed. Printers in different countries developed different fonts, and some versions of them are still used today.

Development in Bulgaria
Liturgical books are imported to the Bulgarian lands mainly from Russia. The richly decorated engraving books imported in the 17th and 18th centuries create interest and taste in graphics. Imprints with religious content, known as prints, are becoming increasingly popular among the people. These prints were originally made abroad by order of the great monasteries. At the end of the 18th century, the first Bulgarian graphic studio was established in the Rila Monastery, which initially worked with imported prints. A workshop for printing prints has also been established in the Troyan Monastery. The first attempts to engrave clichés by the monk-printer Sergius were made in 1835 in the printing house of the Rila Monastery.
In 1828, in Samokov, where one of the largest urban engraving settlements was established, Nikola Karastoyanov, who had worked in the Rila Monastery Printing House as a young man, bought a printing press and began printing prints initially. In the 1930s, he opened the first Bulgarian printing house in Samokov and began secretly printing books there. [8]

Modern printing techniques

Offset printing
Today, offset printing is the most common method of printing large runs (over several thousand copies). Its principle of operation includes several stages of image transfer, and before its final transfer to the paper there is an intermediate rubber offset cylinder (in English: offset). When combined with the lithographic process of forming the image for printing, it also includes a flat carrier, which is inked only in the parts to be printed. This medium is called a printing plate or plate - most often a plate with a photosensitive coating (as a rule, the plates are made of aluminum alloys). [12] [13]
The technology thus described is for one color ink only. For a multicolor image, two methods are used - either repeat printing separately for each color, or printing with a multicolor printing machine. Both methods are based on the decomposition of each color used into several color components, such as CMYK. A set of printed forms is prepared for each color page, and the image on each of them corresponds to one of the composite colors of the CMYK system. These plates are either loaded one by one in a machine with one set of shafts, or simultaneously with the corresponding shaft in the multi-color machine. The most common types of multi-color machines have their own names: two-color, three-color, etc. Various control systems based on densitometry, colorimetry and color sampling are used to ensure quality color in printing.

Digital printing
Digital (digital) printing is associated with the advent of computers in the late 20th century and the development of printers as peripherals to them. It does not require intermediate transfer on a plate, and the image is transferred directly from its digital description (in the form of a computer file) to the physical medium - paper or other print media. It is used for small runs and allows fast and high-quality production of single pieces at home or in the office, as well as printing texts with changing areas - such as direct mail or advertising campaigns to different recipients - something that is too expensive and time consuming in offset seal. Modern digital printing uses laser or inkjet printers, respectively with toner and ink.

Screen printing
Screen printing is a printing technology that allows you to print not only on paper but also on textiles, plastics, glass, ceramics, metal, leather and other materials, as well as on irregularly shaped objects.
Screen printing technique
The application of paints in this technology is done by stretching and gluing a sieve (fine mesh) on a frame and on it with the processes of photocopying a certain image is applied. In addition, where there should be ink, the hole is unclogged in the sieve, and all others are closed. Then, with the help of a squeegee and strong pressure, the ink is applied to the object to be printed. Screen printing is used much more limitedly than offset printing, but this technology is applicable to many more materials and is used in advertising souvenirs and in industrial production as a technology that provides high productivity and low cost.
When working with this technology, the main way to obtain color images on the object is the so-called CMYK system (most often pronounced as "cmyk"). This is a color model (abstract color quantification model) used in modern color printing, except for screen printing as offset printing and printing with a personal computer printer. The abbreviation is formed by letters of the English words Cyan (cyan - mainly blue), Magenta (magenta - purple-red color, tending to red), Yellow (yellow), K or blacK (for black). In this way, all color shades can be obtained visually using only four consecutive sieves. When looking at the image under a magnifying glass, the resulting colors can be seen as small dots located next to each other.
Gravure printing is a printing method in which ink is retained in the recesses of the printing body to be applied to the paper. In gravure printing, the printed elements are concave. It is a specific printing technique that is used mainly for printing engravings and valuable documents, such as banknotes, securities, stamps, passports and more. The printing plate itself (matrix) can be prepared for printing using various techniques - drypoint, etching, aquatint, laser engraving and more. Once the matrix is ​​ready, printing ink is applied to it, and the surface is usually cleaned with a squeegee so that the ink remains only in the recesses of the printing plate.

Thermal printing
This printing technology uses a special print head made of small heating elements with a low heat retention constant. Rapid cooling and heating also allows for higher print speeds and better resolution. There are three types of thermal printing in the volume:

Direct thermal printing - uses heat-sensitive paper that changes color when heated.
Thermal Transfer Printing - This printing uses an ink-coated film that is placed between the thermal print head and the print paper, and when heated, the ink melts and prints on it.
Thermosublimation printing - similar to thermotransfer printing, but when heated the ink directly passes into the gas phase (sublimation).

Marking technologies
The production of different products often requires the marking of various data such as date of manufacture, models, manufacturer and others. This often has to be done in a permanent way on a certain part of the product, such as its main body. Various techniques called marking techniques are used for this purpose.

Laser marking: Suitable for metals, wood, leather, plastic and others.
Hot marking: Usually used for plastic products. With this technology, colored ribbons can be used to apply printing for greater image readability.
Mechanical application of points with a vibrating blade. Suitable for softer materials.
Inkjet printing is a non-contact method with wide application in various industries from the food to the electronics industries.


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Rees, Fran. Johannes Gutenberg: Inventor of the Printing Press
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Printing. // Encyclopedia Britannica. February 6, 2019. Accessed June 12, 2019. (in English)
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