Perks of Printing

In the current world of the 21st century in which a child barely entering an elementary school has already become a tech savvy, receiving any needed information after couple scrolls down Google Search has been normalized. We not only talk and text, but also read news, magazines and books through our computers and phones.

Unfortunately, before we simply go onto cnn.com and read the news of our interest, most of us forget that there is the newspaper. Of course we know what newspapers are and that they exist, but who has the time to open the pages and read through the printed words? Certainly not the citizens of 21st century.

Printing is now merely considered a technique, so ubiquitous that it goes unnoticed. Printing, however, was an art before it was a technique; an art that changed the way people communicated. Each word carefully spaced with quads and arranged by the masters of printing press.

Printing changed the way information was delivered to the public. Newspapers, books, posters and pay bills were commonly used to communicate ideas and knowledge. The development of The Gutenberg printing press in 1440 allowed greater production of books (such as the Bible) and newspapers at a lower price. This increased the masses’ awareness of current events and literary knowledge—the same purpose the newspapers and books serve today. Printing achieved what verbal communications could not—spreading accurate message to a substantial crowd. 

Collection of various play bill. From the Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University. Photograph by Jeeyeon Sohn.

Collection of various play bill. From the Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University. Photograph by Jeeyeon Sohn.

IMG_3475

Various authors of literary works, Cosmopolis (Paris: Armand Colin & C, 1897) From the Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University. Photograph by Jeeyeon Sohn.

IMG_3476

John Milton, Paradise Lost (Birmingham: John Baskerville) From the Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University. Photograph by Jeeyeon Sohn.

IMG_3473

Collection of various pamphlets and stories. From Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University. Photograph by Jeeyeon Sohn.

So next time you want to read the news, reach for a newspaper. Perhaps you will find a new appreciation for the art that triggered the early revolution in communication.

More on the history of communication methods and their development overtime: From Cave Drawings to the Web

A short video: Printing on a Gutenberg Press

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s