Rockstate of Mind | 4 Fun Facts About Printing
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printing machine

4 Fun Facts About Printing

Print shops like Carbon8 provide services to companies and individuals who wish to either get a photo or logo onto an item, or who wish to get something replicated. Whilst many people believe the art form to be dead, the industry is actually thriving. Today, some of the most popular items to get created are business cards, wedding invitations and promotional materials for businesses.

Despite what many people think, the concept of print shops and the services they provide is not new; it is actually quite ancient. Keep reading to find out four fun facts about the art form!


Fact 1: It was invented by the Chinese

Today we take the concept of reproduction and putting images onto different media for granted; it is incredibly easy to visit a print shop and get your products produced. However, have you ever wondered where the art form originated? 

There is a common misconception that Johannes Gutenberg invented the process, however he only invented the first device to make it easier- in the form of the press. The reality is that the process began over 500 years before Gutenberg brought it to mass production.

The true creators of the process were Chinese monks. The monks used wooden blocks dipped in ink and pressed them onto parchment in order to create text.


Fact 2: The invention of business cards

One of the most common items made at print shops are business cards. These little informational hand outs are useful for almost anyone- especially those who run their own business. Although they seem like a modern creation, they are actually incredibly old.

Interestingly, we have the Chinese to thank for the development of business cards as well. In the 1400’s the Chinese first began using a predecessor to the business card we now all know and love.

These ancient businesses cards were not designed to be used for commercial purposes; instead they were used as calling cards. Essentially, they were used to announce a meeting with another person.


Fact 3: Australia’s first printing press

In Australia today, there are many print shops that are run and operated by experienced professionals. Interestingly, a press was one of the first things brought over to the country with the First Fleet in 1788. The problem was, no one knew how to use it.

Between 1795 and 1880 a convict called George Hughes taught himself how to use the press. Therefore, the only person who could use the device was a criminal, who was then commissioned by the NSW state governor to use it.


Fact 4: It’s good for the environment

Many people have an issue with print shops because they believe that the medium has a negative impact on the environment. The common misconception is that the use of paper is a waste and harming our ecosystem. This thought process could not be further from the truth.

The reality is that, throughout its life cycle paper provides environmental, social and economic benefits whilst also protecting and maintaining public health and welfare. Essentially, this means that paper is one of the very few truly sustainable products.


Fact 5: A range of different techniques

Although the concept of using blocks and ink began the process, the development of new technology has enabled print shops to provide even more techniques and services than ever. As well as the more traditional methods, which are still offered, print shops can now provide services such as:

  • Digital
  • Large format
  • Laser cutting
  • Offset
  • Binding
  • Embellishments and finishes
  • Envelope
  • Wrapping paper
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