Before printing processes developed, books took an incredibly long time to make as they had to be painstakingly written by hand. This meant that each book was unique and incredibly valuable, but it also made them rare and too expensive for anyone but the clergy and the very wealthy. Most people don’t understand how books and the printed word became commonplace; yet without this paradigm shift we wouldn’t have progressed as far as we have. Printing changed how we learn and helped to develop how we write and read, advancing our understanding of history, philosophy, literature, science, art, and all forms of thought deemed important enough to write down for posterity.
The researchers at Cartridge Discount have put together a guide to the history of print—from the early printing presses of Gutenberg to modern digital printing and even 3D printing. This graphic illuminates the biggest moments in the progression of the printed word, an innovation that has arguably helped shape the world at least as much as the telephone, the airplane, and the Internet.