Let’s face it. Computers and the internet are here to stay. But where does that leave print? With everything online and our environment in turmoil, do we really need paper? Do we really need printing services? Despite what some people may think, the printing industry is thriving. After a slump in the mid-2000s, printing has had a resurgence in more recent years and printing is bigger business than the automotive and video game industries. To celebrate print’s comeback (because who doesn’t love an underdog), here are five things you never knew about the printing industry:
1. Printing was actually invented by the Chinese, not Johannes Gutenberg
We all know that Gutenberg invented the printing press but he didn’t invent printing. Over 500 years before Gutenberg was able to mass produce books with his revolutionary machine, Chinese monks were using wooden blocks dipped in ink and pressing them on parchment to create text.
2. The Chinese also invented business cards
Business cards are one of the print industry’s most common products. In the 1400s, the Chinese began using their version of a business card. These cards were not used for commercial purposes so were seen as calling cards, used to announce a meeting with another person.
3. Only a convict knew how to use Australia’s first printing press
Australia got its first printing press when a small hand press was brought over with the First Fleet in 1788, but no one knew how to use it. Between 1795 and 1880, a convict named George Hughes taught himself how to use the press and was commissioned by New South Wales governor John Hunter to print orders and regulations.
4. Paper production is actually good for the environment
Over its life cycle, paper provides environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting and maintaining public health, welfare and the environment. This means that paper is one of only a few truly sustainable products in the world.
5. Print is an effective advertising medium
A study by TRU, a division of TNS Research Global, entitled “Millennial Paper Usage and Attitudes” found that compared to digital, print advertising was seen as official, trustworthy and secure.