How Print Affects our Lives
Bob Wagner – 1/3/2023
In the category of things we take for granted, I thought it would be fun as a print professional to write a blog on some of the things my chosen trade has offered the world over time. My father (a history major and science buff) once said (with a very broad brush) that the three most influential inventions the world has seen are as follows:
1. The wheel
2. The moveable type printing press
3. The invention of harnessing alternating current to transmit power over long distances
His passion lies in the exploration of number 3 above, specifically in relation to the inventor, Nikola Tesla and his contributions influencing our use of alternating current shaping our modern world. I was always impressed, however, that he put PRINT so high on his list, even above his beloved electrification of the world. If you think about it – it is a very wise observation. Printing goes back to 3100 BCE according to the historians using stone and clay tablets, then wood block printing during the Tang and Song dynasties in China. However, until the movable type printing technology came to common use – communication among the masses was very limited. Communication and the dissemination of information was crucial to the evolution of the modern world so it’s clear why it played such a huge role. Each of those inventions were the foundation to all future inventions and the printing process enabled shared knowledge. “Knowledge is power” as they say. Printing in terms of the written word, illustrations, and photographs is only one form of printing. While maybe not quite as important, the technology is also employed to decorate fabrics, print laminated panels for furniture, currencies, circuit boards, and even the manufacturing of parts utilizing 3-D & 4-D printing. That is to name only a few adaptations of print.
You might ask “what about the Internet or the microprocessor?” in terms of influential inventions. I think they have been extremely powerful influencers and maybe arguably number 4, but chronologically I still agree with dad’s top three. Only time will tell if this or a newer invention has the impact of the original three proposed by my dad. I’d say – not yet, but someday – maybe!
Next time you have a need for a brochure, book, sign, business card or mailer – give me a call and I’ll proudly put all that history to good use and provide you a state-of-the-art print job without the need of stone, wood, or toxic lead to send your message and knowledge to the world!
Foresight Group - Sales
WWBA Communications Board member
Ps. If you have a blog you would like posted as a WWBA member – contact me and I’ll help you get it posted on our website. It is a member benefit. Share your wisdom and expertise with your friends in the WWBA and beyond.