Regular readers of Printips know that we are proud to be part of a centuries old industry that has contributed significantly to the development of human enterprise. Printing as a profession dates back to the mid-1400s when Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type, a breakthrough technology of the day. When combined with a printing press, movable type changed forever both the content and quantity of what could be printed.
Gutenberg’s invention gave rise to typography – the art of designing type and also of arranging or setting type. Until the invention of digital type, typography required either the manufacturing of individual letters in character sets called fonts or a machine to transform molten lead into lines of type. In both cases, type had a physical form and could not be easily used outside of printing and publishing businesses.
More than 500 years after Gutenberg’s contribution, the confluence of three new developments – the personal computer, page layout software, and digital type – moved typography to the desktop, making it accessible outside of the printing and publishing industry.