Whether it’s at home or work, we’ve all come to rely on printers. From contracts to university assignments, printers take a key role during important moments in our lives too. In this post, we’ll explore the rise of the printer and how it became such an important part of our lives.
Practical: Being an essential part of everyday life
Early printing presses helped spread knowledge of the Bible but, over time, the documents they replicated became more prosaic and practical. Over time, documents, contracts and business forms were the order of the day and, while much of this might now be handled digitally, printers are called upon in offices and homes across the world when key texts need to be handled. Indeed, with ‘print at home’ tickets, many of us now take responsibility for printing tasks that used to be handled by businesses.
These days we print as a precaution too. In case you lose your phone or, more commonly, run out of battery you need documents to hand – especially so when travelling.
Smarter: Environmental impact
When it comes to printing, many more of us are also thinking about how it impacts the world around us. Printing is still really important – even in a digital age – but thinking about what we print can make a huge difference.
Offices can now consider using recycled paper to avoid the need to fell more trees to create their documents. They can also recycle old cartridges and use efficient ink in order to print in an efficient and effective way. That’s good for the environment but also for the bottom line – no-one wants to waste resources, least alone finance departments.
Efficient: How printers have changed
We take printing for granted these days. Nowadays we aren’t faced with the time consuming and tricky process of changing individual letters on a printing press – we’re blessed with being able to press a button and watching ink and toner do its magic and transfer text and images to a page.
Computer printers started their life in 1938 when Chester Carlson, an inventor from Seattle, founded a process called electrophotography. It then took until the 1970s for laser printing to become commonplace and it wasn’t until more recently that printers became affordable and a staple product in every home.
Over the years the quality and speed have developed, and we can now print high-quality documents and images from the comfort of our homes. Now printers no longer simply print either; they can copy, scan and fax.
Printers have also had to adapt to the digital age. They now work over WiFi, meaning no more cables connected to the computer – and the opportunity to easily print from a mobile phone or laptop.
Has how we print changed? Massively. We’re more practical, smarter and efficient than ever before. What we print, the impact of how we print and the way in which we print it have all evolved over time as printers have become affordable and indispensable.
Interesting related article: “Can print ever look modern?“