The idea of printing books, is likely to have filed stamps. Already in the VII-VIII centuries in Europe was elaborated matter with embossed decorations. When printing many repeating shapes are used stamps. Medieval scribes in the XIII century, also resorted to the help of stamps for the initials (large decorated letters, placed at the beginning of the paragraph). The reason for this is clear - if the text is written relatively quickly, drawing on the large initials took a long time. Copyist was very convenient to resort to the stamp, the more so in large manuscripts same miniatures were repeated several times. The prints were widely used in the manufacture of playing cards and cheap paintings (in particular, images of saints). These first prints were only pictures, but then they were accompanied by a few lines of text. From the prints was only a step to the production of books. Apparently, there was the evolution of the same. First printed boards with only pictures, and text written by hand. Then we moved to carving on the board (inverted) and the text, explanatory drawing. Later it came to cut a single text without illustrations.
The first books printed in this way, were small in size (we would call them brochures) and are designed for a poor buyer, who did not have enough money on it to buy this book. However, the circulation of cheap editions were apparently large enough to justify the initial cost of cutting the text on the boards. Among the first books were printed, such as "The Bible of the poor", containing several dozen pages of the Old and New Testament with images. Or, "The Mirror of human salvation" with engravings depicting the Fall of Adam and Eve, as well as some excerpts from the New Testament relating to the saving of the soul. The third book, which had a lot of popularity, - "The Life and Passion of Christ." Along with these soul-saving works of salable were small instructional books: Latin grammar Elia Donata, grammar Alexander Gall, and others.
manufacturing technique of these first creations of printing is as follows. Took a rectangular plate of solid wood - walnut, pear or palm trees -. About 2 cm thick on it after careful sanding and validation plane drawn or pasted painted on the picture and the text of the paper, like a handwritten. For the first time, drew rough strokes - to facilitate the work - after equipment has improved, and drawings began to appear more beautiful and elegant. Then at the end and sharp knife cut deep into the solid all those parts that are not needed. As a result of this work was obtained convex lying all on the same plane of the drawing, which was spread with a paint (it was a mixture of soot with vegetable oil, such as linseed oil). The paint was imposed with the help of a tampon made of leather or a sturdy dense matter, stuffed with wool. On the surface coated with paint were applied wet (to paint better pestered) sheet of paper. When the sheet taking the whole picture with a wooden block, it cautiously removed and hung to dry. Then again smeared paint board, and the process was repeated. First printed on only one side of the sheet. Equipment is then improved, and began to use both sides.
The low cost of new books has generated a steady demand for them, and this has led to the fact that the printing has been to apply more artisans. Obviously, cut the text on the board was a time-consuming and laborious task. Moreover, each board can be used for printing only one specific book. Many artists involved in this difficult matter, perhaps, there is a thought: Is it possible to speed up and simplify the printing process? Meanwhile, there is only one way to facilitate operation - creating moving letters which could be many years to set completely different books. This idea was first put into practice by Johannes Gutenberg. He was born in Mainz, and was descended from an old noble family Gontsfleyshey. In 1420, Johann left Mainz, took up the craft and took the surname of his mother - Gutenberg. Around 1440, while living in Strasbourg, Gutenberg produced his first printing press. In 1448, he returned to his native Mainz and fully devoted himself to typography. He died in 1468.
Gutenberg himself carefully concealed the essence of his invention, so the way in which he came to it, can only be expected to restore. There is news that the first set of Gutenberg was wooden. They say that at the beginning of the XVI century saw the remains of his first wooden font. And he made in the body of each hole and tied letters typed string threaded through the rope hole. However, little use wood material for cutting out individual small letters. In addition, it swells, it dries up - and some words are obtained unequal in height and width. This prevented printing. Trying to overcome this drawback, Gutenberg, apparently, was the letters cut from a soft metal - lead or tin. Apparently, shortly (if not immediately) I had the idea that the letters can be cast - it will be faster and easier. Ultimately liter manufacturing process took the form of solid metal (iron) was cut in the form of punches mirror (exact model) of all characters used. Then, by hitting them with a hammer, got letters prints on a copper plate (the matrix). In this form, cast the number of letters that is needed. Such letters can be used repeatedly, and for a variety of printing books. Cast letters are typed in the line with the bumpers (composing sticks) that are ready line.
The first books were Gutenberg calendars and Donat grammar (all he released 13 such publications). But in 1455 he ventured a complicated matter - produced the first printed Bible in a total volume of 1286 pages (3,400,000 characters). In this edition of the ink was recruited only the main text. Capital letters and pictures painted by the artist's hand.
Open method of printing by Gutenberg remained virtually unchanged until the end of the XVIII century. Rarely what a discovery it happened by the way, as the invention of the printing press. How typography meet the urgent needs of humanity, we have already shown the first years after the disclosure of the secrets of Gutenberg. Hundreds of publishing houses, one after another, appeared in different cities of Europe. By 1500, it was released across Europe to 30 thousand different titles. Trying to make their publications more attractive wizard supplied his book illustrations - first in black and white and then colored (Gutenberg himself printed books without illustrations), made out of fine cover sheet. In 1516, the Venetian artist Ugo da Carpi has finished printing method of color illustrations to perfection. It decomposes the picture on some colors (usually 3-4), for each tone made a separate board and cut on it only those places that had these colors are printed on the paper. First printed on the sheet space of the same color, then - else. Himself Ugo da Carpi was an excellent copier and printed so many copies of pictures, mostly of Raphael.
Text printing is as follows. First typesetter typing letters of lead. String, as already mentioned, served as a special line - composing sticks. They were oblong box, open at the top and one side. When the dial one number of the desired length, compositor leveled string using zaklyuchki - Dims or removing spaces between words or inserting an em space - thin pieces of metal foundry, without letters, which had a certain width. After completing her composing sticks set on a dial board. When the page set to an end, the board took a box that letters are not scattered.
The printing press is a massive structure, beams attached to the floor and ceiling. The main part of it was to press the lever, under which there is a flat table - thaler. This taler was designed so that could be nominated from the press. Thaler placed on a set of two or more pages (32) as they are placed depending on the size. Paint smeared all convex set pieces. To the paper when printing from slipping off the set, we use a special device - blanket, equipped with two or three cusps (grafeykami). He was attached to the front of thaler on hinges. Before you start printing the master took several sheets of paper (10-20), carefully aligning them on the edges and strung on grafeyki. On top of these sheets were covered frame (rashketom), which is attached to the deckle along the hinges. Rashket closed field of paper and the middle of the sheet, that is, all the parts that were supposed to stay clean. Thereafter deckle set down on, so that the sheet is held tightly against the bottom of the kit. Thaler moves under the press and with the lever pressed Pian (top board) to Dhekelia. Then press raised, put forward the whole apparatus of the paper, and raised rashket grafeek removed from the printed sheet. In order to get the best print, paper slightly moistened with water. Therefore, each sheet was dried on a rope. After drying the imprint made on the other side of the sheet. The sheets were then received by a bookbinder.