Printing

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  • The process of setting written material or illustrations onto a surface such as paper by means of a press. The contrast between scribal and printing cultures was not as abrupt as is often considered to be. The designers of the early presses (Gutenberg, Manutius, Caxton, et al.) were motivated more to rival the professional scribe than to develop a system of mass production and distribution; it is only in hindsight that media theorists have ascribed to printing these dramatic consequences. The first books were meant to create a high-quality product that looked as good as the scribe's individual work but more quickly and more cheaply. Vellum was regularly used in the early printed books, for example, in the deluxe copies of the Gutenberg Bible. They ...

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