In Business

Victor P Taffa

Since the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1436, the world of communications has changed dramatically. Some would say that the world has shrunk. Has it really or is the Internet that has revolutionised the way in which we do business?

The invention of the photocopier was a great step forward. So who can best justify their argument about the most important invention? Newspapers and magazines are produced in vast quantities and at great speed. How does this occur?

The photocopier is the domain of documents and individual pieces of paper in a home or office. Newspapers and magazines were produced by someone manually setting the type in place on metal plates with a mirror placed above. This process was referred to as ‘manual typesetting’.

Charles Batt, owner of MBE Business Service Centre at Parramatta in Sydney’s Western Suburbs gave me his insights into the Industry now and into the future. Batt has been in the printing game for 2½ years and loves what he does.

“Meeting with various business people.” is what Charles sees as the best part.

“Printing is a means to an end to help people meet their end goals and not an end in itself.”

Before Batt came to MBE, he had been involved in corporate life with retail buying, I.T. Distribution, sales and marketing. Since the days of Gutenberg’s printing press what has been the most significant change? “The whole digital age, has allowed you to produce in a matter of moments or instantly.”

The age of the P.C has not impacted on Charles’ profitability because without a P.C., digital is not possible. All businesses and people these days have some requirement for printing of one sort or another. Whether it is for rubbish removal, a tradesperson, tree lopper or simply a person requiring a resume for employment, printing is increasingly becoming more popular and demand continues to increase.

“Printing is not just becoming more popular, but as people see colour more and more, then full page colour becomes affordable.”

Other finishes such as spot gloss and rounding corners will emerge as new trends over the next few years.

So what is offset printing and what is digital printing? “Essentially the difference is that offset printing uses offset presses by placing the images on paper with plates.” Wet ink is placed on the paper and publications such as magazines and newspapers use the offset method. “

Offset printing is the most economical way to produce large volumes quickly.” Charles said.

Digital printing is a process of placing dry powder on a page and baking it on. Charles suggested that for a promotional campaign, if a client requested for A5 single sided leaflets with black writing on coloured paper, the digital method would be used. “We would do this in our outlet.”

On the other hand if the same client wanted an A4 threefold full colour brochure, Charles recommends that this be done on an offset printer. “We would do this at the MBE central Hub:” Charles remarked.

When the world has advanced past the first stage of printing in AD200 with Woodblock printing through to Gutenberg’s printing press in 1436, the developments have been significant. The Nineteenth century continued with various advances of technology during the Twentieth century.

Along came the Internet and MBE accept printing requests via email. So exactly what has been the most important invention over the course of history most useful to the conduct of business today?

The development of the personal computer in the early 1970’s led to a dramatic change in the means of modern communications that the world has not seen since the invention of not only Gutenberg’s printing press but Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone in 1876.


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