Newspapers, magazines, brochures, photographs, restaurant menus, posters, flyers, glossy billboard advertisements, greetings cards, etc – our everyday world is surrounded by print. Although technology may have transformed the way many of these items have been produced, one thing remains the same – a need to educate, transmit news, advertise products and services and, quite simply, communicate in writing.
There are a wide variety of devices currently on the market ready to suit all our printing requirements. Standalone and wireless printers, laser printers, multifunctional copying, scanning and printing equipment which while rapidly producing a pre-selected number of carefully designed graphics and text at the touch of a button, does make it very easy for us to take technology for granted.
Here at Weaver & Bomfords we’ve put together ‘5 Fascinating Facts about Printing’ to highlight the unusual, the impressive and the transformational role of the print industry over the years.
The World’s Smallest Book
Impossible to read with the naked eye with characters said to be just 0.01mm wide, the world’s smallest book was created in Japan by Toppan Printing, a company specialising in producing micro books. This 22 page micro-book (0.74 x 0.75mm) entitled ‘Shiki no Kusabana’ (Flowers of Seasons) contains illustrations of Japanese flowers created using the same technology as money printers use to prevent forgery. The book is currently on display at Toppan’s Printing Museum in Tokyo.
The Oldest Surviving Printed Book
Dating back to 868 and hidden for centuries in a Chinese cave, the ‘Diamond Sutra’ has been credited to be the world’s earliest complete survival of a printed and dated book. Made in seven sections with text painted on thin paper and pasted face down onto a wooden block to form a scroll, this text forms one of the most important sacred works of the Buddhist faith and was found in 1900 having been preserved by the dry desert air.
The World’s Largest Initial Print Run
J K Rowlings’ seventh book in the globally popular Harry Potter series – ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ – broke industry print records in 2007 with 12 million copies printed for its initial run. The book holds the Guinness Book of Records title for the fastest selling fiction book in 24 hours with WH Smith reportedly selling 15 books per second.
The World’s Largest Printer
The world’s largest printer takes printing to a whole new level. Known as Infinitus and created by Big Image Systems, this device measures an incredible 40 x 164 feet and is capable of producing an image of almost 2000 sq.ft. Its use has been invaluable to the entertainment industry for printing onto soft materials and creating printed backdrops for stage, television, opera and theatre productions.
The World’s Smallest Printer
In contrast, at a mere 1 x 2 x 11 inches, the PrintStik is the smallest printer available. Fully portable, this pocket sized device holds around 20 sheets of paper and connects with laptops and smart phones via Bluetooth wireless technology to instantly provide documents on the go. The PrintStik is fully rechargeable and uses thermal technology, rather than inks and toners, to create smaller documents such as receipts, maps, tickets etc. Perfect in emergency situations!
Our industry is indeed both fascinating and fast moving, and one in which Weaver & Bomfords are proud to be at the centre of.
Our highly experienced skilled technicians offer tailor made print technology solutions to clubs, charities, churches, schools, local government, large and small businesses alike – and are always here to help!