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The influence of technological inventions on Communication is vital for its development, and the case is not different for visual communication. For the last two centuries, various technological breakthroughs witnessed in this period have had a significant influence on visual communication. Though many positive inventions are responsible for the revolution of visual communication, this essay will focus on an invention that altered the course of history.
The invention of the printing press was in the 19th century by German goldsmith, Johann Gutenberg 1440 in the Rhine valley. This invention consisted of handheld movable plates of wood and later metal ones (Childress, 2008). His creation enabled the production of books of similar content in mass while avoiding the rigorous process of copying them manually word by word. The first printed work was the “Gutenberg Bible” in honor of the inventor.
This technology lasted until the twentieth century where improvements on technology became possible owing to the discovery of the water and steam mills, which automated the printing press making it efficient (Woods and Woods, 2012).
Effects on human communication
The printing press was a pivotal bridge in the gap between the prehistoric and medieval eras and modern communication (Meggs and Puvis, 2012). Humans could now express themselves and share knowledge with a wider audience using printed works in the form of books, manuscripts, letters, including others. It became cheaper to acquire printed work making the general population more cultured and knowledgeable.
The printing press was the first step of making the world a global village concerning visual communication since books production was in bulk and even thought movement of information was considerably slower than the modern world knowledge information on crucial issues on science, history, language, and art spread to all corners of the earth (Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2007). This led to the flourishing of science religion, arts, and education made considerable progress because of this invention.
The invention of the printing press altered the history of the world the most notable one being the reduction of the power of the church. Before the printing press, the church had the power of information, most books were in its possession since monks were in charge of the rigorous time-consuming process of copying books manually making them rare and expensive, hence a small group of people held information (Crompton, 2004). This included the clergy, and the wealthy while the general population was ignorant. This enabled the church to control world affairs and determine how the population should think (Meggs and Puvis, 2012).
All this changed when the information became accessible, and people could interpret and judge for themselves. This development made it possible for the rise of the protestant movement and was instrumental in the separation of secular and church encouraging democracy and freethinking. Printing also gave rise to the literary era where famous writers came to be including Shakespeare, Charles dickens among other famous writers. Sciences also flourished since scientists could compare literary works of their counterparts and make discoveries and improvements to existing work (Meggs and Puvis 2012).
Influences on modern design
Printing has had a significant impact on modern designs. 19th-century influence is still evident in different printing styles and font types, which are still extremely popular today. They are practical and add aesthetic value to graphical work. The art nouveau made considerable contributions to the use of different art types in, commercial designs, and this directly influences how we work nowadays. We cannot run away from the fact that how we work today was influenced by the era of the printing press.
Childress, D. (2008). Johannes Gutenberg and the printing press. Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century Books.
Crompton, S. E. (2004). The printing press: Transforming power of technology. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers.
Marshall Cavendish Corporation. (2007). Inventors and inventions. New York Marshall Cavendish.
Meggs P.B. and Purvis, A.W. (2006). “Meggs’ History of Graphic Design.” Fourth Edition. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Print.
Woods M. and Woods, M. (2006). The History of Communication. Minneapolis. Lener publishing group. Print.