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means of producing reproductions of written material or images in multiple copies. There are four traditional types of printing: relief printing (with which this article is mainly concerned), intaglio, lithography, and screen process printing. Relief printing encompasses type, stereotype, electrotype, and letterpress. Flexographic printing is a form of rotary letterpress printing using flexible rubber plates and rapid-drying inks.

For an account of type design, see typetype,
for printing, was invented in China (c.1040), using woodblocks. Related devices, such as seals and stamps for making impressions in clay, had been used in ancient times in Babylon and elsewhere.
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; typographytypography
, the art of printing from movable type. The term typographer is today virtually synonymous with a master printer skilled in the techniques of type and paper stock selection, ornamentation, and composition.
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. See also bookbook.
The word book has come to have many meanings, e.g., any collection of sheets of paper, wood, or other material sewn or bound together; a division of a written work (books of the Bible, books of Caesar's Gallic War
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; bookbindingbookbinding.
The art and business of bookbinding began with the protection of parchment manuscripts with boards. Papyrus had originally been produced in rolls, but sheets of parchment came to be folded and fastened together with sewing by the 2d cent. A.D.
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Relief Printing

Early History

The story of the invention of printing and of its early days is told in the article typetype,
for printing, was invented in China (c.1040), using woodblocks. Related devices, such as seals and stamps for making impressions in clay, had been used in ancient times in Babylon and elsewhere.
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. In the 15th cent. the art spread, directly and indirectly, from Mainz to many parts of Europe. It was brought to England in 1476 by William Caxton; to the New World in 1539 by Juan Pablos, who set up his press in Mexico City.


The first papermaking machine producing a continuous roll of paper and capable of delivering sheets in specific sizes—the Fourdrinier machine—was installed in London in 1803. Steam power was successfully applied to the printing press in 1810 by Friedrich Koenig, a German. The invention did not improve the quality of the product but greatly increased the output of the machine. In Koenig's press, the type bed remained flat as in hand presses, but the paper was pressed on the type by a cylinder. The Adams power press was invented by an American, Isaac Adams, in 1827.

In 1846 and 1847, Richard March Hoe designed a rotary press in which stereotypestereotype
, plate from which printing is done, made by casting metal in a mold, usually of paper pulp. The process was patented in 1725 by the Scottish inventor William Ged. Firmin Didot improved the process, named it, and extended its use.
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 plates were for the first time arranged in a true cylinder. In 1866 a press known later as the Walter press was patented in England; in this press the printing surfaces were not types but stereotype plates curved to form parts of cylinders. The invention of ways of making paper in sheets of any desired length, so that paper could be fed to cylinder presses from rolls, assisted in increasing the speed of printing. Machines for folding newspapers were incorporated with the power cylinder press.


Not until the late 19th cent. were typesetting machines invented. The Linotype machine, invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler in Baltimore in 1884, produced a metal slug corresponding to a single line of type as set by hand in printing. It was first put into operation at the New York Tribune in 1886. Operated from a keyboard like that of a typewriter, the machine assembled brass matrices into a line, cast the line, and distributed the matrices. The Intertype machine was substantially similar to the Linotype machine, and the matrices made by either machine could be used in the other.

The third principal typesetting machine is the Monotype, patented by Tolbert Lanston in 1887 and first produced commercially in 1897. The Monotype makes each character separately, assembling the characters as in hand composition, for which the Monotype characters can be used. Before electronic composition, monotype had an advantage in setting certain kinds of copy, e.g., mathematical and scientific material, where special symbols or other problems may be involved.


In intagliointaglio
, design cut into stone or other material or etched or engraved in a metal plate, producing a concave, instead of a convex, effect. It is the reverse of a relief or cameo. The term also designates a gem so cut.
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 printing, such as the etchingetching,
the art of engraving with acid on metal; also the print taken from the metal plate so engraved. In hard-ground etching the plate, usually of copper or zinc, is given a thin coating or ground of acid-resistant resin.
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 and the steel engravingengraving,
in its broadest sense, the art of cutting lines in metal, wood, or other material either for decoration or for reproduction through printing. In its narrowest sense, it is an intaglio printing process in which the lines are cut in a metal plate with a graver, or burin.
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, the design to be printed is lower than the surface of the plate, which is wiped clean before each impression, leaving the incised design filled with ink, which the paper receives. In gravure intaglio printing, tone is produced by varying the thickness of the ink of the printing surface through depressions of varying depth; minute points constitute the clean surface that keeps the paper from being pressed into the depressions. In photogravure the gravure plate is made by a photographic process. Rotogravure is photogravure adapted for printing by a rotary or cylinder press.


The third kind of printing, lithographylithography
, type of planographic or surface printing. It is distinguished from letterpress (relief) printing and from intaglio printing (in which the design is cut or etched into the plate). Lithography is used both as an art process and as a commercial printing process.
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, also known as planographic printing, was devised by Aloys Senefelder. Flat stones were the first lithographic plates and are still used, although a variety of thin metal, plastic, and paper plates are now also employed. A drawing is made on the plate with greasy ink or crayon, and water is then applied to the plate. When the plate is inked for printing, the greasy parts accept the ink and the wet parts do not. Preparing a printing surface so that ink will adhere only to parts of it is basic in all planographic printing.

Collotype, also called photogelatin, is a lithographic process that uses a gelatin-faced plate to achieve the tonal distribution obtained through screen dots in engraving. It is chiefly used in the reproduction of fine illustrations or of scientific subject matter requiring accuracy of detail.

Photolithography, offset, litho-offset, and offset lithography are synonyms in commercial printing for the most widely used form of planographic printing, based on a modification of the lithographic press featuring a rubber-covered cylinder between the printing cylinder and the impression cylinder. The plate cylinder transfers the image to the rubber blanket cylinder, which in turn offsets it on the paper carried by the impression cylinder. Offset and other forms of planographic printing, through many technical refinements, make possible increased production speeds, improved quality in the reproduction of fine tones, and a substantial reduction in the number of impressions required to reproduce full-color copy.

Screen Process

The fourth traditional type of printing, screen process, includes silk screen and has special applications in the printing industry. Silk screen printing is a form of stencil printing, i.e., printing where the ink is applied to the back of the image carrier and pushed through porous or open areas. The image is on a piece of silk stretched on a frame and backed by a rubber squeegee containing ink. The nonprinting areas on the silk screen are blocked out, and the ink is pushed through the porous areas corresponding to the design; the process is widely used for posters and for printing on glass, plastics, and textured surfaces. Mimeographing is another commercial application of stencil printing.

Illustrations and Color Printing

In three kinds of printing—relief, intaglio, and planographic—illustrations are often produced by the halftone process, in which a plate is made by photographing through glass marked with a network of fine lines (see also photoengravingphotoengraving,
photomechanical process in the graphic arts, used principally for reproducing illustrations. The subject is photographed, and the image is recorded on a sensitized metal plate, which is then etched in an acid bath.
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). A usual form of color printing is by the Ben Day, or Benday, process, invented by New York printer Benjamin DayDay, Benjamin,
1838–1916, American printer; son of Benjamin Henry Day. While working in New York City, Day invented a process, utilizing celluloid sheets, for shading plates in the color printing of maps and illustrations. It is known as the Ben Day, or Benday, process.
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, which utilizes celluloid sheets to achieve proper shading and color. Printing in colors is sometimes done, as excellently in Japan, by applying inks of different colors by hand to the printing surface, but usually a separate printing surface is used for each ink.

In full-color printing four standard colors are used—yellow, cyan (a hue between blue and green), magenta, and black—the first three being the complementary colors of blue, red, and green. Other colors are produced by printing one color over another, as green by printing cyan on yellow. Black is used to print the text accompanying the illustration, and it is often used as a fourth color in the illustration itself to add strength and detail.

Modern Innovations

In recent years the use of photographic processes has expanded greatly, and the development of electronic devices, as well as other technological advances, has introduced a new era in the evolution of printing. The development of typewriters and personal computers capable of delivering justified and proportionally spaced copy has made possible the production of camera-ready books and has met the demands for several special types of printing.

Perhaps the most revolutionary innovation has been the introduction of photocomposition machines for setting type by photographic means. Two of these are analogous in principle to the Monotype and Intertype casting machines and have been produced by the respective companies under the trademarks of Monophoto and Intertype Fotosetter. The Linofilm is a phototypesetting machine developed by the Linotype Corporation. The Photon machine, invented by the Frenchmen René Higonnet and Louis Moyroud, using an electric typewriter connected with a computer and a photographing unit, is noteworthy. Almost exclusively electronic, it can deliver justified type on film in a wide variety of styles at extraordinary speed.

Today photocomposition has been adopted in lithography, gravure, and letterpress printing, and its use, together with other electronic techniques, has revolutionized the printing industry (see optical sensingoptical sensing,
in general, any method by which information that occurs as variations in the intensity, or some other property, of light is translated into an electric signal. This is usually accomplished by the use of various photoelectric devices.
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). In recent years some newspapers have started to use pagination systems, in which newspapers are electronically composed by computer, output to a negative, and a plate is made of the negative.

Many reproduction processes other than those cited above have also been developed. Xerographyxerography
, also called electrophotography, method of dry photocopying in which the image is transferred by using the attractive forces of electric charges. A beam of light, usually from a laser, is made to strike the original material, e.g., a white page with black lettering.
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, or electrostatic printing, has been widely adopted for photocopying; it is also the basis of the laser printerlaser printer,
a computer printer that produces high-resolution output by means of a process that is similar to photocopying. In place of reflected light from an image (as is used in xerography), a laser printer uses data sent from a computer to turn a laser beam on and off
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, one type of computer printerprinter,
device that reproduces text, images, or other data from a computer, digital camera, smartphone, or the like on paper or another medium.

Impact printers, which mostly have been superseded by ink-jet and laser printers, use a mechanical hammering device to produce
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. It is also an effective means of producing master plates for offset printing. One xerographic device is used for making full-size reprints of out-of-print books from microfilm. Other duplicating processes of commercial importance are the Multigraph, which operates on the letterpress principle; the Multilith, basically a small offset press; the Ditto, a duplicator using a special fluid to remove ink from the master plate and transfer it to the paper; and the well-known photostatphotostat
, reproduction of any printed or simple black-and-white material, such as drawings or manuscripts, made by the Photostat, a photographic camera. While slower and more expensive than xerography, the process is still used where a high degree of resolution is desired, as
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 process. The development in the 21st cent. of machines for on-demand printing (using xerography) now allows an individual to print an appropriate computer file as a bound book in a retail store in a matter of minutes.


An excellent selected bibliography is H. Lehmann-Haupt, One Hundred Books about Bookmaking (1949). See W. Chappell, A Short History of the Printed Word (1970); L. Febvre and H.-J. Martin, The Coming of the Book (1976); E. Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change (1979) and Divine Art, Infernal Machine (2010).


the reproduction of text or pictures, especially in large numbers, by the machine technology arising from Caxton's inventions in the 15th-century. The development of printing is important as the first major step in the modern mechanization and extension of COMMUNICATIONS in human societies. Its implications include:
  1. an increased importance of the TEXT compared with the spoken word, including a heightened distinction between the influence of the text and its author's intentions;
  2. an enlargement of the PUBLIC SPHERE and scope for political discourse and POLITICAL PARTICIPATION in modern societies;
  3. its ushering in of the age of mass communications.



(Russian, knigopechatanie), the processes involved in the production of printed matter.

The invention of printing played an enormous role in man’s sociopolitical and historicocultural life. Marx regarded printing as a prerequisite of bourgeois development (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 30, p. 262), and Engels included the printing press among the factors contributing to the rebirth of science in the 15th and 16th centuries “after the dark night of the Middle Ages.” According to Engels, “printing and the claims of extended commerce robbed the clergy of its monopoly not only of reading and writing, but also of higher education” (ibid., vol. 7, pp. 350–51). The emergence of printing promoted the development of literature in the vernacular and the standardization of orthography and characters, which in turn fostered the development of education. The printed word became the most powerful means of disseminating and preserving ideas and knowledge and a powerful weapon in social and ideological struggles, scientific research, and cultural development.

The technical basis of printing is a process that consists of making an inked facsimile of the original image and transferring it to a receiving surface, such as paper. A typesetting plate composed of elements called type characters is used. The term knigopechatanie is generally used in describing the history of printed books; poligrafia refers to the modern printing process.

Printing was developed first in China between 1041 and 1048 by Pi Sheng. In Europe the introduction of printing in the 1440’s is attributed to J. Gutenberg. Metal type pieces were prepared by making an intaglio impression of a letter in soft metal with a punch—the matrix—into which an alloy was poured. The pieces of type were arranged in order in the compartments of a typecase. A hand printing press was invented. Gutenberg reproduced only the text of books by printing; reproduction of the ornamentation of a printed book was first undertaken by the German printer P. Schoeffer in 1457 in his Mainz Psalter. In 1461 in Bamberg the typographer A. Pfister published books with woodcut illustrations.

Printing spread rapidly throughout Europe. The first “anonymous” printing house in Moscow was established around 1553. In 1564,1. Fedorov and P. Mstislavets published in Moscow the first precisely dated Russian printed book, the Acts of the Apostles. Throughout the 15th century woodcut developed alongside engraving on metal. The Englishman W. Caxton was the first to use intaglio engravings in his books, printed in Bruges in 1475. Illustrations engraved on metal and a text composed by typesetting were first printed on a single sheet by the Florentine printer N. di Lorenzo in 1477. Between the 16th and 18th centuries various methods were developed for making intaglio illustrations, including etching, soft-ground etching, mezzotint, and aquatint. Improvements in the printing press led to the mechanization of certain processes and to the substitution of metal for wooden type pieces.

A major role in the development of printing was played by typometry, the typographical system of measures proposed by the Frenchman P. S. Fournier in 1737 and later improved by F. Didot. At the end of the 18th century new methods for making printing plates were introduced, notably the wood-engraving techniques of the Englishman T. Bewicks and lithography, invented by the German A. Senefelder.

The industrial revolution in printing is associated with the invention of the printing press by F. Koenig. On Nov. 29, 1814, the machine was first used to print an issue of the London Times. The reproduction of illustrations was improved in the 19th century by the invention of such photomechanical processes as phototype, zincography, autotype, and screen printing. By the end of the 19th century typesetting and bookbinding machines were being produced on a large scale. The first patent for a typesetting machine was taken out by the Englishman W. Church in 1822. In 1867 the Russian inventor P. P. Kniagininskii built the first automatic typesetting machine. In 1886 the German inventor O. Mergenthaler patented the Linotype machine. The idea of photographic typesetting was proposed in 1894 by the Hungarian inventor E. Porcelt. V. A. Gassiev built the first photocomposition machine in 1895. The turn of the century was marked by the appearance of intaglio and offset printing machines.

The 20th century saw the transition from machines that mechanized individual operations to automated production lines. At the beginning of the century printing presses powered by electricity were introduced. In the 1930’s and 1940’s electric control-blocking and measuring equipment appeared. In the 1950’s and 1960’s electronics began to be used in printing, and the introduction of computers revolutionized typesetting techniques. Photo-electronics streamlined the processes of making illustration plates, color correction, and color separation. Electrical means for producing images came into use, and noncontact electric methods are being developed for transferring an image. Synthetic materials, from photopolymeric plates to plastic book covers, are widely used.


Shchelkunov, M. I. Istoriia, tekhnika, iskusstvo knigopechataniia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1926.
Orlov, B. P. Poligraficheskaia promyshlennost’ Moskvy: Ocherk razvitiia do 1917 g. Moscow, 1953.
400 let russkogo knigopechataniia, [vols. 1–2]. Moscow, 1964.
Nemirovskii, E. L. Vozniknovenie knigopechataniia v Moskve: Ivan Fedorov. Moscow, 1964.
Piat’sot let posle Gutenberga, 1468–1968. Moscow, 1968.
Lülfing, H. Johannes Gutenberg und das Buchwesen des 14. und 15. Jahrhunderts. Leipzig, 1969.




in textiles, the application of colored patterns to fabrics; the production of designs of one or more colors on fabrics. The color is applied in the form of a thick paste to prevent the color from running. Printing with dyes is the brightest and largest volume method. Vat dyes, reactive dyes, and pigments are among the coloring agents used. Materials used as thickeners, such as starch, dextrins, tragacanth, and gum arabic, become gluey when dissolved or boiled in water. Printing pastes may also include solvents, dispersants, oxidizing agents, reducing agents, acids, bases, salts, plasticizers, and defoaming agents.

Three types of printing are distinguished: direct, discharge, and resist. In direct printing, the dye is applied to a white or lightly colored fabric, and dark printing pastes are used. Discharge printing is the application of designs on an already dyed fabric with color-destroying chemicals. In resist printing, the design is applied to the fabric with a material, such as wax, that resists dyeing. The fabric is then piece dyed. If the resist substance does not contain dyes, a white pattern will result.

The design is applied to a fabric by printing machines. To fix the printing pastes, the fabric is usually steamed after drying. The dye migrates into the fabric and into each fiber. The fabric is then scoured to remove the thickening agent and the dye deposited on the surface. Scouring often is required during special treatment, such as the treatment of fabrics with oxidizing agents to fix the dye.

Printing also includes the coloring of sliver and yarn in hank or warp form. Some patterns are applied to fabrics by flock printing—the application of very short fibers, or flocks, to the surface of the fabric by means of an electrostatic charger. Photochemical printing methods are used for special purposes.


Spitzner, K. Pechatanie tekstil’nykh materialov. Moscow, 1966. [Translated from German.]
Vvedenie ν khimiiu i tekhnologiiu organicheskikh krasitelei. Moscow, 1971.




a process for producing identical copies by transferring ink from a printing plate onto paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, or other material. Three basic types of printing are distinguished: (1) letterpress, which prints from a raised surface; (2) planography, which prints from a plane surface; and (3) gravure, which prints from a recessed surface. In offset printing, a variety of planography, ink from a plate is transferred first onto an elastic surface and then onto the material to be printed. Other widely used printing methods include stenciling and electrography.

For the history and development of printing, see articles on printing in vols. 12 and 20.


Aleksandrova, M. I., and I. N. Shapiro. Pechatnye i broshiurovochnoperepletnye protsessy. Moscow, 1964. (Tekhnologiia poligraficheskogo proizvodstva, book 2.)
Kozarovitskii, L. A. Bumaga i kraska ν protsesse pechataniia. Moscow, 1965.
Popriadukhin, P. A. Tekhnologiia pechatnykh protsessov. Moscow, 1968.



a branch of technology comprising all technical means for the multiple reproduction of texts and illustrations. In contrast to other methods of multiple reproduction (such as photostating), printing involves the transfer of an ink layer from some reservoir to a receiving surface (most often paper), producing a facsimile of the original to be copied. The printing industry comprises enterprises that produce such printed matter as books, newspapers, magazines, posters, and maps. It serves as the material and technical base of the publishing industry.

Printing has a long and complex history. Its origin was the invention of the printing press by J. Gutenberg around 1440. As early as the 16th century printing had become a developed industry. In the 19th century, with the invention of the printing machine, a revolution took place in the printing industry. At this time, enterprises producing printing equipment developed. The scientific and technological revolution that has been going on since roughly 1950 has led to the electronic production of printing surfaces for all printing techniques. This includes the use of computers for phototypesetting and of electronic color separators for color printing. There is wide use of high-speed cylinder offset machines, and automatic continuous-operation lines have been organized at binderies and other finishing facilities. Production is often fully mechanized and automated, and phototele-graphic machinery is used for the transmission of newspaper pages.

Printing technology has three principal aspects: composition, printing proper, and finishing. Composition entails preparing material that may be used to make a plate—a surface that forms an ink layer corresponding with the design or pattern of the original. Printing proper obtains multiple printed reproductions of the original. Binding and other finishing processes are the final stages of production.

Composition includes typesetting of copy and preparation of illustrative materials. The text can be set manually or with the aid of a typesetting machine, which supplies type to be used to make a plate or a similar surface for reproduction (for example, in photocopying). Various methods of automatic typesetting have come into wide use. Manual methods of preparing illustrative materials are used as a form of graphic art or for the creation of originals that are subsequently reproduced by photomechanical or other means. The most common manual methods of relief printing are xylography and linoleum engraving. In intaglio printing, dry point, etching, and aquatint are widely used, and in planographic printing, lithography is the most popular process.

Illustrations may also be prepared by photomechanical methods (autotype, photozincography, photolithography, collotype printing) or with electronic engraving machines. An original piece of art to be reproduced is photographed by a reproduction camera. Halftones are photographed through a screen. A negative or positive image is copied onto a metal plate that has been covered with a layer of light-sensitive material. The plate is then subjected to the appropriate treatment and is etched in an etching machine. In the reproduction of multicolor originals, color separations are prepared by means of color-divided photography or with the aid of electronic scanners. When it is necessary to print material simultaneously on several machines, the original plate is duplicated. In making duplicates wide use is made of stereotypy and electrolytic methods.

There are three basic types of printing processes. The first involves the depletion of an image existing in an ink reservoir (hectography). Classical printing techniques involve the formation of an image on an intermediate surface—a plate. Techniques involving the electrostatic or electromagnetic transfer of an ink layer are based on the formation of an image on a receiving surface.

Classical printing techniques differ with regard to the method by which the printing and nonprinting elements are distributed. An ink layer may be produced by rubbing the ink through the printing surface (stenciling, mimeographing, rotary press) or by applying ink to the printing surface. In the latter case a spatial (relief and intaglio printing) or physicochemical (planographic printing) division of printing and nonprinting elements is used. In printing processes used in modern publishing, the ink impression is transferred from the original plate to the receiving surface directly or with the aid of one (offset printing) or two (Orlov printing) intermediate surfaces.

Printing is performed on presses, of which there are many kinds. Presses differ in printing technique, the design of the printing device, the number of transfers of the ink layer and the way in which the receiving surfaces are fed into the machine. Before printing, a number of preparatory processes are conducted: disposition, tightening, registering, and makeready.

In small-job printing, the processes of composition and printing are combined. Usually only a small number of copies, most often of an informational or administrative character, are produced (seeSMALL-JOB PRINTING).

The different types of printing materials require different finishing processes. The most complex are the binding processes used in book and magazine production.

Printing industry. Printing enterprises, depending on the character of production, may be called printshops, printing and lithographic shops, color-printing factories, or offset factories. Enterprises that have facilities for several different printing techniques are called printing combines. In terms of the kinds of printed material produced, enterprises can be general-purpose or specialized (newspaper, newspaper and magazine, book, map). In the USSR the printing industry also includes auxiliary enterprises, such as type foundries and ink factories.

Russia and the USSR. In prerevolutionary Russia (1913), there were 2,668 printing enterprises, which employed about 100,000 people. With the exception of several large printshops located principally in St. Petersburg and Moscow, whose equipment was imported and which produced small runs of expensive publications, most Russian printing enterprises were small, semi-primitive printshops, in which manual labor prevailed. Each printshop had an average of less than three printing presses, and every six printshops had an average of one typesetting machine.

The Great October Socialist Revolution made available to the working people all the technological and material means for printing newspapers, pamphlets, books, and other publications. This availability was guaranteed by the first Soviet Constitution, which was adopted by the Fifth All-Russian Congress of Soviets on July 10, 1918.

The first Soviet institution to handle printing matters, the Technical Council on the Administration of State Printshops, was organized in December 1917 under the auspices of the People’s Commissariat of Education. In April 1918 printing came under the jurisdiction of the Printing Department of the Supreme Council on the National Economy, which nationalized and reorganized large and medium-size printing establishments. By December 1920, 1,042 printshops had been nationalized. Small-scale enterprises were merged or closed. Printing enterprises were established in the republics. In 1922 the Tashkent Printshop No. 1—the pioneer of Soviet printing in Middle Asia —was built, as were printshops in Azerbaijan and other republics. In 1926–27 the first printing combine—the printshop of the newspaper Izvestiia—was built. The restoration and development of the printing industry were evident at the All-Union Printing Exhibition of 1927.

During the period of the prewar five-year plans (1929–40), large printing enterprises were built, and particular attention was devoted to providing technical facilities for newspaper printing. Major Moscow newspaper printshops went into operation, including the printshops of the newspapers Pravda, Rabochaia Moskva, and Za industrializatsiiu. A number of newspaper printshops were also established in republic and oblast administrative centers (Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Baku, Tashkent, Kazan, Kharkov, Sverdlovsk), and small newspaper printshops were built in the administrative centers of raions (in 1934 there were 1,800 printshops). More than 2,300 small newspaper print-shops were organized for the political sections of machine tractor stations and on various means of transport.

The development in the early 1930’s of domestic machine building for the printing industry made it possible not only to provide printing machinery for new enterprises but also to re-equip many enterprises that had been in operation for a long time. Among the major book-printing enterprises to be substantially expanded and reequipped were the A. A. Zhdanov First Model Printshop and the Krasnyi Proletarii Printshop in Moscow and the Pechatnyi Dvor Printshop in Leningrad. New enterprises included a book-printing combine (Printshop No. 2) in Moscow and book and magazine printshops in Kiev and Kharkov. Book-printing establishments in Moscow and Leningrad began to specialize in certain types of literature. Large book-printing enterprises were established in Tashkent, Ashkhabad, Dushanbe, and Alma-Ata. In 1940, the USSR had 4,784 printing enterprises, employing more than 110,000 people. Since 1913 the average number of copies of a book had increased more than threefold, and newspaper circulation, more than tenfold.

Incomplete data show that during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 about 3,000 printing enterprises were fully or partially destroyed in the areas temporarily occupied by the fascist German invaders. Between 1944 and 1947 a large percentage of the printshops were restored. In the first years after the war (1946–50) the restoration of the printing industry was completed, and its modernization was begun. The major printshops in Moscow, Leningrad, and other large industrial and cultural centers were rebuilt, and 3,500 raion printshops were organized. On Mar. 1, 1949, there were about 6,000 printing enterprises, employing 190,000 people. Production became more concentrated: in 1950 almost three-fourths of the total printed output came from 16.5 percent of the printing enterprises.

In the 1950’s a new stage began in the development of Soviet printing, marked by the construction of high-capacity, specialized printing combines. Among the major combines built were the Kalinin Printing Combine, the Yaroslavl Printing Combine, the Saratov Combine for the Publication of Textbooks, a new printshop complex for the newspaper Pravda, the Minsk Printing Combine, the Kalinin Children’s Literature Printing Combine, the Chekhov Printing Combine (Moscow Oblast), the newspaper and magazine combine of the Radians’ka Ukraina Publishing House, and a color-printing factory in Kiev. Old buildings were renovated and new ones built in a number of major cities. For example, the printshop of the Molodaia Gvardiia Publishing House, the Krasnyi Proletarii Printshop, and the Detskaia Kniga Factory in Moscow; the Ivan Fedorov Printshop No. 3, the V. Volodarskii Printshop, a color printing combine, and the Offset Printing Factory No. 12 in Leningrad; the K. Požela Printshop in Kaunas; the Model Printshop in Riga; and the Printing Combine in Kishinev. Between 1960 and 1970, more than 400 new enterprises went into operation, and more than 1,000 were renovated and expanded. As of Mar. 1, 1973, a total of 3,204 printing enterprises and 3,623 reproduction centers were in operation.

Advanced techniques and technology are currently being introduced into the Soviet printing industry. Fundamental and auxiliary processes are being mechanized. The full-scale mechanization of sections, shops, and enterprises as a whole, as well as the automation of a number of processes and sections, has been under way. Between 1966 and 1970, 16 printing enterprises and 130 shops were fully mechanized and more than 100 mechanized production lines were set up.

Soviet printing is administered by the State Committee of the USSR Council of Ministers on Publishing, Printing, and the Book Trade and by similar committees in the Union republics. Krai and oblast executive party committees of Soviets of people’s deputies have departments on publishing, printing, and the book trade.

Research in printing is conducted by the All-Union Research Institute of Integrated Problems of Printing in Moscow (founded in 1931; with a branch in Kiev), the Ukrainian Research Institute of the Printing Industry in L’vov (1932), the All-Union Research Institute of Equipment for Printed Publications and for Cardboard and Paper Packaging in Moscow (1945), and the Research Institute of Electrography in Vilnius (1957). Enterprises are designed by the State Design and Research Institute for the Integrated Design of Enterprises of the Printing Industry (Moscow). Research in the economics of printing is conducted by the Central Bureau of Scientific and Technological Information and Technological and Economic Research on Printing, Publishing, and the Book Trade (TsBNTI on printing, founded in 1968). The bureau also provides scientific and technological information about the industry.

Printers are trained at the Moscow Printing Institute (founded in 1930) and the I. Fedorov Ukrainian Printing Institute (1930) in L’vov. Printing is also taught at a number of specialized secondary educational institutions, such as the I. Fedorov Printing Technicum (founded in 1929), and at a number of vocational schools.

The monthly trade journal Poligrafiia has been published since 1924. The TsBNTI issues the monthly collection Poligraficheskaia promyshlennost’ and the monthly bibliographic index Poligraficheskaia promyshlennost’, as well as survey, reference, and rush information on printing matters. The Kniga Publishing House publishes scientific and industrial literature on printing.

Other socialist countries. In socialist countries outside the USSR, printing has developed mainly through the organization of mechanized and specialized enterprises.

In Bulgaria the large D. Blagoev Printing Combine in Sofia specializes in fiction. In Hungary, most scholarly books are printed at the Academic Printshop; the Kossuth and Atheneum printshops and the Offset Printshop in Budapest specialize in printing high-quality illustrated materials. In the German Democratic Republic (GDR) the M. Andersen Nekö Printshop (in Leipzig) employs complex, up-to-date production methods. Other major printing enterprises are the O. Grotewohl Print-shop and the Interdruck (Leipzig), the E. Thälmann Printshop (Saalfeld), and the K. Marx Printshop (Pössneck). In Rumania the large printing combine of the newspaper Scinteia was built after World War II. In Poland the largest printshop is the House of the Polish Word in Warsaw, which prints various types of materials. The October Revolution Printshop in Warsaw specializes in the publication of technical books with complex types of composition; the printshop in -Lodz produces small-size publications by relief printing. There is a printshop in Krakow for the publication of books and magazines.

In all socialist countries offset printing is being developed further, phototypesetting is being introduced on a broad scale, and phototypesetting centers are being organized (GDR, Czechoslovakia).

Capitalist countries. Printing enterprises in capitalist countries are usually owned by or closely associated with publishing houses. The number of workers employed by the printing industry is estimated at about 3 million, with 60 percent of that figure concentrated in the United States, Japan, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), and Great Britain.

The United States has the largest printing industry, accounting for about 3 percent of the gross national product. In all, 38,000 enterprises are engaged in publishing and printing. According to data from 1972, 50 percent of all printing is produced by the relief printing technique, 35 percent by offset printing, and 10 percent by intaglio printing.

In 1972, Japan’s printing industry included about 18,000 enterprises, with the five largest firms accounting for about 30 percent of the output. Synthetic papers, mainly using polystyrene and polypropylene, are widely used.

The FRG had 6,447 printing enterprises in 1972. Offset, intaglio, and stencil printing are developing on a wide scale. Relief printing accounts for 57 percent of the output, with offset accounting for 25 percent and intaglio printing for 18 percent.

In 1972, Great Britain had about 8,000 printshops, more than half of which belonged to the British Federation of Master Printers. The principal form of printing is relief printing (more than 50 percent). Roll-fed offset is developing successfully, and intaglio printing is widely used. There are very few intaglio printing shops, but all of them are large enterprises.

France had 8,768 printing enterprises in 1972. Printing techniques rank as follows: relief printing, 42.6 percent; offset, 40.1 percent; and intaglio, 11.0 percent.

Printing industries are well developed in Italy, Canada, Sweden and Switzerland.

Research abroad. Research is conducted by the Institute of Printing Technology in Leipzig, the Scientific Center of the Press Committee in Sofia, the Research Institute of the Printing and Packaging Industry Research Association (PIRA; previously PATRA) near London, the research society FOGRA in Munich, and the Research Institute of Printing Technology in Amsterdam. The largest foreign specialized publisher of literature on printing is Poligraf Verlag in Frankfurt am Main (FRG). Many trade journals are published on general and specialized topics. The best-known printing museums are the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz (founded in 1900), the German Book Museum in Leipzig (1884), and the Printing Department of the National Technical Museum in Prague (1954).


Ekonomika, organizatsiia, tekhnologiia poligraficheskogo proizvodstva: Referativnyi sb. Moscow, 1975—.
Printing Abstracts Leatherhead, 1946—.
Patentnaia literatura po voprosam poligraficheskogo proizvodstva: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow, 1954—.
Nemirovskii, E. L. “Izobreteniia sovetskikh poligrafistov za 50 let: 1917–1967.” Ukazatel’ avtorskikh svidetelstv i patentov po voprosam poligrafii. Moscow, 1967.
Krivin, M. M. Ukazatel’ literatury po poligrafii, no. 1, Moscow-Leningrad, 1941.
Knigi po poligrafii. 1949–1959, Moscow, 1960.
Kononenko, O. P., and Z. P. Chumakova. Literatura po poligrafii, 1959–1969. Moscow, 1969.
Popov, V. V. Obshchii kurs poligrafii, 6th ed. Moscow, 1964.
Vinogradov, G. A. Poligraficheskoe proizvodtsvo. Moscow, 1973.
Basin, O. Ia. Poligraficheskii slovar’. Moscow, 1964.
Orlov, B. P. Poligraficheskaia promyshlennost’ Moskvy. Ocherk razvitiia do 1917. Moscow, 1953.
Mashtalir, R. M., Zh. M. Kovba, and M. D. Feller. Rozvytok poligrafii na Ukraini. L’vov, 1974.
Gorbachevskii, B. S. “Sovetskaia poligrafiia—material’notekhnicheskaia baza pechati.” In the anthology Kniga, no. 15, Moscow, 1967.
Poligrafiia, 1967, nos. 11–12. (Special issues.)



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