Since the beginning, printers and publishers have been innovators who have shaped the world around them. From the first clay tablet impressions the thought: ‘How can I do this better,’ has been floating through the sands of history. Publishing isn’t a static industry. It moves quickly; and those who work in this industry know that the constant is change.
Languages, numbers, writing instruments and materials, all of these have made history—they are history. Visible in museums the world over, it’s possible to study them and consider that the major changes in print and publishing are behind us. That idea could not be farther from the truth. The rise of the Computer Age has brought new developments, new ideas, new advances, and new challenges to the industry.
Navigating through the new world of digitized publishing is an art form. Staying on top of new technological advances to position yourself and your company to take advantage of the best pieces is a challenge that, in general, the print industry has successfully achieved. In this new age, the globalization of publishing has fully arrived.
So, what does that mean for the future? What are the next steps and what are the next big innovations going to be? Ease of use has been the driving factor in print innovation: clay tablet to papyrus, scroll to codex, scribe to press, typewriter to word processor, Linotype to computerized typesetting, the list is endless. A hundred years from now, print and publishing will likely look very different to our eyes, but the constant remains. Change, driven by innovations in ease of use will continue, bridging time from the beginning of written language to the end.