Print professionals and enthusiasts around the world, rejoice! Today, October 19, is International Print Day. A time to be grateful for the amazing technological advancements the print industry has benefited from throughout the years – and the perfect moment to thank the people who made it all possible. From Gutenberg (we all know who he is) to Chester Carlson (the man behind Xerox), there are many names that deserve a mention on this happy occasion. We’ve put together a short list of people we feel changed the history of print for good.
Fun fact: all the people on this list have a meeting room at the Esko / Enfocus headquarters named after them!
Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC)
Considered one of the greatest Roman orators and prose stylists of all time, Cicero is credited with transforming Latin from a utilitarian language into a literary medium which, even after more than nineteen centuries, is yet to be emulated.
Johannes Gutenberg (1398-1468)
Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg – yes, that’s his full name – single-handedly started the Printing Revolution by introducing the first mechanical movable type printing press to Europe.
Dirk Martens (1446-1534)
Publisher Dirk Martens’ 1491 edition of Alexander de Villa Dei’s Doctrinale was the first printed book in the Netherlands that included Greek letters.
Aldus Manutius (1449-1515)
Aldus Pius Manutius was the father of italic font.
Aloys Senefelder (1771-1834)
Although Aloys Senefelder dedicated most of his life to acting and playwriting, it was his invention of lithography that made him world-famous.
Friedrich Koenig (1774-1833)
German inventor Friedrich Gottlob Koenig invented the high-speed printing press in 1810.
Ottmar Mergenthaler (1854-1899)
Often called the second Gutenberg, Ottmar Mergenthaler invented the linotype machine, the first device in the world able to set complete lines of type for printing presses.
Auguste & Louis Lumière (1862 & 1864 – 1954 & 1948)
The Lumière brothers patented the cinematograph and created Sortie de l'usine Lumière de Lyon, a film considered the world’s first motion picture, in 1895. They are also the men behind early colour photography, patenting a colour photographic process called the Autochrome Lumière in 1903.
Chester Carlson (1906-1968)
American scientist, lawyer and inventor Chester Carlson gifted us with the first Xerox machine in 1949. It took thirty-nine steps to make a copy.
John W. Seybold (1916-2014)
Seybold was the man behind computer typesetting.
Theodore Maiman (1927-2007)
Electrical engineer and inventor Theodore Maiman developed the first working laser, paving the way for laser printing.