Printing Industry – Czech Tradition in Whirl of New Technologies
The printing industry – on the one hand there is a rich tradition, on the other fast development full of change and competition. Currently it is difficult to succeed in the field of information distributed in printed form, both at home and internationally.
As a manufacturing sector, the printing industry processes and reproduces texts and images in print. A definition of the different operations in the sector can distinguish three phases: prepress – the preparation of printing, press – the printing proper, and postpress – completion tasks. In other words, there is the phase of making printing forms, the phase of press, the finishing production, and last but not least, the associated specialised activities. In brief, press does not mean by far only the printing process nowadays.
Crossmedia – standard of time
A new term – crossmedia – has emerged in the last few years. In effect, it means that forms are being prepared not only for printing, but also for modern electronic media. Publishing on the internet, intranet, web-presentations that we meet every day, CD-ROM and the like are absolutely essential nowadays. The modern printing industry of the present time is completely permeated with computer technology, which is an aid not only in creating the press content, but also in the control of the printing process.
Paper wherever you look
However, the future belongs to the paper forms as well. We may not be aware of it, but printed matter accompanies us wherever we go, and it is not only books, newspapers, and magazines. In the classification of economic activities by the NACE codes, the category of printing and related activities includes the printing of newspapers and other printing, pre-press and pre-media services, binding and related activities. And it is the category of printed matter other than newspapers which brings, according to a 2009 analysis of the Association of Printing Industry Entrepreneurs, a full 75.2% of all revenue in the sector – which include besides magazines also commercial flyers and leaflets, business cards, wrappings, but also special printed matter with security features – banknotes, stocks and securities, various tickets, motorway toll stickers, meal vouchers, and others. It is estimated that some 7 billion pieces of printed matter are annually produced in the Czech Republic, which is an amazing number indeed.
Rich tradition of printing industry
The Czech printing industry has a rich tradition stemming from historical roots. A look at the past reveals that crucial inventions in the branch included some which were connected with Czech territory. To name an example, the list includes Alois Senefelder, the inventor of lithography and stone printing the principles of which are applied in offset printing, the most widely used technique at present. And another Czech, Kašpar Hermann, is considered an inventor of offset printing. Czech printers can be rightly proud of their history. There are not many branches where the Czech Republic can say nowadays that it has really cutting-edge technology keeping abreast of the best level in the world, but the Czech printing industry can say so.
Czech Business and Trade 1-2/2011