11 Pieces of Printing Trivia Everyone Needs to Know

Too many people think of printing as a necessary evil they put up with as a means to an end. They miss the beauty, the possibilities and yes, the fun that goes hand in hand with this incredibly diverse field-a field that, with the advent of 3-D printing, the new possibilities we’re discovering in digital printing and the old-fashioned beauty of offset printing, is becoming more diverse by the day!

It probably wouldn’t surprise you to know that printing has its own history. That’s a given. What you might not know is that you’re living in it, every day. You just don’t know it yet! For example, did you know that:

  1. Benjamin Franklin, John Dunlap and the Wright Brothers were all printers by trade?
  2. Paul Revere (a silversmith by trade) engraved the plates for the first colonial currency?
  3. The printing industry may have given birth to the phrase, “Mind your p’s and q’s”, an admonishment from the printer to his apprentice to watch carefully when setting the letters in an old-style printing press? (This has been debated, since there are many possible origins for the phrase and no one is actually sure which is correct.)
  4. The dot over the letter “i” is called a tittle?
  5. We have about $500 billion in U.S. currency currently in circulation, most of it outside of the U.S.?
  6. In 1999 a 1943 copper penny was sold at auction for $112,500?
  7. When a master printer was printing a page and discovered a particular sort was empty, he’d be…upset? Very upset. Hence the phrase, “Out of Sorts”.
  8. The first book to be printed using a moveable type printing press was the Gutenberg Bible?
  9. 3D printing was used to test lighting for every scene in the movie “Avatar?”
  10. People have been printing since 1447? (Which means there is, in fact, a very distinct possibility that some of the pieces you see in the museum ARE older than dirt.)
  11. Pringles once combined inkjet printing with food coloring to print trivia questions and answers on their chips?

Go ahead. Tell me you never ate a Pringles. Or read about Paul Revere. Or told your co-workers to stop being so out of sorts. And we’re not even going to talk about minding your p’s and q’s!

Think about everything we’re doing with printing these days. Think about the potential of 3-D printing for manufacturing. Then tell me printing can’t do AMAZING things.