PRINTING IN THE UK BEFORE AND DURING HER MAJESTY’S 70 YEARS ON THE THRONE

The fete is rare!  Seventy years on the throne!  Your majesty, here I present 70 hurray from the Nigerian Printing Sector to Buckingham palace.

Printing is believed to have appeared as human endeavor around 3500 BCE with Proto-Elamite and Sumerlan thus enabling communication and information sharing.  It started far earlier in the Asia particularly in China and South Korea before Europe where it sneaked into England before spreading to England, Europeans had tried to improve on what they got from the Asians as printing technology during the Renaissance. A landmark achievement was made by a German printer, Johannes Gutenberg when he developed a new model of movable printing press which he used to print bibles in the 1450s.

Printing started proper in England in 1476 through William Caxton. He was a merchant, diplomat, translator and writer. As a pioneer printer, he doubled as a retail bookseller. Before printer came to being, England had thousands of books in manuscript form. This made it possible for England to have up to 9 million books printed by the year 1500. Gutenberg spearheaded mass production of books all over Europe and it was easy for the impact of the graphic revolution to materialize In England. This encouraged Caxton to buy his printing machine from Bruges (now Belgium) – with which he stared to print from numerous manuscripts in his care as a translator.

In 1953, high speed printer was developed by Remington-Rand for use on the Univac computer. There after, original laser printer called EARS was developed at Xerox Palo Alto Research centre beginning in1969 and completed 1971.

Significantly, printing and its continuous technological advancement had resulted, and still resulting into impacts such as volume and quality prints, graphic consumables, business and administrative forms and documents enabling ease of doing whatever. It has helped and still helping to standardize language vocabulary through news and instructional prints. In printing, no doubt there was and there is a revolution. One can also confidently assert that there is more to come.

In the 70s, through to the 90s, Dot matrix printers came as a dominant stakeholder until numerous brands as superior technological fighters took over the market.

The UK printing sector that launched its pioneer magazine in 1958 to promote the industry did thrive across decades as a global nation of robust printing expertise, experience, exposure and technology. Ipex for years until the era of virtual exhibition and worse later COVID-19, was a mega market of choice to launch, sell and display masterpiece equipment, accessories and consumables.

The outlook of Her Majesty’s Midas touch on the UK printing sector of today is intimidating as follows:

£ 14.1 billion Turnover

£ 6.6 billion Gross Value Added

130,000 employments generated

10,000 companies as stakeholders

Your Majesty, I doff my hat 70times.

Rotimi OLADELE,  PhD

Associate professor

of Entrepreneurship