International conference at print museum

National Print Museum

An international conference on twentieth century printing history is to be held at the National Print Museum on the 30th and 31st March, 2017.

The conference, entitled “From craft to technology and back again: print’s progress in the twentieth century”, is being organised by the Printing Historical Society (PHS), the Centre for Printing History and Culture, and the National Print Museum. It’s the first time that the PHS Annual Conference is being held outside the UK.

During the twentieth century the printing industry underwent considerable change as it shifted from a craft-based trade to a technology-led profession, largely as a result of three major revolutions. In the composing room there was a move from hand to machine composition, followed by photo-setting and finally digital means of letter assembly. In the press room printers experienced a shift from letterpress to off-set lithography and latterly digital methods of production.

These revolutions initiated both organisational and structural changes: compositors moved out of the printing office and re-located to trade typesetting houses; printers concentrated wholly on graphic reproduction and presswork; whilst design was undertaken by professional typographers working in private practice, remote from the trade typesetters or printing office.

By Paul O’Rourke