The Invention Of Printing

An old Printing Press

The invention of printing was the trigger for massive social change

The German Johannes Gutenberg invented movable metal type and the printing press after moving to Strasbourg, a place that was known for its metal crafts, in 1448 and by the early 1450s had started a business using his new invention.

Until then, books had been hand-written, rare and expensive and generally only the clergy had been regular readers. Most books had been written in Latin, the language of scholarship, but as printed material became more widespread, demand grew for works books printed in people’s own languages.

Initially, the advent of printing had been welcomed by the Church, which needed a of printed prayer books and other materials for use in churches and in the education of the clergy. The church was central to all aspects of life and also oversaw the universities, where scholars, too, needed printed material for their studies.

The Roman Catholic Church had been the dominant power until in the first half of the 16th Century the Protestant Reformation leader, Martin Luther, started to publish more and more writings that challenged its efforts to suppress free thinking.

But it was not only religious works that were published. Gradually the classical works of Ovid, Virgil, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Horace and others became more widespread as did the popularity of stories of chivalric romances, and knight adventures in languages ranging from English through Flemish, French, Italian, and German.

As printed material became more widely available and more people were able to read this eroded the power of the Church to dictate all aspects of life and was to lead to the Reformation.printing press
William Caxton too was a prolific writer and printer of books in the English language.

But political upheaval in England was to be precipitated after William Tyndale produced an English translation of the Bible, believing that everyone should have access to the scriptures in their own language.

It was to lead to a long period of turmoil after the Catholic church excommunicated Henry VIII, when he decided to divorce his first wife in order to marry Anne Boleyn.

However, Henry VIII also disagreed with Tyndale, whose execution he ordered in 1536 because the king saw his work as a direct challenge to his authority. Yet two years later, after he broke with Rome, Henry ordered a new translation of the bible and declared himself head of the Church of England.

Henry ordered every parish church to display a copy. For the first time, any English man or woman who could read could study the Bible in their own language.

Thereafter developed a bloodthirsty period during which successive monarchs either supported the Roman Catholic cause, such as Queen Mary, or the protestant cause, such as Queen Elizabeth I.
There were periods where it was illegal for an ordinary person to own a Bible and when either Catholics or Protestants were persecuted and killed in large numbers.

After this blood-drenched period gradually over time the idea that people should be free to form their own opinions, think independently developed but it was not until the 18th Century that education became widespread, giving many poorer people a chance to learn to read.

How to make an advertising sign

To make the perfect advertising sign, we first need to understand why we are making the sign in the first place. The definition of advertising is “the act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service, need, etc., especially by paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards. Advertisings purpose is to convey to the general public an product or service which is on offer”. So, every sign that we encounter can be described as someone trying to get our attention. This may be to inform us of a fantastic new offer, the latest celebrity gossip in heat magazine, or your next door neighbour putting a “Beware, it’s not the dog you need to worry about, it’s me” sign in the front garden. So, how do we make the perfect sign? To convey our personal message to the masses? We have comprised a step by step guide to offer you better understanding of how the sign creation process works, so you can get the most out of your advertising signage.

Step 1 – Location

When you think about location, what questions come to mind? Most people first think of “Where am i going to put this sign to get maximum effect?” which is an extremely important question. We also need to consider “Will my sign look out of place depending on my surroundings?”

This is an equally important question, as your surroundings will affect how you sign will look and feel. If, for instance, you have just secured the lease on your new business premises and are looking to make an immediate impact by trying to entice customers into your financial services company. You decide you want your company logo’s present on your office front and luckily for you a friend has kindly offered to design your company branding. Now to you, a bright pink background with lime green text might look incredible, but for the type of business you have and the type of other similar businesses who have less flashy signage, it might stick out for all the wrong reasons. Of course, if you are trying to send out a loud message, designed to shake things up, then go for it! But the main things to consider is how our sign will look in this type of environment, where will we install this sign to get maximum effect and will it convey the right message to our potential customers, clients or the general public? Once you have a better feel of the best location for your sign, then we can head over to step 2.

Step 2 – Purpose

The purpose of your advertising sign will determine what design and material will be best for you. For example, if you were organizing a bonfire night and wanted temporary signage for advertising to the public, you wouldn’t want a long lasting expensive sign. So we need to work out what type of sign that we need and one of the best ways of doing this is by asking yourself a couple of questions, such as:

How long does my sign need to last for? 2 weeks? A month? A Year?

Will I be using my sign more internal use or for external use?

What type of finish do i need?

Once you have answered these questions you should have a better understanding of what material you need to use and what type of finish you need. We can explain some of the different options available to you to help you pick the best material for you.

Aluminium Composite/Dibond/ACM (Various Thicknesses)  – Polyethylene (Plastic) Core, with a very thin layer of aluminium top and bottom. Hard, Rigid material. Suitable for outdoor and indoor use. Can be screwed into brickworks and fencing.

Corrugated Plastic (Various Thicknesses) – Corrugated plastic (Brand name of Correx) is suitable for outdoor and indoor use. Semi rigid. Fluted front panels, so not a completely flat finish

Foam Board (Various Thicknesses) – Foamboard (Brand name Foamex) is a lightweight with a flat surface. Ideally used for internal signage, as foamboard signs can wrap in extreme sunlight. Semi Rigid material (Depending on thickness)

PVC Banner – PVC Banner Material, Lightweight, flexible material designed for external temporary advertising (Typically lasts between 1 – 3 years). Also available in mesh PVC, created with tiny holes in to allow for wind to pass through. Can also be used internally.

There are whole range of materials that can be used in advertising and with the above information, you should have more of an idea of what materials are best suited for what situation.

Step 3 – Design

Once you have decided where you sign is going and the purpose of it, we need to start designing how we want our sign to look and feel. The design is paramount for either attracting new customers or enticing the general public to use your service or products.

The three most important aspects of designing your sign are telling everyone who you are, what you do and how to get hold of you. These are the foundations of a great sign. I have seen visually stunning designs and graphics over the years which have neglected key contact information, which results in a lower than expected return on an advertising campaign. Sometimes, companies deliberately leave off one or two of these core aspects to peak customers curiosity. I’m not sure how well that works in the long run, so I personally believe it’s best to stick to the tried and tested methods. Once you have the three core aspects designed you can now tackle the challenge of how to make your design look appealing to the masses. There are plenty of ways of making your sign stand out, with bold contemporary colours, to large scale clipart and imagery. The important things to take into account is ensuring that your company name, products, service and contact information are clear and easy to read.

Step 4 – Installation

You have carefully gone through the processes, now its time to put your hard work on show by installing your sign. Not all installations are the same. What you have ordered, where you are installing it and other external factors can greatly impact on the complexity of the job at hand. Below is a quick guide which will give you some basic ideas of the best way of installing your signage.

For the example listed below, you will either need the following:

  • Pencil/Pen
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits/Screw Bits
  • Wall Plugs
  • Spirit Level
  • Screws
  • Screw Caps (Optional)
  • Jigsaw
  • Vacuum (Optional)

Installing a Rigid Sign onto brickwork

  1. Find a suitable position for your signage and ensuring that it is clearly visible.
  2. Make a small hole in each corner of your sign. This is where we will screw through the sign to secure to the wall.
  3. Place your sign in its desired location on the wall. Using your hand to hold the sign in place, place your spirit level on top of the sign.
  4. Once you have the sign straight, use your pen or pencil to mark the location of the holes in your sign on the wall.
  5. Once marked, remove the sign and place to one side.
  6. With the holes clearly marked on the wall, drill through with a 6mm Masonry bit. You can pick any thickness of drill bit you choose, just make sure that its the right size for your wall plugs
  7. With each hole drilled, push your wall plugs into the corresponding holes.
  8. Put your sign back in place and align the holes of the sign with the holes in the wall.
  9. With a screwdriver attachment, screw through the holes made in the sign and into the wall plugs.


Congratulations, you now have a better understanding of how to make advertising signs. With the above guide, you should be able to design, create, locate and install your own signs with confidence. Happy creating!


What it costs not to advertise

what it costs not to advertise

Here is really what it costs not to advertise

For centuries, advertising has served as a vital tool in the business world, enabling sellers to target their market and effectively promote their trade. Advertising creates awareness for products and services, amplifies a business over its competitors and provides credibility to companies.

Last year, UK advertising expenditure grew 4.6% to reach £22.2bn, the eighth consecutive year of market growth* and is forecast to increase again during 2018. Many businesses are aware of the benefits of advertising and continue to use this powerful instrument in driving sales. So for those businesses that are reluctant to spend money on advertising, what will this cost them in the long run?

Business promotion is an integral part of any business’ success, as it is through promotion that a business expands its customer base and opens new windows of opportunity. We live in an age where it is possible to monitor the data from advertising, and yes, it’s proven to work. ‘Profit Ability’ has analyzed over 2,000 advertising campaigns to uncover the impact of advertising and from the findings, quantified the total profit generated by different forms of advertising in the UK.** The study concluded that advertising is a powerful business investment. Looking at total profit return on investment (ROI) over 3 years, the average campaign delivers a profit ROI of £3.24 per pound spent. This is money a business is losing by not advertising.

Advertising remains an important factor in informing consumers of a business’ existence and the options available to them. The question is not should I advertise, but when should I advertise. Advertising is one part of your business that you can control; honing in on your target market and identifying new strategies that will move you closer to your business goals. All forms of advertising deliver profitable returns when considering long term impact. If you choose not to advertise your business, you will inevitably lose out on profit.