Print Direct: Mixing The Old with The New

Printing is seriously old school. Not in a bad way, it’s just been around forever! Way back in 3000 BC, Mesopotamians were printing! Sure, it wasn’t the traditional printing we are used to today, but they were using a round cylinder to impress images into clay tablets to make copies. How neat is that?! We obviously don’t use clay tablets anymore, but even the process we use in modern day litho printing is inspired by a process created in the 1700’s. In 1710, Jakob Christof Le Blon produced the first engraving “plates” that could imprint in several colors. These metal plates could print in 4 colors; red, yellow, blue and black. This technique has been adapted and perfected, but we still use metal plates process to print today. See, old school.

                                                                         Stone Tablet Impressions           Old Printing Press


But while the physical printing is a time-honored, ancient process, there have been a lot of changes in technology that has shifted the way printing is done. In addition to litho printing, digital printing has been a huge change in the printing industry. We no longer solely have to print using the classic metal plates, which makes digital printing a cheaper, faster and more versatile option. Here at Print Direct, we have two Kodak Nexpress Digital Presses that open up a variety of benefits. Our Nexpress printers are capable of printing in vibrant full-color or black-and-white, single-sided or double-sided and it’s fast. It can print 5,000 Letter-sized sheets per hour!

Nexpress Digital Printing Press

Another perk of modern day technology is the ability to make printing much more ecologically responsible. At Print Direct, we utilize a wide range of waste-reduction and eco-friendly production techniques. People often categorize the printing industry as a wasteful industry, and we do our best to prove those naysayers wrong. We are fully certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®(FSC®). We use recycled paper, recycle our excess paper, use soy-based in and sealed ink canisters for ultra-low VOC emissions. It’s important to us to use as many different techniques at our disposal to do our part for global sustainability.

Sunlight Through the Trees Forest Image

Perhaps the most drastic change to occur in the printing industry is the introduction of the internet. Custom printing used to require so much effort on the part of the consumer. Finding a reliable printer, press-checking projects, making sure your project arrives on time… it was cumbersome. But now, a whole, wide world of printers are at your fingertips! From the comfort of your home (and your sweatpants), you can research printing companies, compare pricing, contemplate production times, browse social media and perfectly plan out your printing needs. As a printer, we love the fusion of our old school industry with the new school technology. It gives our clients so much freedom to make their own decisions, allowing us to focus on what we do best, print.

Typing on Laptop

We love our old school industry. There’s something about printing and creating a physical object that satisfies the creative architects inside of us. But we equally love our new school way of managing it. New equipment, eco-friendly techniques, online ordering, social media… we love it all! At Print Direct, it’s crucial that we keep our finger on the pulse and continually move forward towards the next best thing, but still respect the tradition that has made our industry great. We vow to move forge onward with the rest of the world to integrate the best state-of-the-art options for our customers. We value traditional printing, but we refuse to be left in the dust of new technologies and trends.  That’s the smart way to do business.

Print Smart. Print Direct. 

Carolyn Roberts

Director of Operations, Print Direct
Print Direct Logo

Printing press image was found at: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. Check out their article on Literacy and the Printing Press at printing at
Reference for printing history came from You can read the full article at