Stationery and Printing

Printing is a process for reproducing text and images using a master form or template. The earliest examples include Cylinder seals and other objects such as the Cyrus Cylinder and the Cylinders of Nabonidus. The earliest known form of woodblock printing came from China dating to before 220 A.D. Later developments in printing include the movable type, first developed by Bi Sheng in China. Johannes Gutenberg introduced mechanical movable type printing to Europe in the 15th century. His printing press played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses.
Originally the term stationery referred to all products sold by a stationer, whose name indicated that his book shop was on a fixed spot, usually near a university, and permanent, while medieval trading was mainly carried on by itinerant peddlers (including chapmen, who sold books) and others (such as farmers and craftsmen) at markets and fairs. It was a special term used between the 13th and 15th centuries in the manuscript culture. The Stationers' Company formerly held a monopoly over the publishing industry in England and was responsible for copyright regulations.
In its modern sense including personal writing materials, stationery has been an important part of good social etiquette, particularly since the Victorian era. Some uses of stationery, such as sending a manufactured reply card to a wedding invitation, have changed from offensive to appropriate.

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