Now that many people use Desktop Publishing facilities to produce work, the history of change in the printing industry to today's use of high technology is known to only a few. In particular, younger people have little idea of the many hours of work and effort that was required to produce publications that are now produced in a much shorter time.

Today it is possible to produce professional standard printed leaflets, newsletters and a huge variety of business documentation in a relatively short time. The limitations are set by your hardware, software and the quality of your printer.


In the past producing the printed word was a long, sometimes slow, and painstaking task. The person setting up the work, the compositor, had three methods of composing - hand setting, linotype-setting and monotype-setting.

Hard metal founder's type or soft metal individual characters are used in hand setting.

The traditionally used founder's type was produced by punches, originally one letter at a time. They were then replaced by the pantograph that cuts the matrix direct from a pattern.

The production principle in linotype-setting is basically lines of type produced from a hot metal casting using metal matrices.

The machine used in monotype-setting has a keyboard with over 300 keys, 272 of which correspond to character matrices.

A roll of paper unwinds as the operator depresses the keys to receive a combination of perforations to be made in the paper ribbon and this is transferred to a caster. The caster produces perfectly spaced and justified type.


It is now possible to produce publications much more easily, and in far less time. There are basic fundamentals that an operator needs to understand before it is possible to produce work.

With practice and increased knowledge and skill, there are few limitations on the quality of documents that can be produced.

It is possible to produce work of any size, on any size of paper, folded leaflets or straightforward business documents. The text can be presented in any mixture of fonts and/or character sizes. Colour production is possible if you have that print facility.