Today, advertisements are absolutely everywhere. Billboards, commercials, newspaper ads, comic book ads, and radio ads permeate everyday society so much that we hardly think about it anymore. But few people know what goes into printing and printing services. When most people think of the history behind printing services, all that truly comes to mind is Johannes Gutenberg and the printing press, but printing services have a long and colorful past.
- We all know what business cards are — there are over 27,000,000 business cards printed every day. But did you know that they’ve been around since the 1600s during King Louis XIV’s reign? They were called “trade cards” and served a variety of purposes. Like modern business cards, they’d feature advertisements for a business and contact information, but they’d also typically feature a map of some kind to help locate the business.
- Promotional calendars are generally some of the more useful — and surprisingly effective — forms of advertising available. Consumers typically keep promotional calendars for the entirety of the year — all 12 months. Printing services began making promotional calendars as far back as the mid-1800s. Thomas Murphy and Edward Osborne are typically credited with the creation of art calendars, which used both advertisements and works of art to attract customers.
- Vehicle wraps are sometimes called “mobile billboards,” and it’s not hard to understand why. The newest printing service addition on this list, car wraps became prominent in the mid-1990s. Originally, vehicle wraps were used on German taxis to comply with laws that they all had to be beige. Rather than spend massive amounts of money on complete resprays, they covered the cars with a beige wrap that also managed to protect the original paint underneath. In its brief lifespan, vehicle wraps have become one of the most effective forms of advertising, with one of the lowest cost-per-impression rates available. Not only that, but almost half of all polled consumers viewed car wraps as the most unique of current advertising mediums.
Advertising and printing services have a long history together. Digital printing services — which is what most home printing is — are also becoming popular in professional models for their ability to print large format images.