PRINTING COMES TO EUROPE
Xylography is the technical term for the relief printing from a raised surface that originated in Asia. Typography is the term for printing with independent, movable, and reusable bits of metal or wood, each of which has a raised letter form on one face. This dry definition belies the immense potential for human dialogue and the new horizons for graphic design that were unleashed by this extraordinary invention in the mid-1400s by a restless German inventor whose portrait and signature are lost to the relentless passage of time. The invention of typography ranks near the creation of writing as one of the most important advances in civilization. Writing gave humanity a means of storing, retrieving, and documenting knowledge and information that transcended time and place; typographic printing allowed the economical and multiple production of alphabet communication. Knowledge spread rapidly, and literacy increased as a result of this remarkable inventton.