It was not before the electronics were introduced in phototypesetters and scanners in the sixties of 20th century, the rapid development in the printing process started. At the beginning the prepress process was still manual, using film in the process to combine text and pictures. Digital page making using digital scanners and film setters were developed at the end of the seventies and beginning of eighties. The first workstations were very expensive, but cheap workstations based on personal computers were introduced in the middle of the eighties. This development was the base for electronic publishing.
The development in digital communications at the end of the 20th century has been a big challenge for the conventional information industry. New methods for packaging and distribution of information have been developed beside traditional printed media and television. Text and pictures stored in digital form on CD-ROM can be combined with sound and moving pictures. For instance dictionaries and encyclopedias stored in on CO-ROM are easy to use on a personal computer. The possibility to add sound to the written media makes it more attractive for the customers.
Satellites have made TV broadcasting global. The introduction of digital TV will again multiply the supply of TV channels. The number of TV channels exceeds already the demand by far, and the consumers have films, news and entertainment available continuously.
Internet offers the possibility to access publishers files without having any physical printed media or CD-ROM. This makes worldwide distribution easy, and offers the consumer unlimited possibilities for real time information supply. The main benefit of electronic media is its fast and cheap methods for packaging and distribution of information to the public.
Digital printing developed in the last decade of the century has made it possible to print short runs in a fast and economic way. Digital printing in its first generation covers print runs from only a couple to some thousand prints. The output quality is already acceptable, but the volume is not yet a threat for conventional printing.
To be continues……