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Of Print and Power: The History and Power of Print Advertising

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

Since the time of its invention in 1440, the printing press has played a major role in almost every human endeavor. The art of printing has changed quite dramatically since Johannes Gutenberg, but its important role in advertising, marketing, and communication has never been clearer.

The History

What if you were told that there was an ancient power that, when properly utilized, would allow you to spread influence, information, and ideas to millions of people across the world? You would probably look at whoever told you that like they were crazy. Crazy, that is, until they explained to you how everything you do (from the decisions you make on what to what you buy, what you wear, and even your political affiliations) is influenced by print media and print advertising. Look, its all around you: billboards, bumper stickers, business cards, mail, coffee cups, brochures, restaurant menus, and yes, even your underwear!

The history of advertising, of course, extends back much further beyond the time of Johannes Gutenberg and his movable-type printing press. The ancient kings built statues and created intricate art showing off their powers and status, the Julius Caesar wrote accounts of his battles and valor, ancient handwritten advertisements stretching back to the beginnings of human history have been found and documented... the examples are endless.

Pictured here is the first known example of an advertisement printed in the English Language.

Things changed with the introduction of printing. Advertisements became commodities, bought and sold to the highest bidder. Suddenly people were paying to get their name associated with newspapers and magazines. People started to print out flyers and brochure advertisements by the thousands. This buying and selling of print created a very lucrative business. Businesses, individuals, corporations, and even governments took advantage of this amazing technology to spread information and influence over millions. Ideas were no longer just ideas, they were made physical through paper and ink and spread all across the world.

What Does it Mean for You?

Printing has changed a lot over the centuries, the technology is different, the tools are different, it even looks different. But this ancient power utilized by the likes of emperor's and kings is still as powerful today as it ever has been (if not, significantly more powerful). And, good news, you can utilize this amazing tool to help you or your business connect with the people who matter.

The End

Still not sure about how to utilize the power of print? Give 7C's Marketing a call! We would be happy to discuss with you strategies and options based on your specific needs.

Give us a call or shoot us a text: 210-954-9953

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We look forward to hearing from you!

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