Printing is a process for reproducing text and images using a master form or template. The earliest examples include Cylinder seals and other objects such as the Cyrus cylinder & Cylinders of Nabonidus. The earliest known form of woodblock printing came from China dating to before 220 A.D.. Later developments in printing include the movable type, first developed by Bi Sheng in China, and the printing press, a more efficient printing process for western languages with their more limited alphabets, developed by Johannes Gutenberg in the fifteenth century.
Modern printing is done typically with ink on paper using a printing press. Its also frequently done on metals, plastics, cloth and composite materials. On paper it is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing.