Sunday, 9 January 2011

When and how was the first ever book in Europe printed? and Novice to expert scale

When and how was the first ever book in europe printed?

The first book printed in Europe was the Bible, printed by Johannes Gutenberg, at Strasburg, in 1455 using movable type printing. This work is sometimes described as the Mazarine Bible, and occasionally as the “forty-two line” Bible.

Prior to 1450 all books were hand produced, copied out by scribes in monastic scriptoria which were written on parchment or vellum made from animal skins. An example of this can be seen in the image below.

From the thirteenth century Europeans had increasingly used the Chinese process of manufacturing paper from rags, which was a lot cheaper to use than animal skins (vellum or parchment) when mass producing books.

Gutenberg developed the Chinese method and sped up the process.
Prior to Gutenberg, each piece of metal type for printing presses had to be individually carved by hand. Gutenberg developed moulds that allowed for the mass production of individual pieces of metal type. Each character was a separate block, in mirror image, and these blocks were assembled into a frame to form text. Due to these moulds, an entire upper case and lower case alphabet set could be made much more quickly than if they were individually hand carved.

Johannes Guttenberg’s invention did not make him rich, but it laid the foundation for mass production of books.
Mass production of books meant that their cost soon fell which meant that books were made available to a lot more people therefore increasing their education.

Below is a picture of Johannes bible.

Novice to expert scale
The novice to expert scale can be used to identify the level at which you believe your work, as a student graphic designer falls under.

Having studied the scale and the criteria for each class I have come to the conclusion that as a graphic designer I fall under the competent level.

I believe I have demonstrated this competent level as a graphic designer during my most recent project called Welcome to Biad. After studying the brief I was able to apply my good quality knowledge to address the issue that I faced. As a competent designer I decided to create a handbook for new students, which I believed would be suitable and fit for purpose.
The brief that we were provided with did not specify the amount of detail that was required for the graphic communications. I used my own judgment and decided that if I was a new student I would want more than just a leaflet to help me settle into life at Birmingham City University and therefore was able to achieve my brief by creating a full handbook.
During this project I came across many complex issues such as deciding which typography to use throughout the book ensuring that it was suitable for the target audience. To solve this issue I prepared a number of possible fonts, which I then tested using a variety of colours and analysed each possibility identifying which font to use in order to achieve my goal.  

A novice designer is an individual who has minimal knowledge of graphic design and cannot use his limited knowledge in practice. All work produced by a novice will require full supervision in order to be satisfactory. When faced with a task a novice designer is very unlikely to tackle more complex tasks and obtain the correct perception of the task that they face.

A beginner designer is an individual who has knowledge of mainly key aspects of practice who can complete straightforward tasks to an acceptable standard but will need supervision when faced with complex issues as a beginner will only be able to provide a partial resolution independently.

A proficient designer is an individual who has in depth knowledge of all aspects of practice. All work produced is always of an acceptable standard taking responsibility not only for his own work but also the work of others. A proficient designer can deal with complex issues and makes this decisions in a confident manner.

An expert designer has in depth authoritative knowledge an understanding across all aspects of knowledge. All work is produced to an excellent standard going beyond the expected standards.  An expert designer will deal with complex issues using a thorough analytical approach and seek to find alternative approaches using his own vision.

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