Johannes Gutenberg is usually cited as the inventor of the printing press. Indeed, the German goldsmith's 15th-century contribution to the technology was revolutionary — enabling the mass production of books and the rapid dissemination of knowledge throughout Europe.
The earliest printed paper in Europe was in 1454, printed on
movable type. We are not sure as to how and when Europeans learnt
printing. In 12th century designs were printed on textiles, but books
were written by hand. Therefore the spread of knowledge was slow
and costly. Gradually people developed the art of printing in Mainz in
Germany. Soon, there was a demand for printed books. Within years,
presses were introduced all over Europe. Books were produced quickly
and cheaply and in greater quantity. This was a revolution of the time.
Printing made the spread of literacy easier. This was welcomed by
the renaissance leaders as it greatly contributed to the movement.