Humanity began to develop culture and civilization as we developed the ability to think, linguistic ability to express thoughts, and written language to record thoughts. Our interest in and need for expressing, conveying, and preserving more sophisticated and pluralistic ideas, away from a simple and basic level of communication, led to the creation of human civilization. In this context, the invention of printing carries great significance as it brought about a revolution of information in the history of human culture and civilization.
The printing revolution brought about by the invention of movable metal type is generally dated back to the 15th century, but with the discovery of Jikji in Korea, the period of the said revolution could actually be dated back to the 13th to 14th century or even earlier.
Though the invention of movable metal type printing led to the mass dissemination of information and mass communication, we need to first examine the invention and use of earlier types such as woodblock and earthen movable types, which preceded and directly influenced metal type. Among them, woodblock printing constitutes a significant historical event as it was the first attempt at printing as a method of mass reproduction. However, since this method used full-sized wood panels carved with characters, as opposed to replaceable pieces each carved with a character, it was effective for printing a single book in large quantities, but inadequate for printing a wide variety of texts.