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Disruptive technology + innovation

Gutenberg Bible

Johann Gutenberg (ca. 1400 – 1468) introduced movable type to Western Europe and revolutionized printing, books and communications. In 1455 in Mainz, Germany he published 180 copies of the Biblia Sacra, St. Jerome’s 4th century Latin Bible. Out of this printing revolution emerged the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Scientific Revolutions. In the 50 years that followed its publication, hundreds of presses emerged across Europe, printing millions of books.

  • The Gutenberg Bible was printed using black ink. The colour illuminations were added by hand after each page had been printed.  
  • To produce 180 copies of the 1,282 page bible 230,760 passes of the press were required; about two years work.
  • The average scribe produced one Bible every three years.
  • Gutenberg’s typeface mimicked the formal book hand used by scribes of the period.

Of the 180 copies printed, about 50 are known to survive and 21 are complete. This copy of the Gutenberg Bible, printed on velum, was purchased by the Library of Congress in 1930.




Testimonial Advertising

 1850 Testimonial ad

This is a testimonial ad by Lewis Miller, a carpenter in Pennsylvania around 1850. At the time homes were built using a technique called post+beam construction which demanded the work of skilled craftsmen. In this ad Lewis Miller four core testimonial advertising elements:

  • an illustration of himself
  • an illustration of some of his home building tools
  • a bit about himself; 30 years of experience at the same business address, and . . . 
  • a list of over one hundred satisfied clients.

Now jump forward 169 years + here we are in 2019.

Today we still use the same four core elements to build compelling testimonial ads, newspaper + magazine advertorials, business case studies as well as B2B and B2Cwebsites for one important reason:

While times have changed, people’s fundamental natures, their hierarchy of needs and their reasons for buying have not.