Gutenberg's press was later replaced by a steam-powered machine, followed by the rotary printing press that allowed the printing of millions of copies of a page per day.
As a means of creating reproductions for mass consumption, the printing press has recently been superseded by the advent of offset printing.
The overall invention of Gutenberg's printing method depended for some of its elements on a combination of technologies from East Asia, including paper, woodblock printing, and possibly Bi Sheng's movable type printing technology.
Latin was replaced by the vernacular language of each area, increasing the variety of published works.
Paradoxically, the printing word also helped unify and standardize the spelling and syntax of these vernaculars, thereby "decreasing" their variability.
This was likely due to the enormous amount of labor involved in manipulating the thousands of porcelain tablets, or in the case of Korea, metal tablets, required for Chinese characters.
Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of books, on subjects ranging from Confucian Classics to science and mathematics, were printed using the older technology of woodblock printing, creating the world's first print culture.
Furthermore, with the rise of book production as a commercial enterprise, the first copyright laws were passed to protect what we now call intellectual property rights.