April Fool’s Day is a day where people play pranks and practical jokes on each other. It’s a day of light-hearted fun and laughter, but did you know that the origins of April Fool’s Day can be traced back to printing?
In the early days of printing, before the advent of modern technology, printing was a labour-intensive process. Printers usually had apprentices who were learning the trade, and they were known for playing tricks on each other.
One of the most popular tricks was to send a new apprentice on a “fool’s errand”. This would typically involve sending the apprentice to the printer’s supplier to buy some non-existent item, such as “printer’s grease” or “a bucket of striped ink”. The apprentice would return empty-handed, and the other printers would laugh and tease him.
As printing technology advanced, so did the pranks. In the 19th century, printers began to create fake advertisements and news stories to trick their readers. These stories would be filled with outlandish claims and ridiculous scenarios, such as a man flying to the moon on a bicycle or a new species of flying pig.
One of the most famous examples of this type of prank was the “Great Moon Hoax” of 1835. The New York Sun newspaper published a series of articles claiming that a famous astronomer had discovered life on the moon, including bat-like creatures and a civilisation of winged humans. The story was completely fabricated, but it captured the public’s imagination and became a sensation.
Today, printing is still a popular medium for April Fool’s Day pranks. Many newspapers and magazines publish fake stories or advertisements, and companies create fake product announcements or redesigns. One of the most famous recent examples is Google’s 2014 prank, where they announced the release of a new product called “Google Nose”, which would allow users to search for scents on the internet.
Printing has come a long way since, and at Zunoma we have invested in the latest technology to improve processes and pride ourselves on customer care and applying our skill and attention to detail to every piece of work we produce.
We do like a joke though!