Hubert Burda Media

How Brother changed the printing industry in four decades


The earliest printed book, or at least the oldest one in existence, is the Diamond Sutra, a manual on Buddhism, a copy of which dates back to 11 May 868. In those days, printing a book, or anything for that matter, was a slow, cumbersome process using manually carved wood blocks.

It was only about 600 years later, in 1436, that printing experienced a seismic change with the creation of the Gutenberg printing press. This invention facilitated the wide circulation of information and ideas, and was responsible for numerous developments, including the onset of the scientific revolution along with the dramatic rise in literacy globally.

From Sewing to Printing

The history of printing is important for Brother because it demonstrates the speed and scale of Brother’s foray into the printing business. It took the Japanese company only 69 years to make the leap from fixing humble sewing machines to engineering the world’s first high-speed dot-matrix printer, which is the basis of today’s printing technology.

The control panel for the Brother printer MFCL3750CDW
The control panel for the Brother printer MFCL3750CDW

The next huge development arrived in 1995 when Brother unveiled the first multi-function centre (MFC) device that combined printing, faxing and copying functions into the same machine.

Brother’s MFC device significantly streamlined the modern office, freeing up valuable real estate and providing a centralised document management system. 

It might seem like there are no more technological leaps to be made in the printing domain but Brother still has a couple of tricks up its sleeves. Late last year, it launched a new series of printers and MFCs that combined its philosophy of productivity and cost-saving technology.

One - model number MFCL3770CDW - of the five new printers in the range
One – model number MFCL3770CDW – of the five new printers in the range

Brother’s New Products

This time, Brother focused on connectivity. Its five new devices (a few are pictured in this article) lets you print directly from your mobile devices. And if your office network is down, you can print or scan directly from your NFC-enabled smartphone with just a tap. You can even print from your USB device with its new USB Direct Print technology.

That’s not to say that the company has forgotten its roots. The new printers and MFCs have increased print speeds and even better print quality while reducing the cost of ownership – its toners now yield even more printed pages before giving up the ghost.

After all, there’s a reason why Brother has won customers’ choice awards for nine years in a row.

Awesome Digital

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