Prior to the invention of print, the making of books was carried on by three guilds, the scriveners', illuminators', and bookbinders' guilds. The scribes wrote the books with quill pens; the illuminators designed initials and decorations and embellished them in gold, silver and colors; and the bookbinders preserved the finished works in suitable bindings. When the printed books of Gutenberg, Fust, Schoeffer, and Caxton, and other early printers began to find their way into the channels of trade, after the middle of the fifteenth century, the need for scribes and illuminators became less and less until, finally, they were merged into a printer's guild.On apprenticeship in the days of the guilds:
In those days, if a boy desired to learn a trade, he was obliged to apply to one of the master craftsmen, to whom, if satisfactory arrangement could be made, he was indentured for a number of years. Apprentices seldom received wages for their services, but were frequently required to pay the master for the training and education received. The master, however, provided board, lodging, clothing, medical treatment and books. The term of apprenticeship in the printing trade was usually seven years.
When a boy had finished his apprenticeship or "served his time," he was required by the guild to demonstrate his ability to do a journeyman's work before he could claim pay as a workman....a journeyman aspiring to become a master craftsman or employer was required to produce a "masterpiece." This piece of work had to be set, proofread, and printed entirely by the applicant's own hands as proof of competency.ITU Lessons in Printing. Trade Unionism Unit VI (1958)