This development of photoresist technology progressed to the first use of 'carbon tissue', also known as 'pigment paper', which is basically a thin layer of gelatine with a paper backing. In 1880, the first laboratory rotogravure press was tested in England by Karel Klíč (Karl Klietsch in the German spelling) from Bohemia, and the first rotogravure presses were used at the Rembrandt Intaglio Printing Company, from where the process quickly expanded throughout the world.

Carbon tissue continued to be the main method of producing gravure cylinders, using ferric chloride to etch away the cells, and the process required considerable skill. Those involved in the gravure process were committed to producing a work of art.

Electromechanical engraving started in the late 1960's with the Dr. Rudolph Hell's HelioKlischograph, which at the time scanned a monochrome film separation mounted on a drum that rotated with the cylinder to be engraved. But as soon as gravure moved to electronic engraving, the process no longer needed film: all it required was digital signals to drive the engraving heads. Therefore it was natural that gravure became the first printing process to produce the printing forme directly from digital data (computer-to-cylinder). In 1981 the industry started engraving directly from digital data, and this has now become the normal way of production.