Before the printing press, people were limited to only obtaining books by copying them down while a professor read the book very slowly, and it would be a rather slow process, wasting precious time and effect copying out books.
Therefore, the printing press made the process of copying work available to the masses, and books a lot cheaper. The Renaissance was a time period during the invention of scholasticism, where Greek and Roman classical ideals in philosophy and art were important. Humanism was at an all-time high, and the ability to read and study the classics spread these ideas.
Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1445,and therefore he forever changed the lives of people in Europe and, eventually, all over the world. The Printing press became the one of the most important inventions of the Renaissance and could be considered essentially one of the main causes in the Renaissance. Gutenberg's press could produce books quickly and with relatively little effort, bookmaking became much less expensive, thus allowing more people to buy reading material.
The idea of mass media, the printing press allowed for people to spread information more easily and much cheaper. This provided the Renaissance to be considered a period of not only crucial inventions but also a period of economical success.
The printing press facilitated the spread of ideas across Europe that had not been possible before. The printing press caused an explosion of reading material to be made available, which essentially gave more Europeans access to knowledge that had not been available before. The effects of the printing press are especially apparent when one examines the life of Martin Luther. Luther's religious career could only have been as successful as it was due to the effect of the printing press. Luther's ideas could be spread throughout Europe, an important impact which could only be attributed to the printing press.
The printing press also inspired the protestant reformation with many humanists using the printing press to cut off the spread of propaganda from the Catholic church.