Papypress – Letterpress Studio in Singapore

We all know that humans are imperfect, and it is in fact, our little quirks and rough edges that make us who we are. Life is so. Relationships are so. And that’s why we were so delighted to talk to the people over at Papypress Studio – a little letterpress studio right here in Singapore.

In the digital age where we’ve come to expect speed and convenience with practically everything, Papypress Studio (consisting of Ian, Corby, Renee and Jingyin) continue to create beauty (albeit, painstakingly) with their art. For the uninitiated, letterpress printing is a process whereby movable type is locked onto a print bed, inked, and paper is pressed onto it. Of course, given its “analog” nature, no two products are identical — some may think that this is inefficient; but for us at Wedding & Travel, we think that’s extremely charming!

The beginnings of Papypress Studio are sentimental — founder Ian had always wanted to fulfill his late grandfather’s dream of keeping the family printing business running. This materialised with Ian’s encounter with a vintage letterpress machine — the same machine which his grandfather built the family business on some 60 years ago. We spoke to co-founder Corby on creating the most memorable and one of a kind wedding stationery for couples, the charm of the letterpress, and a typical day at the studio.

WT: We know letterpress printing is a tedious and time-consuming process. Tell us, what is so charming about the letterpress that makes it all worth it.

C: I guess it’s the very simple fact that letterpress is imperfect that intrigues us. Every piece has its own character and you never know just how different they may end up looking. This is very different from the commercial digital printing that we are so used to today where every piece is one and the same. The impression caused by the print process created by the process also lends the illustration and words with so much more life. At the end of the day, we are all just regular Joes with a passion for good design and “almost perfect” letterpress prints. As much as it’s like reaching for the sky, we challenge ourselves in every project to seek perfection in our prints.

WT: You must have worked with many couples to design their wedding stationery. Could you share your favourite pieces with our readers?

C: There are so many that it’s hard to pick! Every design stems from a story that the couple wishes to tell and is thus very personal. We jump at every opportunity to illustrate their life story and through that, create an invitation that is intimate and personal.

The above design is one of my personal favourites. The story is that the bride’s sister bought the couple a set of very cute Humpty Dumpty dolls for Christmas, and the couple used them to take photos at different locations around Singapore in the hope of using those photos to create a sketch for their invitation card. We started talking about the possibilities and eventually decided to create an illustration with the dolls on a golf course as that was how the couple met, and was also where they spent lots of time together.

My other favourite is this one where we featured Singapore’s skyline in the design. We illustrated the skyline of Hollywood for the Save the Date card as the couple had met while studying in Los Angeles. They had moved back to Singapore just before their wedding and many of their guests would be flying in from the US for the wedding. So, we thought it would be apt to illustrate the Singapore’s skyline on the actual invitation card.

WT: What does a typical work day look like for the people at Papypress?

C: Well, a typical day involves us meeting with our clients, designing stationery, replying emails, printing and whatever handwork we had to do to complete the look of the card (e.g. tying of ribbons, duplexing of different cards to create a unique paper stock for our clients). Basically lots of multi-tasking as you will normally see us undertaking more than one activity at any point in time and running back and forth our very humble studio to get things done and meeting deadlines!

You might be interested to know that it takes on average about 1.5 to 2 months for Papypress to conceptualise and produce one set of bespoke wedding stationery. You can also check them out at their website and Facebook!