Founded in the fall of 2011 by fresh graduates Michelle Yu and Ng Yin Shian, The Gentlemen’s Press makes some beautiful letterpressed goodies with little more than a bit of ink and a couple of old-fashioned pieces of printing machinery.
Being trained in both illustration and design in the new digital age, the girls felt something amiss. “While on a trip to New York, we stumbled into a vintage printing studio, and found that missing satisfaction of craftsmanship in today’s art industry, and so that’s when the idea of The Gentlemen’s Press was hatched,” Michelle explains.
Being in their early 20’s, naivety pushed them further into implementation and they bought their first iron maiden – a 150 year old Chandler and Price press machine. Two months later a Vandercook and an Adana joined the team. “We shipped them back from the States, hoping someday people will slow down their pace in this swift digital age to appreciate the finer qualities in design, art and life.”
Quickly after the establishment of The Gentlemen’s Press, commissions started to come in, from business card printing, to invites and posters.
“We took on whatever job to keep the Press running, but we soon realized what we were doing was not what we set out for. Thus a prompt decision was made: Workshops for all,” Michelle continues. “Educating local schools and conducting workshops for the public has been extremely fulfilling and rewarding. We take pride in providing the platform for learning and we constantly thrive to bring in more vintage types for our students to experiment.”
Aside from the normal flow of print jobs and workshops, the girls also take part in local events and exhibitions to showcase their work. “We never cease to experiment with new mediums of printing, and we never will. We have already explored into other areas such as woodcut, linoleum, silkscreen, and there will be definitely more to come. It was a tough journey, and it still is. What started out as two, is now a proud team of four. And we will press on.”