A Singapore Bicentennial Special: Letterpress Printing in Singapore

Letterpress Printing Workshop: Print Your Own Tote Bag!

Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2019
Time: 2.30pm – 5,30pm
Venue: Fabrication Studio (Studio 4)

Join us for a letterpress printing workshop with Sun Yao Yu, founder of Typesettingsg! This workshop will give you with an introduction to letterpress printing. Learn the basics of typography, the anatomy of a type and how to use tools in a composing room. You will also be introduced to the printing press and will be guided to operate the press. Print your very own customised tote bag using available wood types and display metal types via the letterpress printing method!

This workshop is held in conjunction with the ongoing exhibition at the Library’s exhibition space, “A History in Objects: Letterpress Printing in Singapore”.

Limited to 15 participants.

Note: Please wear covered shoes.


Guest Talk: 196 Years of Letterpress Printing in Singapore

Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2019
Time: 12.00pm – 1.00pm (lunch will be served from 11.30am)
Venue: Saga LT1

Join letterpress educator Sun Yao Yu of Typesettingsg as he shares about the history of letterpress printing, one of the oldest craft industries in Singapore since 1823. Letterpress printing, a type of relief printing, was once the main commercial printing method for books and newspapers from the mid-15th century to the late-20th century. Learn how this form of traditional printing method spread to Singapore, how the letterpress printing activities in Singapore contributed to Asia’s printing history, the different phases of letterpress printing and discover some of the major events in Singapore’s letterpress printing history from then until today – all 196 years of it.

Sun Yao Yu is a traditional letterpress educator and a founding member of the International Association of Printing Museums. What started off as a personal passion project is now an educational organisation, aimed at preserving and promoting traditional letterpress printing in Singapore, with a focus on the use of movable type. In addition to conducting letterpress workshops, talks and exhibitions for the general public, he also creates modern designs with his collection of traditional movable types in his studio.


Exhibition: A History in Objects: Letterpress Printing in Singapore


Typesettingsg presents its collection of letterpress printing heritage of yesterday Singapore in a letterpress showcase in collaboration with Yale-NUS Library. Objects included in this exhibition range from printing equipment and printed materials to design pieces printed with movable types and printing blocks from early Singapore’s printing history. Visit the exhibition and explore unique and rare items collected from all over Singapore and parts of Malaysia. This exhibition also gives a peek into what the traditional printing scene would have been like in South East Asia during the 1950s to 1970s.


Typesettingsg is a traditional letterpress studio set up in early 2014 as an educational platform to educate and promote traditional letterpress printing, focusing mainly on the use of movable types for all printing. The studio conducts various types of educational workshops, talks and exhibitions. The studio also embarks on self-initiated projects to preserve and document the past printing heritage in Singapore and participates in printing culture exchange programs with other countries.


This exhibition runs from 30 September to 8 November 2019.