Melaka: The Royal Press.

Went trigger-happy at The Royal Press when Tan so kindly allowed us to peek into this 75 year-old printing house. As the printing industry has mostly computerized, such traditional printing methods have become a form of art that is, sadly, quickly dissolving.

This was the letterpress template that had been constructed for The Design Society Journal.

Every individual Chinese character would have its own mould. Can you believe it? There are tens of thousands of such moulds in the factory!

Some of these machines have rusted and spoilt, and are in need of refurbishment. The ones that are still working is quite a sight to behold.

This was how people used to proofread before computers were invented. As you can see, the long list of changes below concerned only one short phrase. A very tedious and cumbersome method indeed. A reminder of how fortunate we are living in the digital age.

We bought several sets of calendars back as souvenirs. They are supposed to help non-Mandarin-speaking Peranakans check the dates of full moons. Printed using the letterpress technique, every character is uniquely stained — such is the beautiful imperfection of analog.


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