Blog   >   Small Business Saturday: The Fingersmith Letterpress

Posted on August 2017



This time on Small Business Saturday, we shine light on Jackie from The Fingersmith Letterpress and find out more about her work as well as her passion for letterpress printing.

We have been showing you a bevy or worthy fashion businesses so far and we think that it's time to give more glory to other forms of craft in our scene. We hope you'll enjoy reading this as much as we did interviewing Jackie.


Hi, Jackie! Tell us more about yourself.

Hello there, I'm Jacqueline and I'm 28. I love to tinker with film cameras and bring them along on my travels. The Fingersmith Letterpress is a one-woman show so I do pretty much everything around here from illustration, design, printing, and accounts.

Photo Credits: Aaron Low

Can you share with us why you decided to start The Fingersmith Letterpress? 

I knew that the 9-5 life was not for me as I'm allergic to routine. I'm good with working around the clock but every day needs to be different. Starting my own little business was challenging and scary but I knew I get to do what I love every day and I'm thankful for that.

What’s is unique about your prints or work using letterpress printing?

Letterpress printing is printing with soul. It is slow print and requires patience to get the desired results. I really liked the hands-on aspect of it as well. With letterpress printing, colors are mixed by hand and each color would require an individual plate and be printed separately so we need to make sure that the registration is right for each print.

What’s the most interesting project you have done so far?

I think working on my travel postcard series has to be one of my favorite projects so far. I love how people are reminded of their own travel experiences and share them with me and how it also inspires some to explore more places. It also sounds very "adult" to say that I travel for work now.

Tell us about the letterpress machines you use and how you gave them a second life. Was it difficult to source for such presses and machines?

'Klaus' the main letterpress machine I use is a Heidelberg from Germany and dates back at least to the 1950s, maybe even earlier–the 1850s. Heidelbergs are the workhorses, the beasts of the letterpress world. I found him by chance through a family friend so I was really lucky. I have two other Adana table top presses 'Thelma and Louise' which were brought back from London. I use them mainly for demonstrations.

What would you say is your biggest challenge so far working on this business?

Working with old presses that come with their own quirks is fun but sometimes it can be nerve-wracking when it refuses to work the way it should. I often spend so much time tinkering and fixing it to find out what the problem is, but when it starts printing smoothly, it is the most satisfying feeling ever.

You created an illustrated book called 'Mee Siam Mai Hum: Some of the Darnedest Things Our Politicians Say’, what inspired you to start that?

It was actually a commissioned project by Epigram Books. Edmund, the founder came up with the idea and they needed an illustrator so I said yes! (just cause I said I was okay sharing a cell with him in jail)

Can you tell us more about this book and who do you think it would be great for?

The book is a compilation of the most memorable quotes uttered by Singapore's politicians; shockers and mind-bogglers that have created news headlines and stirred up the cybersphere. The book is great for everyone to "engage" in a little politics in a not so serious fashion and have a good laugh about it.

To support Jackie and her journey with The Fingersmith Letterpress, check out her socials and buy her work! She is releasing a new postcard very soon so stay tuned.



You can purchase Jackie's book 'Mee Siam Mai Hum: Some of the Darnedest Things Our Politicians Say’:  here.