The best kind of note

Updated: Mar 25

I have notebooks, stationery, and all kinds of paper in my room. And whenever I see them or touch them, they make me want to sit down and write.

Something. Anything.

For some reason, I’ve always wondered what it’s like to actually work with paper for a living. (I’d probably use them all up.)

Thankfully, there is someone who can tell me. 😊

“I enjoy working with paper and print,” says Michelle Yu, an artist and the co-founder of The Gentlemen’s Press and in Singapore.

Michelle is hands-on

Set up in 2011, The Gentlemen’s Press is a letterpress printing company that creates unique greeting, writing and business cards, stationery, invites, packaging, and other branded paper products.

Their printing services include designing, letterpress, foil stamping, die cut, and lamination. They also accept collaborations and special projects. You’ll find their work on (Michelle sells her art prints at

“Each paper has a different tactility, and the right method of printing will bring out the beauty in it,” Michelle continues.

“When I match the right paper to its right print or finishing, seeing the end product is very satisfying for me.

“It’s almost like matchmaking.”

The print makes a difference

Paper is paper. Choosing one is undeniably fun. 😊

(By the way, Michelle’s favourite type of paper is “fibrous and slightly textured, about 350gsm and natural in colour”. Why? “The thickness is just right for any finishing and print, and there's enough volume to hold a good letterpress imprint,” she points out.)

But paper transforms into something else, something personal, when there are images, words and designs on it.

Combine all these and you get a piece that’s precious.


So why is an image on paper, what we put on paper, and paper itself so powerful?

Why do we feel something for handcrafted, beautifully made paper and paper products?

“In this modern digital world, we believe that revisiting paper products in many ways drives people to ‘stop and smell the roses’, and put more thought into the message that they wish this media is able to transpire,” Michelle explains.

“The imperfection and uniqueness of every single handcrafted paper or age-old printing technique bring a warm and personable human touch to an otherwise inanimate object.”

Now that you’ve chosen the paper…

… it’s time to translate your thoughts and feelings onto that paper. There are a few things Michelle encourages us to think about.

#1 Context

“…to have a good understanding of the message and thought which you would like to bring across to your receiving audience.”


#2 Media

“Select and filter through a myriad of media selections, from paper type and paper weight to colour and printing techniques, that you think would best bring out the context you wish to put across.”

#3 Personalise

“Whenever possible, always incorporate a handwritten message.”

#4 Keep it simple

“It is easy to get overwhelmed when you go down the rabbit hole of media selection. Trying to incorporate everything nice into a project can sometimes have a counterproductive effect.”

#5 Enjoy

“A reminder as to why you have chosen to take on this project and enjoy the process.”

Don’t keep it to yourself

Personalised papers, cards, invites and bespoke packaging do make amazing projects and gifts. (Raises hand.)

They're also your way of saying thanks

“We recommend (giving them) to people, as we believe the innate quality of a handmade product impresses upon your recipient the attention, care and thought that you have put into it,” Michelle states.

“It amplifies the message that you wish to convey to your loved ones, and they will feel that extra warmth.”

And we all need that now more than ever. 😊

Got a type of paper and customisation in mind? Want to tell someone you care? ❤️ Visit The Gentlemen’s Press and; and for more ideas, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

It's one-of-a-kind