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Beyond Old-School: Antique Methods to Depict Modern Hong Kong

 

When was the last time you sat down and wrote a postcard? It’s been awhile for us here at Localiiz but that is sure to change now that the local design and print team at Ditto Ditto created a delightful series of six letterpress postcards of the fragrant harbour titled ‘Sunrise, Sunset’. Localiiz speaks to the Ditto Ditto team about the process of creating their lovely bespoke pieces.

Featuring lovely dual tone palette sketches of familiar scenes such as The Peak, Sheung Wan, Ngong Ping, the Airport, Stanley, Aberdeen, and Victoria Harbour, Ditto Ditto’s creative cards would make anyone homesick for Hong Kong happy to be receive a lovely keepsake. The beauty and the brains behind these adorable illustrations is in-house artist P.S. Chan. Having a love for creating personalised cards for her friends in her teen years, Chan decided to make it a career, and after completing her studies in the U.S. has been illustrating cute and simple designs.

What sets Ditto Ditto apart from the postcard pack is the letterpress method used to produce them, featuring an antique piece of machinery called a Heidelberg Platen. No longer in production, this machine produces unique results but must be maintained closely by its operators since it would be very difficult for them to find spare parts were it to break down.

“We love the impressions that letterpress printing produces on cotton paper,” Chan explains. “With the use of antique machinery, the outcome of our product is classically old and yet, refreshingly elegant and new.” Given this reasoning it seems fitting that Ditto Ditto is based here in Hong Kong, a perfect combination of old and new.

However, with antique machinery comes a host of variables according to Chan. “It takes time and patience to master the machine. Since there could be so many variables that affect the process such as the machine, paint, paper, design, and weather that could spoil the final product, it could take years to accumulate the experience.” As the proud owner of one of the few Heidelberg’s left in Hong Kong, it’s clear that their products are truly one of a kind.

On average, Chan says it can take two days to create one postcard from scratch. “Letterpress printing is very labour intensive and the printer has to pay a lot of attention to the detail while printing.” Thus, they try to stick to two colours when printing their cards, giving them a minimalistic and ultimately clean feel.

You can purchase Ditto Ditto’s letterpress cards on their online store, or click here to find a store nearby that stocks their products!

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