So many incredible posters have come out of the presses of Hatch Show Print in Nashville, Tennessee. Their vintage look and graphic style are highly recognizable, admired, and often imitated digitally, but as I learned from a tour with shop manager Jim Sherraden, will never gain the same value as a print made from the ink to paper letterpress technique. Plus, the hand carved blocks and hand assembled block layout make these posters collectible works of art and the Hatch Show printers truly talented artists.When I was approached to work on the marketing and graphics of the AIA TN chapter's architecture convention in Nashville, I could not pass up the opportunity to pitch Hatch as part of the promotional strategy. Integral to the history of the city, Hatch was an establishment we wanted to support and a great way to create an event souvenir. Secretly, I was giddy to possibly work with the legendary Hatch crew, who for a long time I had only admired from afar.
Before the production of our poster began, I took a special trip to visit the shop to learn more about the design and print process from shop manager Jim Sherraden. And before I go further into the day's tour, I should congratulate Jim for receiving two awards recently - the 2013 Distinguished Artist Award for the state of Tennessee and the 2013 Silver Medalist Award from the American Advertising Federation Nashville. I hadn't known this when I met him nor his other title as chief designer of Hatch. It cemented what he pressed in my mind that day. They are not just production printers but also craftsmen, artists, and designers with many years of proven talent. He points to the many posters covering the walls and pulls out several posters for me to take home. As I ask about how to best collaborate with them on the convention poster design, he simply says, "Trust us."
Atticus accompanied me on the tour with his iPad probably thinking he'll zone out with a game to pass the time. Jim greeted him just like a distinguished guest, and as he pointed out the strengthened attraction to analog in the digital age (why letterpress is flourishing even in modern times), I understood he was trying to engage Atticus in the environment around him. Giving him wooden letter blocks, Jim challenged him to spell out his name. iPad immediately went down. Atticus soon became aware of the place he was in and the people there. He was engaged in the conversation, asking questions directly to Jim instead of whispering to me first. The only time he picked up his iPad again was to take a photo of Jim and the ladies working at the shop, which he tweeted later. All on his own impulse. We were also intrigued with the Polaroid Land camera they keep in the shop. They actually put it to use, getting a couple of shots of the Atticus blocks, and sent us home with the photo souvenir, another reminder of their love of analog. It was a mutual love. I couldn't wait to see and finally hold an original Hatch poster I helped direct.
And finally, with much child-like excitement, I'm happy to show for the first time the collectible 2013 AIA TN convention poster by Hatch Show Print. I'm still giddy. //////
These limited edition posters will be available at the convention. Hope to see you there. Click here to register for the convention. Early bird savings have been extended to July 19.
Special thanks to Hatch ~ Jim for an extraordinary tour, Jennifer for handling all my initial calls, and Carl, our Hatch poster creator, for executing our vision.
All photos except last by Sophorn. Graphics by Sophorn.