Design Desk: Hatch Show Print
On a recent trip to Nashville, TN I took the opportunity to visit Hatch Show Print, a must-see for any design, print, or music lover.
Amazingly, they’ve been open since 1879! According to my google sleuthing, this makes them the oldest print shop in the country. Hatch is best-known for designing and printing show posters for everyone from Elvis to Johnny Cash to the Beastie Boys, but throughout their history they’ve also printed billboards, ads, posters for sporting events, handbills, and much more.
I was fortunate to get a tour from Jim Sherraden, Hatch’s Master Printer & Curator, and Studio Manager Celene Aubry. They showed me around their brand-new space inside Downtown Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame. Their recent move, aside from giving them much needed additional square footage, also offers a unique opportunity for Hatch to interact with the public in a new way. They are located inside the large lobby of the museum, and their print shop has floor to ceiling windows along one side, allowing passersby to watch the presses in action.
They have rows and rows of antique wood type as well as thousands of hand-carved woodblocks—some over a century old—that continue to be used in their prints today.
135 years after being founded, Hatch is still a very busy shop, printing up to 600 different jobs annually for clients all over the world.
In addition to their large print shop, Hatch also has a gift shop, a gallery, and a classroom where visitors can learn about the letterpress process and print their own poster.
Long live print!
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