Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Heart Hatch Show Print

The Hatch family has been involved in letterpress printing since the mid 1800's when William H. Hatch ran a print shop in Prescott, Wisconsin, but it wasn't until after William moved his family to Nashville, Tennessee, and his two sons, Charles and Herbert, opened their own shop that the company began to develop a style which would become an icon of American culture.  The Hatch brothers' first print job was a handbill announcing that the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher (brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe) was coming town. 
The company has always been known for its circus, vaudeville, and carnival posters,
but it is most famous for the stunning music posters advertising everyone 
from Johhny Cash to Cab Calloway . . .

from Patsy Cline to Coldplay . . .
and from Elvis to Elvis.

Sigh.  How do I express my love for Hatch Show posters?  They are Americana, good design, and nostalgia all rolled into one for me, and yet they retain a cutting-edge feel that I think one can only achieve with, perhaps ironically, a traditional technique like letterpress printing.  
You can find your own Hatch Show Print at The Country Music Hall of Fame.  You can also visit Hatch Show Print in downtown Nashville to see how they make their art or to buy a poster in person.  When we were in Nashville, I bought a poster of the Hatch Show cats.  While I'm on this track, I should say that Nashville is a great place to visit.  The Hall of Fame is packed with memorabilia: Nudie the Rodeo Tailor's classic country clothing, Elvis' gold car, photos and letters of all the great country stars, guitars, gold records, loads and loads of music samples, and great history.  Another must see is Ryman Auditorium, the true Grand Ol' Opry.  Plus, if you like cowboy boots as much as certain people in my house do (addiction is not too strong a word), this is the town in which to go boot shopping!  Who'da thought a New England girl like me would have such a crush on Hatch Show Print and Nashville, Tennessee?


  1. These designs are great! I've been to Nashville once before, I think. But I missed the Hatch store. I'll have to return there one day.

  2. Gigi,

    You never cease to amaze me! A cowboy boot wearing country girl at heart! LOVE IT!

    Here's to country songs and great letterpress posters...


  3. I just love posters from different era's. Those are really something, I agree with your words, they are Americana, good design, and nostalgia rolled into one!

  4. My Pop loves Patsy Cline!! I love Van Morrison! xx

  5. LOVED this post, Gigi...these vibrant posters have my toes tapping...wee-hoo! Happy Day ((HUGS))

  6. These are awesome! I once took an (expired) circus poster down off a telephone pole and kept it in my room as writing inspiration. I love the Johnny Cash and Elvii. Tell me more about the cats!

  7. Oh. You make me want to pack up and head south. I would have loved to have seen this with you. You have introduced me to a whole new passion. These posters are an incredible mix of history and art. I need one. Or two. Ok - maybe ten.

  8. Lucky me! As I write you are here under the very same roof. As usual, you have taught me some new computer tricks that are so useful.

  9. Visual delight! Love the dancing girls & Patsy Cline...My mom's fave song is 'crazy' by her!

  10. It hasn't been until fairly recently that I have become more aware of the beauty of graphic arts...these posters are a good example...I have never been to Nashville...someday when I have my own Airstream camper:)


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