Hatch Show Print – Documenting History in Advertising Art

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Not all things are digital these days. Just ask Hatch Show Print, the historic Nashville letterpress shop that has been inspiring concert goers, consumers and fellow graphic designers for three generations. More than just your run of the mill print shop, they have impacted an entire segment of advertising design with their unique, vintage aesthetic that hasn’t changed in more than a century. Why mess with perfection?

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What is Letterpress

Letterpress, which began the 1400’s, is a printing process using metal letters and hand carved blocks which are inked and pressed against paper. It was the first process of printing that allowed mass communications. While largely abandoned and replaced in the mid-20th century with offset printing, and even more recently with digital printing, some print shops, like Hatch Show Print, have continued the process. More modern printing tools may have made mass-production more efficient and cost effective, but they do not reflect the same color and texture of old school letterpress printing.

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Who is Hatch Show Print

A family business, Hatch Show Print, naturally, is the brain child of the Hatch family. William H. Hatch ran a print shop in Wisconsin and his sons Charles and Herbert, both born in the 1850’s, grew up with the art of letterpress. The family moved to Nashville, TN in 1875 and a few years later, CR and HH Hatch print shop was born. Their very first print job was a handbill announcing the appearance of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. Beecher was an American Congregationalist clergyman, social activist and speaker, known for his outspoken belief in the abolition of slavery. From that first handbill, the color, simplicity, and style of Hatch letterpress was an instant success and the shop quickly became the go to for area entertainment and business advertising, documenting the history and culture of the South along the way. Hatch has created posters for some of the most iconic musicians and artists of all time, including Elvis, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, & Dolly Parton. The business flourished throughout the twentieth century, and despite several eventual ownership changes, still operates in Nashville today.

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Hatch Show Print for Antique Archaeology

Thanks to our own partnership with historic Hatch Show Print, Antique Archaeology brings you a chance to own a little piece of this advertising history. Created with the exact same letterpress printing process of the 1800’s shop, each poster will have its own unique imperfections that make it a truly one of a kind piece of advertising art.

Order you own Hatch Show Print Posters at Antique Archaeology HERE.

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Read more about historic Hatch Show Print and plan a trip to their studio if you’re visiting Nashville. Their website is here. 

Order you own Hatch Show Print Posters at Antique Archaeology HERE.

3 Comments

3 thoughts on “Hatch Show Print: Advertising as Art”

  1. Rick Bowman

    That Elvis poster you have, I am interested in any type of Elvis Poster or Collectable. Please let me know if you have anything. Thanks Rick…Love your show.

  2. Ann Ziegler

    Do you still have the Ziegler beer sign that I believe was bought in Illinois? I would very much be interested in buying it for my husband for Christmas. Was watching a rerun of American Pickers this evening and saw that you had bought one on one of your picks. I obviously want it because our last name is Ziegler. My husband would be thrilled with it.

    Please reply,
    Ann Ziegler
    Rockford, Il.

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