Discovering Nashville at Hatch Show Print

Showing the history of posters at Hatch Show Print Nashville (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Showing the history of posters and design at Hatch Show Print Nashville (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Part of the cultural fabric of Nashville, Tennessee since 1879, the designer-printer folks at Hatch Show Print still do letterpress printing and typesetting the old-fashioned way: with inky fingers.

For decades, iconic Hatch posters were….

“….the primary advertising medium for Southern entertainment, ranging from vaudeville and minstrel shows to magicians and opera singers, from Negro League baseball games to B-movies, from members of the Grand Ole Opry like Bill Monroe, Minnie Pearl and Earnest Tubb, to rock & roll impresarios such as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry.”  (courtesy Hatch Show Print brochure)

Now under the wing of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville, Hatch Show Print facilities include a gallery, a VERY tempting gift shop and a short behind-the-scenes tour that includes an opportunity to press a little ink yourself to make a small souvenir.

The print shop is, thankfully, still in business, designing and creating modern-day works that fit right in with their vast archive of colorful Americana from decades past.

Photo plate at Hatch Show Print Nashville (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Photo plate at Hatch Show Print Nashville (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Photographic image plates were quite the innovation in their time. It’s surprising how realistic they look once applied to a poster.

Naturally the shop thrived on business from country music performers; for almost 70 years they were located practically across the street from the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry (the Ryman is still in use today.)

Moveable Type poster at Hatch Show Print Nashville (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Moveable Type poster at Hatch Show Print Nashville (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

I love the bold use of color and font sizes here. The wooden letters leave a distinct texture when printed with ink.

Reverse Howdy at Hatch Show Print Nashville (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Reverse Howdy at Hatch Show Print Nashville (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Learn to see in reverse when you’re a typesetter!

The Hatch Show Print tour leaves the atrium near the Hatch Gallery at 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Adults 13+ are US$15.00 but there’s a small AAA discount, and sometimes discounts for Tennessee residents. I highly recommend it!

If you like this post, please consider subscribing to the blog via RSS feed or by email – the email signup text link is at the top of the right sidebar above our Facebook Page link. Thanks!

2 Comments

  1. Kerry Dexter November 22, 2014
  2. Sheila Scarborough November 26, 2014

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.