11 October 2012
Today I was in Nashville to visit the folks at Hatch Show Print. Founded in 1879, Hatch survives today by using its archival collection of wood type and cuts to make show posters for a broad range of clients, many in the music industry. Its iconic neon sign welcomes visitors on Broadway.
I had actually come to Hatch for a sit-down with the shop’s guiding light, Jim Sherraden, but he was having the kind of day I too often have in my own shop – juggling the needs of too many people and job deadlines. So I left him to his own devices, and he left me in the capable hands of his wonderful, youthful staff – which was perfectly cool by me.
Some historic Hatch posters.
A giant shelf lines one of the shop’s walls, housing oversized wood type and hand-carved blocks.
An intern lays out a form for a poster job at the composition table.
Much of the printing is carried out on Vandercooks, like this one with a power carriage.
“Put that camera down and put some type up,” I was told by the Hatch crew. So I spent part of my day putting type from completed jobs back in the cases. Too bad they didn’t ask me to design a poster! Maybe next visit.
Printmaker and Hatch staffer Laura Baisden (in the stripes) patiently explained the organization of their type cases to me and chatted away while she also supervised the work of several interns. In this photo they are pulling a quick a dirty proof of a poster layout by inking the type and using a spoon to hand rub tracing paper over the form.
The pleasant ginger intern with the ornery ginger shop cat.
Hatch staffer Carl Carbonell (in the hat) and a Canadian intern chowing down on some excellent cajun takeout.
After leaving Hatch I drove into Kentucky, on my way to Larkspur Press.
ANDREW STEEVES ¶ PRINTER & PUBLISHER