From humble beginnings with its first 6 x 9 “dodger,” the poster business of Reverend William T. Hatch in Nashville has evolved into an iconic design style still in use today.
“Hatch’s posters haven’t just announced the concerts of some of the most famous music acts in history—Johnny Cash and Led Zeppelin, and more recently, Pearl Jam and Mumford and Sons—the shop’s work has influenced the face of advertising itself,” writes Robert Klara in Adweek.
The good Reverend opened his shop in 1979, and it’s still in business today operating as the Hatch Show Print shop right outside the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame.
“Hatch’s signature style has been so widely imitated that it’s probably familiar to millions who’ve never even heard the place’s name,” Klara notes. Their mission – to get people’s attention – evolved into a style of poster art that embodies the best of form and function in design.
“Born in an age before electronic media, when handbills and fliers were the only means of advertising to rural America, Hatch created a look that remains distinctively southern,” explains Klara. “But it doesn’t create posters in a ‘retro’ style—it simply never saw fit to change a style that worked.”
They haven’t changed their process much over the years, either.
“This is a classic letterpress shop. Employees carve blocks of wood or linoleum by hand, ink them, and then press them onto paper,” Karla continues.
There’s something so right about Hatch’s work; brands continue to flock to them seeking this iconic handcrafted look. Next time you’re in Nashville, stop by and take a walk through some living design history.