One of the best parts about my job is exploring this city and getting paid for it, and this story is the perfect example of that. Hatch Show Print is a Nashville institution that’s been around for more than 100 years. I first found out about it through my grandfather, George, who is 90-years-old. He used to own a printing company in the Gulch and taught me all about the old printing days of Nashville. While the digital age has changed a lot of that, one place here hasn’t budged from their old-school ways: Hatch Show Print.A growing city also means a changing city, and in Nashville that’s never been more true.
Some businesses are forced to make changes in order to survive, but that’s not the case for one Nashville business that’s managed to stay true to its roots.
For 138 years, little has changed here at Hatch Show Print.
“This is some of the type that was carved here in the shop. It was carved before 1885,” said Celene Aubry, the manager.
The company was started in 1879 by the Hatch brothers.
“Anyone who needed an ad to grab your attention–come see the show, come to the tent revival, whatever it was–Hatch was the company to make your poster,” Aubry told News 2.
Everything they do is designed by hand.
“Your designer is your printer, and your printer is your designer. That’s very unique in the 21st century,” Aubry said.
The only real change here is the location. Originally on Broadway, now Hatch Show Print is in the same building as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum where they do things just like they always have.
“It’s letter press printing, one piece of paper at a time, one color at a time,” Aubry explained.
While the digital age forced many businesses to adapt, Hatch keeps it old school.
“We are experiencing it, and we continue to see a swing back, people paying attention to the details of things printed. It’s kind of like the resurgence in vinyl music,” she told News 2.
Hatch does more than 600 custom poster jobs a year with big name clients like the Ryman, major artists, music festivals, and concerts.
“All we have to do is maintain those standards and people will keep coming,” Aubry said.
The posters are all different and custom-made, but they do have one thing in common—that vintage, authentic feel that only Hatch Show Print can give them.
Posters back then were geared toward getting the word out about an event. Now, they’re more commemorative.
“They become more artistic like those original posters that were hand-illustrated and carved from that,” Aubry added.
By the way, Hatch Show Print offers daily tours where you can go and actually make your own custom print.