Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Famous People.

Today one of the Flaming Lips came into the shop. Pretty exciting stuff. Back in my pre-intern days I wondered what it would be like if someone came into the shop to pick up their posters, place an order, or just visit, and it turned out to be a celebrity. Would people make a big deal out of it? I don't know who I imagined coming in really, but someone should right? I mean we are a famous print shop, we make posters for famous people, and we are right next to one of the most famous venues in the history of music.

At Hatch we have 3 presses. The "mid-press" is also the celebrity press. It has autographs of all the famous people who have made their way through the shop. It's kind of cool, but I can't really read or recognize a lot of the names on it. Right above that is an autographed Weezer poster that was designed by Hatch Show Print.

There is a superstition at the shop where if you play a certain musicians music all day while they are supposed to be in town to play a show, then they will stop by. For example: Tegan and Sara played here a few weeks ago, right around the corner from Hatch at the Ryman Auditorium. So all day we listened to nothing but Tegan and Sara. They didn't come in, but if the myth was true, then they would have. The reason has something to do with how embarrassing it is to be caught jamming out to a band when the real band is in front of you. The awkwardness, and unlikeliness of the situation, makes it more likely to happen. We tried the same thing for Vampire Weekend a week later, but we only had one of their albums at the shop. We listened to it once, and no one showed up.

That isn't to say that we never get the famous visitors. In the two months that I have been there, we have seen our fair share of famous-type people. Designer Stanly Hainsworth came by before giving a lecture at nearby University, the director of the documentary "Helvetica" Gary Hustwit stopped by, the Bassist (I think) for the Flaming Lips, some people from American Routes, and I think maybe some soap opera people have stopped by.

As fun as it is to see people like that stop by and have access to those bragging rights, Jim's philosophy is sort of different when it comes to celebrity. In essence, it is about all the posters on the walls that are for people who have had their time come and go, or the people who never got their time. For every one poster of Johnny Cash, there are 20 posters of people nobody knows. This is supposed to keep you humble and grounded. A common saying around Hatch is that "It's just a poster."

That is great advice, but in the two months I have been here, very little of the magic has worn off. I still feel like I have become a part of the history you see in books, read about in magazines, and listen to on the radio. I have made posters for annual events, indie bands, and even 40th birthday parties, but I have contributed to something larger than myself, and more personal and less corporate than the retail world. So while I agree that I am just and intern, and it is just a poster, I am going to enjoy my few remaining days soaking in the specialness of this opportunity that I have been given.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tonight! Live! On Stage!

I recently designed a poster for a client called Music City Roots. It is a weekly live radio show/concert from the Loveless Cafe in Nashville TN (which is a pretty famous spot). The show features lots of musicians, and is broadcast on WSM-AM 650 every Wednesday.

The poster I created was to be used for the opening of their spring season. It's a pretty cool thing to be a part of. Today I went to the Loveless Cafe for breakfast and they had one of my posters hanging behind the counter. Also they sell the Music City Roots posters that Hatch Show Print has designed. It is interesting to see something that I have designed and printed being for sale right next to the preserves, biscuit mixes, t-shirts, and key rings.

Something else cool about my poster is that it was right up on stage with all the musicians. If you click the link HERE you will see a gallery of that first spring season show. My print is orange and green and is right on the wall with the other Hatch Show Print designed posters. On stage in front of a live studio audience.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Want.

When designing this print(which I believe was my third) I wanted to do something that was visually stunning. This was my chance to do the "Ryman Style" poster. So I decided to incorporate one of the traditional Hatch images that I love, and wanted to do something that also embodied the spirituality, mysticism, and sexuality of the "Hendrix Experience".

I decided to base the poster around the image of the Gravy Girl with a lightning bolt over top of her. It didn't work out that way. The lightning bolt just didn't fit right. SO I changed it. Instead I used the icons of love, religion, superstition, etc. Keep the girl, but lose the bolt.Here is the image all ready to be proofed.
This is the proof. I sent it to them and they said that they already had a poster with the gravy girl on it, so they wanted a guitar instead. I was trying to be careful to stay away from images like the guitar, because it seemed like the obvious choice for a Jimi Hendrix poster to have a guitar, but the client makes the rules. So I changed it.

The end result is an amazing poster that came out very clean, and very well put together from concept to color scheme. I may be a little biased though.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hatch Show Print On American Routes

We were in our first or second week of the internship the day that this segment was recorded.Click here, and scan about 40 minutes into the show to hear the Hatch section. It was very cool to be there when something like this was being recorded, and it is very cool to hear how the hours of people wandering around with microphones and cameras, have turned into a 15 minute segment.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Old Pictures of Hatch Show Print

You've seen all of my pics of Hatch Show Print at its current location, but here is something you may not know. Hatch Show Print has had other locations before its move to 316 Broadway.

First there was the location at 22 North Cherry Street which is now called Fourth Avenue South, then they moved to 116 Fourth Avenue North. Here are a few pictures of Hatch Show Print at that location which is right around the corner from its current location at 316 Broadway.

All of these photos are from Hatch Manager Jim Sherraden's collection, I am just helping put together a Powerpoint presentation for a lecture he will be giving later this month. In other words, these photos are not mine, I just scanned them. I have permission from him to use them here.The front of the shop used to face the Ryman Auditorium. The AT&T skyscraper now resides where Hatch Show Print once was.

The reason the interior looks so clean and organized in these photos is because it was not the thriving print shop/working museum that it is today. When Opryland bought Hatch Show Print they were doing mainly restrikes, and postcards. Jim was brought in originally as an archivist for Hatch Show Print. This article is from the Tennessean January 8th, 1986
Hatch Show Print after being torn down.
Invitation to the grand re-opening of Hatch Show Print at its current location.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

West Meets East, and Back Again

My normal day is waking up at 8, eating a blueberry bagel with nothing on it, drinking a Dr. Pepper, taking my vitamin, watching 30 Rock on DVD, making my lunch, and then riding my bike about 2.3 miles to Hatch Show Print.

At Hatch I do all the stuff that you have seen pictures of or read about. After that, I usually end up riding my bike to one to 3 places. The first is to Grimey's record store for a free concert. The second, is back to my house, the third is to the east side.

I live on the west side, but all the other interns live on the east, so instead of having 3 interns ride their backs to my side, I ride my bike to theirs. I don't really mind though. I believe that I ride around 10 miles a day this way, and as a result I am a much stronger rider. Usually when I go to the east side, I don't end up riding my bike back to the west side till around 11:30. Tonight, I got home around 1:45am. This gives me a nice peaceful quiet ride home(with the exception of Broadway, and Church Street bars.). It also gives me a nice view of the city at night from the top of the pedestrian bridge (almost) all alone. Here are a few quick pics of the city from the pedestrian bridge at around midnight, and Hatch Show Print's neon sign on Broadway around the same time.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Jammin' to Beat the Blues

Here are photos of one of my prints completed here at Hatch Show Print. It is for an annual benefit concert put on for the Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee. It was one of my hardest prints to complete. There are a few reasons that I say this. For one, the amount of type used on this print was more than I had ever had to set before. The sponsor list alone took me hours to set. The second reason is that I destroyed the hours of work it took to set the type because I didn't "wipe my ass" as Jim calls it. This means that I forgot to check and make sure everything was ok before I started printing.

What had happened was that I unlocked everything, asked Brad a question, and then went back to printing. Since it was all unlocked when the drum of the press rolled over the loose type, it just crushed everything and pushed it all over the place instead of keeping it nice and neat. Essentially, I had to reset the poster, but this time I didn't have to pick out the letters because they were all piled at the end of the bed.

The picture above is the finished product.The third reason this poster gave me such a hard time was because of work-ups. A work-up is when a piece of furniture works its way up out of the type causing it to accidentally be printed, when all it was supposed to do is stay low as a spacer. In the picture above you can see the mysterious purple squares that have worked their way into my design as work-ups. Because of the amount of work-ups in this poster that I didn't catch in time, I only had 3 extras after the whole run was finished, and the 150 quantity order was filled. That isn't even enough for the collectors.
The other day as I rode my bike to work, I noticed this on the door. It's my poster in its natural environment!! Michaela says she saw them all over the place this weekend while she was walking around downtown. It's a pretty cool feeling to see something you have created hanging on doors, or windows, or to hear about how much people like it, or how well it is being sold. Even with all the trouble this print caused me, I feel like I learned a lot from it, and I am proud of the finished product.