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Hatch show and the anti-technology movement

September 11, 2009

Hatch Show Print is a letterpress shop in Nashville that’s been in operation for over 100 years.

Last night at CCA, I had the pleasure of listening to Jim Sherraden take us on a slideshow journey through the history of the shop. It was interesting to see a full house of young CCA students eagerly hanging on Jim’s every word.

In a world of digital manipulation, Cut and Paste and Photoshop, Hatch Street stands out as a last bastion of organic, hand-crafted designing and printing. It’s a reminder of how good things can be when they are hand made and it shows how important story and nuance are to people’s relationship with objects and institutions.

Hatch Show has never been busier as lots of people start appreciate what they have to offer. It’s also touched the cultural zeitgeist as everyone from Coldplay to The Smithsonian wants a part of Hatch Show.

The small 10 person shop takes on a total of 600 jobs a year and charges the same price for R.E.M as it does for a local Nashville band playing a gig to 12 people. Only now are they thinking of tacking on a design fee for their efforts as it takes an average of a week to create a poster.

Jim highlighted a couple a couple of great campaigns he’d been involved in and singled out Vitro Robinson’s work for Taylor Guitars and last year’s CNN campaign for the election, where its posters were central to the messaging.

While Apple and Google are grabbing much of the headlines, it’s important to note there’s a significant shift away from technology and Hatch Show stands in a beacon to this new movement.

Here’s a nice film about the shop.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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