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A Show Poster By Any Other Name

August 17, 2015

The custom design work that comes out of the Production Shop every day is focused on telling clients’ stories in forty words or fewer—with the emphasis on fewer. Designer-printers can design posters that make you look, with messages that can be read quickly.

The large, hand-carved blocks that Will T. Hatch and his staff designed to help their clients advertise their shows, services, wares, and wrestling matches, also kept the words to a minimum to allow as much room as possible for eye-catching imagery. Fewer letters mean clearer messages: New Comedians! More Animals! Air Conditioned! Daring Feats Daily!

To show off our type, and our typesetting, a simple type specimen (a print of all the letters of the alphabet taken from one font, or set, of type) seemed too easy. The project needed to be something that, like our show posters, makes you look . . . and this time, perhaps, linger as you read the words.

Eureka! We came across a quote as classic as the shop—older than the shop, too—that connects what we do and what many of our clients do in pursuit of their art. William Shakespeare was the fellow who wrote these words, and they’ve been read and delivered every generation since.

Heather designed this large print (approximately 20 by 30 inches), incorporating not only a well-assembled specimen of type from the shop, but also a selection of some of the hand-lettered and hand-carved word blocks that were carved in the first half of the twentieth century and that we still use today. She used the shop’s press with the largest bed, the Vandercook 42-28, hand-inked each layer of the print, and took advantage of the process to work through a wonderful range of colors.

You can see them in person in Hatch Show Print’s Haley Gallery.

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