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To Carve And What To Carve . . . Those Are The Questions!

January 12, 2015

One of the curiosities of the shop that often comes up in conversation relates our process for deciding when it is appropriate to take the time to carve a new image block to use in a poster design.

The first part of the answer is the easiest: Some of our clients bring their jobs to Hatch Show Print, knowing that they would like to have an image carved by hand and incorporated into the poster design. Sometimes this is the company logo that naturally lends itself to being hand carved, and other times, it is a customer who really wants to celebrate the traditions of the shop, where all of the imagery that put us on the show poster map at the beginning of the 20th century, was designed, illustrated and cut by Will T. Hatch and his staff. In these instances, we incorporate that into the design and production process from the moment the order is placed. In this poster we did for the Nashville Rotary Club, you can see their iconic gear logo, carved by hand in wood and printed in gold in the background.

Other times, deciding to introduce a new image block into the shop’s archive is not as clear cut. Approaching each job anew, our goal is to represent the client and/or the event through our incredible archive of type and imagery, some of which is actually older than the 135 year old shop. A bit of background research and conversations with the client are critical; and sometimes, no matter the number of ways a designer approaches a poster design, there are just some situations that call for a fresh-but always classic!-image.

Ronnie Milsap’s concert at the CMA Theater in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum kicked off 2014’s Deck the Hall fun in style, and called for cool seasonal elements. We have a variety of holiday –themed blocks in the collection, including a selection of wood blocks of trees, circa the 1940s-1950s, but everything was too big or too small . . . So, Kylie, one of the Fall interns, had to make something just right. Referencing the design of the older wood blocks (shown on the left in the photo), a grove of smaller trees was carved in linoleum, and printed twice, in two shades of green, to make a festive forest. For our design work, resizing is more rigorous than a click-and-drag!

Old Crow Medicine Show at the Ryman for two nights at New Year’s is a Nashville tradition, and each year we aim to create something that matches how seriously fun the shows are. Carl went ‘round with a few ideas, and, heading towards the band’s Tennessee roots and favored color scheme, designed a poster with a little bit of hand carved lettering and two new fireworks blocks that fairly explode off the paper (one shown here, with the first night’s poster).   

As a result of the poster design compelling us to create new imagery, we’ve extended the history of the shop’s archive by reinterpreting old blocks, and added brand new carvings to the collection of images, all of which we can work into future designs!



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