Way to Wayzgoose! | A Reflection on Hatch Show Print


By: Allie Striegle

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Hatch Show Print is a 140-year-old letterpress design and print shop located in Nashville, Tennessee. Their main specialty is posters, having produced posters of all sizes from their earliest days of business. While they used to print mostly advertisements, they now mainly print commemorative posters for live shows or events, which are sold on merchandise tables or distributed by clients as keepsakes of the events. These posters are printed using the shop’s 140 year-old collection of wood and metal type, along with hand-carved imagery produced as early as the early 20th century or as recently as a week ago. The shop designs all of its prints from the paper up and all by hand!


At this year’s Interrobang Wayzgoose event, Hatch Show Print hosted a printing workshop using a special kind of carved typeface called Alphablox. These modular blocks feature different shapes and patterns that can be arranged in different ways to produce a wide variety of letters, patterns, and shapes. The arranged blocks can be hand-inked and pressed on paper to reveal the art! Alphablox provides a fun, family-friendly (though a little inky) way of learning about positive and negative space in printing, along with the idea of mirror image.

The Alphablox printing activity was on-going throughout the day on Saturday, April 13 at Madjax. Participants of all ages were invited to come and make their own designs using Alphablox and selected illustrative printing blocks from the Tribune Showprint Posters, Inc. and Book Arts Collaborative collections as well! This event was partially sponsored by a grant from the Association of Print Scholars and the Indiana Humanities Council.

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This piece was written by a Ball State University student and member of the Book Arts Collaborative in Muncie, Indiana. The Book Arts Collaborative is dedicated to preserving and promoting the apprentice-taught skills of letterpress printing and book binding through community interaction. It's not just what we make that matters, but how we learn from one another to make it happen.