An inspiring, one-of-a-kind event known simply as The Jim Jam, was held at the Fossil corporate offices in Dallas on Wednesday, June 13th. The event featured nostalgic letterpress prints for sale, and presentations by two legendary letterpress printers and historians: Jim Sherraden from Hatch Show Print, and Jim Moran from Hamilton Wood Type Museum located in Two Rivers, WI. Jim Moran began the first half of the presentation. He guided us through the history of carved type, letterpress printing and the background behind his museum which boasts the world’s largest collection of wood type. Moran is a true believer in “preservation through production” by which he insists the museum is only successful if the type is still producing prints, instead of collecting dust. This way, knowledge of the craft is passed on to others who visit the museum and make their own prints.
Presenting next was Jim Sherraden of Hatch Show Print, one of the oldest working letterpress shops in America, located in Nashville. Hatch has deep letterpress roots that sprouted with their turn-of-the-century vaudevillian and circus show posters. Today, they’re most famous for their concert posters. Not surprisingly, due to their three largest customers: B.B. King, Willie Nelson and Ryman Auditorium. Sherraden explained how a seemingly dying art could profit in today’s digital age. He said it playfully, “At Hatch, we love computers. They made way for our sought after little niche. We are the antithesis of the computer, and proud of it.” To put it plainly, letterpress is that little piece of history you can still make your own, a timeless craft suited for that perfect piece of paper.