Nashville – not just country music

Having recently returned from a trip to Nashville, TN, I realised that although it was the love of music which drew me there, it was the history, the design and the general look & feel of the place that got me the most excited!

Nashville is an up and coming city and plenty of money is being invested on infrastructure – especially for tourism. I wouldn’t blame you for thinking it might be all Cowboy Boots and Stetsons, but having spent just over 2 weeks there – it is much more than that!

With my love of all things design, art, printing and branding, I wanted to share some of the things about Nashville that I loved.

Music city, as it’s affectionately known, has lots to see and many experiences. So much so, we didn’t get to see it all! This can only mean another trip will have to be booked soon!

The Design:-

From the architecture (Country Music Hall of Fame), the Tennessee flag, neon signs, the local baseball team’s scoreboard (Nashville Sounds) and posters to Pandora even having their own Nashville charm, music is a definite theme.

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Branding:-

Every music venue, museum and sports venue have their own unique brand and it had been adapted across all their marketing materials and merchandise. All the brands I saw in and around Nashville have been designed with a lot of thought and they work well across the city – it wasn’t very easy to get lost in Nashville!

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Printing:-

There were posters, postcards and pictures everywhere but one of the main attractions was ‘Hatch Show Print’. It is one of the oldest Letterpress operations in America which was established in Nashville in 1879. We were able to take a tour of the workshop and do some of our own printing – I will be writing a blog solely dedicated to ‘Hatch Show Print’ following this one. I wanted to buy so many prints and posters but couldn’t get them all back in the suitcase!

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And of course, the music!

We were able to do a tour of most of the music venues and see a show in a couple of them too. We even cut a couple of our own songs in a recording studio at the ‘Ryman’, which was great fun! Each venue, cafe and studio (Sun Studio, Memphis, TN) has its own history and its own unique feel about the place, which can be seen through their own individual brand. One thing I like in particular about the ‘Grand Ole Opry’ was that they produced a poster of that nights set so you could buy and keep as a souvenir of the artists that played – all the little details that made Nashville feel like a rather special place.

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It was an amazing trip and I would highly recommend visiting the city especially if you like music. But as you will have hopefully seen from the images above, if you like history, architecture, art and design then, Nashville is full of these too!