It all started when we created a promotional calendar that featured 14 illustrated posters of our favorite hometown hot spots. We never dreamed that in 10 years we would have produced a collection of over 150 prints, a full line of gift items, and a coffee table book! Well, here we are a decade later, and it seems like the Spirit of Nashville Collection has plenty of room to keep on growing!
Join us in celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Spirit of Nashville Collection!
We invite you to drop by the Anderson Design Group Studio Store on Saturday, July 11 from 12:00 to 4:00. Joel Anderson, author & creator of the Spirit of Nashville Collection will be signing copies of our 10th Anniversary Coffee Table Book. With the purchase of each book on July 11, you can choose a FREE 18” x 24” gallery print from a special selection of classic Nashville prints.
We are located at 116 29th Ave. N, Nashville, TN 37203. Click here for directions.
This special edition book was masterfully printed in Nashville by Lithographics and expertly bound by BindTech. The gorgeous matte finish and varnish effects provided locally by Scott Laminating, and the premium paper stock was provided by Athens Paper. Thanks to sponsorship support from Pinnacle Financial Partners, this book is 100% locally-made. Everything was done right here in Music City! (Read on to see behind-the-scenes photos of the book in production.)
How did the Spirit of Nashville Collection begin? In 2003, we set out to create a promotional calendar that would showcase Nashville to our friends and clients from other cities. As a Nashville-based graphic design firm, we wanted to use the calendar to show off our art skills and promote our hometown. We went all-out by producing a huge wall calendar that included 14 different 18” x 24” posters celebrating Music City’s unique history and charm. We rendered the art in a style inspired by the Masters of the Golden age of Paster Art—a glorious period that ranged from the late-1800s through the mid-1900s—back when advertising art was skillfully illustrated and hand-lettered. We wanted to apply that same craftsmanship, attention to detail, and passion to a series of classic posters that would look and feel like they might have been produced many years before the era of photography and computers. The art took over 6 months to complete. We did it all for free. Fortunately, the printer and the paper company donated their services in exchange for promotional samples that they would give away. (Without their collaboration, it would have cost over $100 each to produce the calendars!)
Once we started distributing the calendars, folks began tearing them apart, plundering the posters to frame them as wall decor. We realized that we had stumbled into something big. So in 2005, we officially created the Spirit of Nashville Collection as a series of ready-to-frame gallery prints that were available to the public. The art was a smash hit, winning numerous awards and critical acclaim. It was selected for several exhibitions and publications, inducted into the State Archives, even recognized by the mayor and the governor. We were on a roll, so we continued to add new illustrated prints of our favorite Nashville landmarks, restaurants and themes to the series each year.
Non-profit organizations started asking if we would feature their establishments in our art. We wanted to give back to our community by creating special commissions for the Nashville Zoo, the Ballet, the Symphony, The Frist Center, Cheekwood, the Hermitage and many other historically important cultural icons. This growing collection of local art became a virtual tour of our hometown, showcasing the best things to do and see in Nashville. Locals loved to decorate with the prints and visitors wanted to leave with a souvenir of their time in Nashville. Our art became a collection of everyone’s favorite Music City moments, connecting on an emotional level with people from all over the world. Over the years, the Spirit of Nashville Collection has become a part of our city’s visual identity.
Here is a shot of some of the talented artists who created the first few series of poster art...
The Spirit of Nashville print series reflects the handiwork of some of Music City’s most talented designers and illustrators. When founder Joel Anderson wasn’t creating poster art himself, he directed a team of gifted artists who created dozens of classic designs. Over the years, 14 different local artists contributed to this body of work: David Anderson, Wayne Brezinka, Abe Goolsby, Andy Gregg, Aaron Johnson, Emily Keafer, Michael Korfhage, Matt Lehman, Taaron Parsons, Edward Patton, Aruna Rangarajan, Kristi Carter Smith, Ligia Teodosiu, and Darren Welch.
10 years after it began, the Spirit of Nashville Collection has grown to include over 150 designs as well as a full line of art, gifts and souvenir products. in 2013, we remodeled our design studio so we could open the ground floor to the public as a poster gallery and gift store full of locally-made products. And to think that it all started with this promotional calendar!
It has been a wonderful experience. We enjoy giving people a virtual tour of Music City through our illustrated prints. We are proud to create art that shows off what is special about Nashville. And we love celebrating the history and charm of our amazing hometown, which has grown in popularity to become known as the "It City!"
Where do we go from here? We will start by celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Spirit of Nashville Collection with a special edition hard cover coffee table book. It features over 100 of our most popular designs, a 200-year time line of Nashville history, plus archival photos and historical information about Nashville. We even included a special section about the Great Flood of 2010.
Because of the high cost of production, books like this are usually produced over-seas. But we really wanted to keep all of the production local. So our friends at Pinnacle Financial Partners provided sponsorship support that allowed us to produce the book right here in Nashville! Lithographics, an award-winning local printer produced the high-quality color throughout the book. Once the covers were printed, Scott Laminating provided the gorgeous matte finish and shiny gloss varnish effects. The covers and the interior pages were sent around the corner to BindTech who bound the books with beautiful hard covers. Athens Paper, a long-time local paper supplier for so many of the Spirit of Nashville posters provided premium paper for the book. Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of the book in production...
We hope you will drop by our Studio Store to see all of the art we have been working on for the past 10 years. And feel free to give us your suggestions for future Music City poster themes! If you have purchased prints or gifts from us before, we would like to thank you personally. If you have never seen our art in person or bought a postcard, print or book, we hope you will visit our Studio Store or web site soon. When you shop, you contribute to our local economy, providing jobs, supporting local artists and craftspeople. We give away 10% of our profits to local charities, so when you shop with us, you are also giving back to the community and helping great non-profits like Project Connect Nashville, The Nashville Rescue Mission, and many other organizations that serve the needy.
We hope to see you at our 10th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, July 11 from 12:00 to 4:00 at the Anderson Design Group Studio Store!