Joyner & Hogan | Lunch & Learn

Real Ink in a Modern World

Man smiling with hand resting on object
By // carver lee

As a designer and copywriter, it can sometimes be easy for me to get caught up in my screen and forget about the context of my creations beyond the high-def, LED glowing display in front of me. However, when Jay Joyner of Joyner & Hogan Printing started passing around samples of paper, embossing, foiling, binding, and more at our recent Lunch & Lunch, I was humbly reminded that design is much more than what comes from my own hand by itself. 

 

Joyner & Hogan is a locally owned and grown printing shop, started in 1937 by Jay Joyner’s Great Great Grandfather. Situated right on Gallatin Avenue in East Nashville, Joyner & Hogan was once the second largest office supplier in the state, but when they could no longer compete with the big box stores, they became a printing company exclusively. 

 

Jay started working for the family company in 1996 and you can tell his passion is genuine and continuous. He’s proud of the fact that they’ve stayed small, enabling them to remain loyal to their customers and to withstand the growing Nashville market. “We had the opportunity to become large, but we didn’t know if that was the way to do it,” he explained while telling their story. Joyner & Hogan downsized when they moved from their East Nashville location to their Metro Center workspace, but Jay says that doesn’t affect their business, “we turn a lot of work for not a huge space.”  

 

And though their crew may be small, it is still mighty. One team member has worked for the company since 1976 so Jay says he is familiar with the ‘old ways’ but also stays up-to-date on relevant technologies. “I’m proud of what we’ve done to adapt and stay relevant,” Jay boasted. 

flyers and brochures scattered on a table

After showing us some examples of his work, which included velvety smooth cover pages, calligraphy printed on paper imported from Italy, duplexed cardstock embossed on both sides, and gleaming metallic foiling, Jay gave us a tour of their space. 

 

The first machine Jay showed us was a modern day printer that looked like any copier you might see in a business setting, except it was larger than a twin bed. Jay said that when he first got into the industry, the machine doing the same job was three times as big. This machine is used to digitally print all sorts of things, from small posters to envelopes. One of Joyner & Hogan’s services is acting as a mail house, so sending out as many materials by mail as you need. 

 

In another small room we saw their small bit of inventory they keep for a few clients and then some of their more personalized tools. Because they are a small operation, some jobs have to be sent out to other companies, and Jay is very honest and transparent about this; he maintains that good vendor relationships are what keeps his business successful. “If we can’t do it, we’ll find someone that will,” he said. But as he’s saying this, he’s showing us their hole punch and sewing machine that both look like they survived the great depression. Needless to say, if they can do it, they will.

 

The last stop of the tour was the largest room, filled with the smell of paint and ink swirling through the air. A 5-color Heidelberg took up half the room. Unfortunately nothing was in production during our visit so how exactly it works is mostly up to my imagination, but just looking at it was pretty awe-inspiring. It’s a clunky, dirty machine that takes the stack of brilliantly white paper sitting in a tray at one end and turns them all into something, clean, delicate and beautiful, and that’s more than just a little mind blowing. 

 

large 5 color printer

Also in the room is a giant, computerized paper cutter, two more small printers, and a 1952 letterpress. All of these machines, spanning decades of technology, operate in one room – taking the graphics most often created by others, and bringing them to life here by Jay Joyner and his crew. “There’s just something about real ink on a piece of paper, but you have to have digital capabilities to stay relevant in today’s market,” Jay said, tying together his whole operation. 

Real Ink in a Modern World

Man smiling with hand resting on object
By // carver lee

As a designer and copywriter, it can sometimes be easy for me to get caught up in my screen and forget about the context of my creations beyond the high-def, LED glowing display in front of me. However, when Jay Joyner of Joyner & Hogan Printing started passing around samples of paper, embossing, foiling, binding, and more at our recent Lunch & Lunch, I was humbly reminded that design is much more than what comes from my own hand by itself. 

 

Joyner & Hogan is a locally owned and grown printing shop, started in 1937 by Jay Joyner’s Great Great Grandfather. Situated right on Gallatin Avenue in East Nashville, Joyner & Hogan was once the second largest office supplier in the state, but when they could no longer compete with the big box stores, they became a printing company exclusively. 

 

Jay started working for the family company in 1996 and you can tell his passion is genuine and continuous. He’s proud of the fact that they’ve stayed small, enabling them to remain loyal to their customers and to withstand the growing Nashville market. “We had the opportunity to become large, but we didn’t know if that was the way to do it,” he explained while telling their story. Joyner & Hogan downsized when they moved from their East Nashville location to their Metro Center workspace, but Jay says that doesn’t affect their business, “we turn a lot of work for not a huge space.”  

flyers and brochures scattered on a table

And though their crew may be small, it is still mighty. One team member has worked for the company since 1976 so Jay says he is familiar with the ‘old ways’ but also stays up-to-date on relevant technologies. “I’m proud of what we’ve done to adapt and stay relevant,” Jay boasted. 

 

After showing us some examples of his work, which included velvety smooth cover pages, calligraphy printed on paper imported from Italy, duplexed cardstock embossed on both sides, and gleaming metallic foiling, Jay gave us a tour of their space. 

 

The first machine Jay showed us was a modern day printer that looked like any copier you might see in a business setting, except it was larger than a twin bed. Jay said that when he first got into the industry, the machine doing the same job was three times as big. This machine is used to digitally print all sorts of things, from small posters to envelopes. One of Joyner & Hogan’s services is acting as a mail house, so sending out as many materials by mail as you need. 

 

In another small room we saw their small bit of inventory they keep for a few clients and then some of their more personalized tools. Because they are a small operation, some jobs have to be sent out to other companies, and Jay is very honest and transparent about this; he maintains that good vendor relationships are what keeps his business successful. “If we can’t do it, we’ll find someone that will,” he said. But as he’s saying this, he’s showing us their hole punch and sewing machine that both look like they survived the great depression. Needless to say, if they can do it, they will.

 

The last stop of the tour was the largest room, filled with the smell of paint and ink swirling through the air. A 5-color Heidelberg took up half the room. Unfortunately nothing was in production during our visit so how exactly it works is mostly up to my imagination, but just looking at it was pretty awe-inspiring. It’s a clunky, dirty machine that takes the stack of brilliantly white paper sitting in a tray at one end and turns them all into something, clean, delicate and beautiful, and that’s more than just a little mind blowing. 

large 5 color printer

Also in the room is a giant, computerized paper cutter, two more small printers, and a 1952 letterpress. All of these machines, spanning decades of technology, operate in one room – taking the graphics most often created by others, and bringing them to life here by Jay Joyner and his crew. “There’s just something about real ink on a piece of paper, but you have to have digital capabilities to stay relevant in today’s market,” Jay said, tying together his whole operation. 

Lunch and Learn thumbnail depicts an amerstand on white background filled by grey outlined graphics overlaid with the stacked words Lunch Learn nested inside a orange box with the Circa Logo at the bottom.

About Lunch & Learn

At Circa, we have a bold understanding that education never just stops after college. This has been the motivation for our new series: Lunch & Learn. Every month we will have lunch with some of the brightest people in the creative field ranging from painters to SEO masters; and poke their brains to get a better understanding of the world and our role as visual communicators.

About Joyner & Hogan

Joyner & Hogan Printers and Stationers is a family-owned printing business located in Metro Center of Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 1937 and once the second-largest office supply business in the state, Joyner & Hogan now fulfills its mission of providing exceptional printing by combining old-school and modern printing techniques.

Lunch and Learn thumbnail depicts an amerstand on white background filled by grey outlined graphics overlaid with the stacked words Lunch Learn nested inside a orange box with the Circa Logo at the bottom.

About Lunch & Learn

At Circa, we have a bold understanding that education never just stops after college. This has been the motivation for our new series: Lunch & Learn. Every month we will have lunch with some of the brightest people in the creative field ranging from painters to SEO masters; and poke their brains to get a better understanding of the world and our role as visual communicators.

About Joyner & Hogan

Joyner & Hogan Printers and Stationers is a family-owned printing business located in Metro Center of Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 1937 and once the second-largest office supply business in the state, Joyner & Hogan now fulfills its mission of providing exceptional printing by combining old-school and modern printing techniques.