Interview: Hammer Horror Films Art

2011/06/25 20:35:32 +00:00 | Jonathan James

I always enjoy finding classic horror movie products online. Like many horror fans, there are certain types of items I collect, including Hammer and AIP artwork.

I was surprised when I stumbled across Hammer Horror Films Art, because they have an official license from Hammer to create fine art prints and I haven't seen any coverage of their products online. I spoke with the site's owner, Conrad Davies, and thought it would be interesting to put together an interview for our readers.

The average consumer will buy a product and not realize the process behind producing the product or acquiring the license. Conrad was kind enough to share information regarding acquiring the licenses, producing the prints, and also talks about his future plans. I hope that not only Hammer Horror fans find this interesting, but also those that might have an idea for a business and are looking to acquire a specific licence.

Jonathan: Can you tell our readers a bit about your professional background and experience with fine art prints?

Conrad: My background is within the advertising/graphic design fields in which I have been self employed for nearly 30 years, producing design work for many clients in many differing sectors from financial institutes through pet treat manufacturers, character licensing to theme restaurant/corporate suite imagery for manchester united.

Jonathan: What made you decide to open a Hammer print store? What in particular made you feel that the product offered and the license would be a wise business venture?

Conrad: I got into the fine art area when working for a client who produced artwork for Athena all those years ago, and he was trying to find a way of producing limited editions in smaller runs so as not having to keep full editions in stock. This was just as digital was being born and my brother-in-law was testing digital cameras for the first time, we therefore got together and found a way to digitally photograph a piece of art and fingerprint its digital information through a mac and then fine art printer thus being able to produce limited editions in single units as and when they were needed.

We then saw a book on the antiques roadshow which had been handmade ahand lettered and illustrated by the author between 1880-1945 and was never published, after getting the right to reproduce fine art prints from it I started to look into different papers etc and really got into what could be achieved.

Jonathan: How difficult was the process to acquire the licence from Hammer? For those that are interested in reaching out to studios for acquire a particular license, can you tell us a bit about what was involved in making this deal?

Conrad: The Hammer licence came about due to me working in the character licensing and merchandising sector and I decided it would be a challenge to produce iconic images from the Hammer archives - thus the project was born.
I firstly had to acquire the scans from Marcus Hearn, who has written many books about Hammer is is a foremost authority on the company.

Samples on quality archival papers were done and signed off by Hammers licensing agent, Coolabi plc, after which I produced the website and started to get the prints out there, which is not easy as I am not a marketing person and had not been to any events as such - my primary intent is to produce quality pieces for the serious collectors - as such I am now researching where and when the right events are held (any help from your readers much appreciated).

Jonathan: From what we understand, you are able to print any photo from the Hammer archive. Have they give you any restrictions?

Conrad: The restrictions with Hammer are I can only use imagery where they have full copyright as many of their films were done with multiple partners and so copyright is shared.

Jonathan: Are you interested in or able print Hammer movie posters?

Conrad: As for movie posters there is a company who have the licence for these, although I can print a poster as a limited edition fine art print, which I may do in the future.

Jonathan: What have been your best selling prints so far? Have you seen a lot of global interest in purchasing your products or are sales mainly from the UK?

Conrad: The varied choices of customers makes it very hard to say which are the most popular, but the ‘Twins of Evil’ seems to be a favourite and the standard size is best seller, although we are really wanting to push the smaller prints that come in double conservation mounts. It is always an eye opener at events as to what people are interested in and is a very interesting to hear what they want and why they prefer certain films.

Interest has been on the web mostly due to not attending many events, and sales are split between the UK and USA, with a smattering in Europe.

Jonathan: What prints are you planning to add to the site in the near future?

Conrad: In the beginning we did sell a print of Yutte Stensgaard from ‘Lust for a Vampire’ but later found out that Hammer did not have the rights so we had to pull it from sale, a shame really as it was very popular, and I am trying to get authority from the copyright owners so I can release it again.

Hoping also to get the rights to sell from their latest movies, as they seem to have kept a certain ‘Hammer’ aura of the originals. But at this stage I am putting my time into the collection as it stands - although if someone wants a particular image I will endevour to provide it.

Jonathan: For any new business, getting the word out to new customers is usually the most difficult aspect. How are you planning on marketing yourself in the future? Will you be attending any horror events in the UK or US this year?

Conrad: This coming October I will be at the Don Fearney event in London and have a wonderful new way of showing the iconic images - for those who have a more contemporary apartment or home the images are now printed direct to acrylic panels with aluminium stand offs and look fantastic - iconic image, contemporary approach!

Jonathan: What can returning customers look forward to seeing in the near future?

Conrad: I found when I attended the Bram Stoker festival last year, speaking to alot of the collectors who came along that they would love to exhibit their collections of Hammer memorabilia but find there isn’t an event or showcase where they can do this. They really do put life and soul into their hobby/collections and are always ready to discuss them with other collectors I have tentatively mentioned this and would love to co-ordinate a travelling exhibition but this is in the future if I can get enough interest and funding.

Jonathan: What are some of your favorite Hammer films? Do you prefer Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee?

Conrad: As for your question of my favourite Hammer Film I am at the moment going through the box set of theirs and will let you know when I’ve finished them. The documentary ‘Legend of Hammer Vampires’ narrated by Edward De Souza and produced by Don Fearney is a great introduction for those not familiar with the Hammer Films.

I do feel that no-one has really captured the sinister Dracula as well as Christopher Lee and Ingrid Pitt was my favourite Hammer female.

Jonathan: Do you have anything else that you would like to tell our readers?

Conrad: At the moment I hope many of your readers will check out the website, and let me know what they think whether they buy or not, feedback is essential for me so I can put right any wrongs.


I want to thank Conrad Davies for taking the time to talk with us. You can find out more about Hammer Horror Films Art, by visiting their website at:

We also have two print images we've been given to show you. The first is Christopher Lee as Dracula in Dracula A.D. 1972, which you can see below. The second is an image from Lust for a Vampire and can be found here: [Not Work Safe Warning- Linked Image Contains Nudity]