Based in Los Angeles, with editors and project managers on the ground in Chicago, London, and New York City, Hat & Beard Press is a print collective, a publishing think tank, and a small press dedicated to all things tactile.
H&B Press creates original, illustrated nonfiction books of pop-cultural and historical significance, drawing on existing cult audiences. We also produce artist monographs as well as redesigned reissues of classic visual culture titles worth a second look.
Combining modern, targeted marketing efforts, old-fashioned craftsmanship, and disciplined publishing practices, H&B produces physical books and magazines (with digital bells and whistles where necessary) for readers and collectors. H&B aims to be the ultimate boutique publication house for the nonfiction illustrated art-book market. In a shrinking marketplace for shelf space, and with the media screaming for attention and eyeballs, H&B adheres to Mies van der Rohe’s simple dictum that “less is more.”
J.C. Gabel began his career in publishing at the age of 19. In the mid-’90s, he handmade the first issue of a “’zine” called Stop Smiling, “The Magazine for High-Minded Lowlifes” as it came to be known. Modeled on “the glory days of magazine publishing”—1960s Esquire, early Rolling Stone, vintage Playboy, the National Lampoon, et cetera—Stop Smiling eventually developed into a full-color glossy with timeless themes, stories and interviews, and by 2003 was coming out five times a year.
In 2010, Gabel made his first foray into book editing and publishing, with two titles under the Stop Smiling Books imprint via Melville House/Random House. How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The History of the Vocoder from WWII to Hip Hop—the Machine Speaks by Dave Tompkins and Listen to the Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews by Sam Weller were released in the spring and summer of that year, both to critical and commercial acclaim.
Gabel moved from Chicago, his hometown, to Los Angeles in the summer of 2012 to complete work on two large book projects: the book version of Dead Mountain: The True, Untold Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident with filmmaker Donnie Eichar, which was released in the fall of 2013 by Chronicle Books, and later made into a two-hour documentary for the Discovery Channel; and the long awaited illustrated book about the AMC series Mad Men for Taschen Books, out soon. In the interim, Gabel has edited books for Phaidon and Rare Bird.
At the beginning of 2014, Gabel was commissioned by Pitchfork, the world’s largest music website, to build, edit and publish, The Pitchfork Review, their print quarterly, and is currently at work on over a dozen print magazine start-ups or brand extensions (via Hat & Beard Projects).
Gabel also contributes regular features, criticism, profiles and interviews for the Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Bookforum, The Paris Review, LA Times, NY Times, and Wallpaper. He and his wife Sybil, dog Daisy, and son Xander live in Beachwood Canyon, Los Angeles, California.
Jessica Hundley is a longtime journalist, author and filmmaker. She has worked as an editor on scores of books for Taschen, Princeton Architectural Press, Chronicle and more. As an author, she has published four books in the last decade, among them an acclaimed bio on country rock icon Gram Parsons for DaCapo, a best-selling travel guide to Los Angeles, an extensive overview of the photography of Dennis Hopper from Taschen Publications, and an overview of photographs from Michael Jackson photographer Todd Gray for Chronicle. In her 20-year career as a journalist, she has worked for Vogue, Rolling Stone, Dwell, LA Times, NY Times, Spin, Travel and Leisure, Mojo, Salon.com and many others.
As an editor, Hundley has served as West Coast editor for men’s magazine Complex, Entertainment Editor for Angeleno/Modern Luxury magazines, Film editor for Soma and as West Coast editor for the UK magazine Dazed and Confused. Hundley is also co-founder and current consultant for L.A.-based production company Draw Pictures. She has served as producer on hundreds of music videos & commercials. As a filmmaker, she has helmed numerous music videos, fashion films, shorts and commercials. Her documentary short, Viva Morrisey screened at the Edinburgh and SXSW film festivals. She directed and produced Such Hawks, Such Hounds, a feature-length music documentary, available on DVD. Hundley also wrote the narrative voice over for award-winning feature documentary Visual Acoustics.
Brian Roettinger is a Los Angeles-based artist and graphic designer. The majority of his work is in the form of printed media (books and ephemera) for cultural institutions, artists, and architects. He has gained notoriety for his music packaging and album covers, most notably with bands such as No Age, Liars, and Beach House. He recently art directed Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail album and campaign, and the Childish Gambino album, Because the Internet.
He currently acts as the creative director for LA-based fashion magazine JUNK whose diverse content bridges the divide between fashion, art, music, design and concept.
Roettinger was chosen as Rolling Stone’s Album Designer of the Year (2009) and was nominated for an Album Packaging Grammy for No Age’s 2010 album Nouns. As an artist, Roettinger has managed to find a unique take on the mediums of art and design that blend high-concept thinking with a strong D.I.Y. ethos. He recently contributed a series of paintings to be used by Hedi Slimane-directed fashion brand Saint Laurent as textiles, T-Shirts and graphic branding.
Bringing a sense of sophistication to an underground aesthetic in a distinctly honest application is testament to Roettinger’s creative character as a whole and something to be fiercely applauded. His work has been exhibited at Colette in Paris, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Moravian Gallery, Brno, Czech Republic, and at the now defunct Hope Gallery in Los Angeles.
Focusing his primary connectivity with the difficult to penetrate upper-tier influencers, Romanelli aligns brands with specialty boutiques in cities around the globe: Maxfield’s in Los Angeles, Colette in Paris, United Arrows in Tokyo are only a few of the elite retailers transformed under Dr. Romanelli.
Romanelli, alongside his business partner Nate Hahn created Street Virus, a unique marketing hub, which allows him to strategically bridge these physical worlds with the virtual—communicating elements of his creations through the seeding of blogs and influencer exchange at his very own think tank and breakfast mixer, The Pancake Epidemic. His innovative blending of past and present began with a love for vintage lines, and an obsession with craftsmanship.
Renowned for his creative collaborations with classic brands, all of Romanelli’s work is the result of dedication and commitment and more importantly, personal connection. By transforming the familiar into the renewed, Romanelli has gained renown as a savvy reviver of cultural classics. Whether it’s Coca Cola, Felix the Cat or Converse—he reinvents these legendary properties, simultaneously building a loyal following—on a global scale.