Yellowhammer Creative (YHC) is a graphic design and printing company which was founded in 2008 by Brett Forsyth and Brandon Watkins. The company originally specialized in creating concert posters for local promoters. Through submitting their own designs to Bottletree they gained contacts in the music community. The business expanded from there into printed gifts, which were sold locally at craft shows, pop-up shops, and at Harold & MOD.
Forsyth and Watkins connected with architect Bruce Lanier and participated in trial runs of what became MakeBHM at the Continental Gin complex. In the process they got access to salvaged screen-printing equipment that allowed them to diversify their output. In 2013 the company opened a retail location in the Pizitz Food Hall.
In early 2015 an affiliate of LIV Development announced plans to display the 1950s-era Downtown Action Club slogan "It's Nice to Have You in Birmingham" on the Birmingham National Garage, which it was renovating for its Jemison Flats apartments. That April Yellowhammer Creative applied for state and federal trademark protection for the phrase when used in graphic displays such as posters and murals, and apparel. Andrew Wheeler-Berliner, an attorney representing Yellowhammer Creative, requested that LIV pay the company a licensing fee of $63,000 for its proposed use.
Publicity of the conflict subjected Yellowhammer Creative to a flurry of public criticism, as well as official opposition to the trademark filing from LIV and a number of other organizations. Watkins and Forsyth organized a "Town Hall" meeting at Trim Tab Brewing Company to discuss the need to protect the phrase from "exploitation".
In November of that year Yellowhammer Creative and MIX sponsored a "Yellowhammer Fair" in Avondale. The retail business expanded in 2019 with a larger Yellowhammer Print Shop, managed by Allison Bowles, in the Studios at Pepper Place.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Yellowhammer was forced to lay off many of its production and sales staff as the concert and event business evaporated. It enjoyed a boost in online sales fueled by its "Locals" series of limited-edition t-shirts recognizing local non-profits and small businesses. The venture reportedly raised more than $100,000 for local organizations in 2020.
Yellowhammer closed its Pepper Place store in December 2023.
- "I Create Birmingham: Brett Forsyth & Brandon Watkins" (March 18, 2015) Create Birmingham
- Gray, Jeremy (September 30, 2015) "Plan to trademark 'It's Nice to Have You in Birmingham' draws complaints" The Birmingham News
- Gray, Jeremy (October 2, 2015) "Does Yellowhammer Creative already own 'It's Nice to Have You in Birmingham' trademark?" The Birmingham News
- Whitmire, Kyle (October 8, 2015) "Not so nice in Birmingham: Yellowhammer Creative demanded money for slogan use." The Birmingham News
- Prickett, Sam (January 6, 2016) "The Battle for "Nice" Continues" Weld for Birmingham
- Poe, Kelly (December 13, 2016) "Some challenges to 'It's Nice to Have you in Birmingham' trademark attempt dismissed."
- Rebman, Stephanie (September 11, 2019) "Yellowhammer Creative coming to Pepper Place." Birmingham Business Journal
- Majors, Tim (June 1, 2021) "Pandemic Pivot: How Yellowhammer Creative’s wildly popular Locals Series created t-shirts with a purpose." About Town
- Leech, Marie (October 30, 2023) "Popular Pepper Place retail shop will close at year's end." Birmingham Business Journal
- Yellowhammer Creative website