Local design lovers have been geeking out over a beautiful print by graphic designer Jay Fletcher called The Charleston 25. Printed by Sideshow Press, the limited edition letterpressed print features sleek, abstract depictions of 25 Charleston landmarks, from the U.S. Custom House to the Ravenel Bridge.
The funny thing is, it didn’t start out as a local project at all. It began as a New York logo which inspired copycats from around the world, thanks to the power of social media. We chatted with Fletcher about the process.
City Paper: What was the inspiration behind this project?
JF: A few months back I was working on logo concepts for some folks up in NYC. I posted one of the concepts on Dribbble (which is basically Twitter for creatives, so to speak), and the response was overwhelming. Designers across the country, and then around the world, began posting “rebounds” (new images meant to be a follow-up to the original) of their home city executed in the same style.
All the amazing feedback and worldwide participation inspired me to create a more personal spin-off, crafting bits and pieces of Charleston that I’m fond of. The intent wasn’t to end up with anything in particular. I just wanted to play with the style a bit more.
CP: How did you select the landmarks you featured?
JF: Charleston is such a beautifully unique city, so it really wasn’t much of a challenge to mentally list a pool of choices. The 25 icons on the poster are pretty much the first 25 that came to mind, for whatever reason. I guess they’re places I think are interesting, or familiar. I’d think of a landmark, pull a reference photo from a Google image search, create the icon, and then do it again with another. Like I said, I didn’t have any sort of goal in mind at the start. Pretty soon I had a slew of them done and decided to count. There were 25 on the nose, which seemed like an obvious stopping point.
CP: Tell me about the creation process. Did you encounter any unforeseen challenges?
JF: It was challenging — in the fun way that made me want to do it in the first place — to work within that one big constraint of keeping all the icons similar feeling, with just a consistent line width and not much else. You can accomplish a heck of a lot within such a simple execution.
CP: Why did you choose Sideshow Press to print the posters?
JF: I knew letterpress would set the whole thing off and take it to the next level. The depth on some of the buildings as a result of the printing process is awesome. Columns appearing to pop out, windows receding, and so on. I’ve worked with Sideshow Press in the past and their attention to detail and commitment to craft is insane. Virginia Gregg can cross a T and dot an I like nobody I’ve ever met.
To snag your own print ($35), head to jfletcherdesign.com or Indigo & Cotton (79 Cannon St.).