Inspiration

Celestial Cities: 9 Intricate Illustrations of Imagined Cities

by . September 26th, 2014

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A series of illustrations inspired by the solar system — individually printed by hand using engraved wood blocks.

Look beyond earth and imagine cities scattered out in space. In this project, illustrator David Fleck combined his passion for architecture, art, and astronomy in creating 9 prints representing the main celestial bodies in our solar system drawing inspiration from classic, mythological architecture. Previously known for his artworks inspired by the passages of Italo Calvino’s novel, Invisible Cities, Fleck has taken things to a whole new level by illustrating different cities — some of which are real while others are imaginary. Each print measures about 13.5″ x 19.5″ (including a white border). They’re also available on A4 digital prints. They can be printed as a set of postcards on heavy satin card.

 

CELESTIAL CITIES
CELESTIAL CITIES
A4 digital print of 'Uranus'
A4 digital print of ‘Uranus’
Postcard set featuring all 9 of the Celestial Cities
Postcard set featuring all 9 of the Celestial Cities

 

Fleck wanted to go traditional with this project. So instead of using screen printers or printing presses, he experimented with a printing method called wood block printing. This printing process involves laser engraving the illustration onto a wooden board, spreading ink over the block, and pressing the substrate by hand to create an impression. Wood block printing allows for fantastic details and the tiny inconsistencies of the wood surface produces textures that make each print pretty unique.

 

Laser engraved wooden board for the 'Sun' print
Laser engraved wooden board for the ‘Sun’ print
Each print will be made individually by hand, using the engraved boards and block printing ink.
Each print will be made individually by hand, using the engraved boards and block printing ink.
Test prints show the subtle textures that the printing process produces.
Test prints show the subtle textures that the printing process produces.

 

The results were tactile and beautiful, and I wanted to develop the method further.” 

Head over to Kickstarter to support and find out more about the project.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gian (@gpbbautista) is a 20 year-old multimedia designer from Manila, Philippines. He specializes in graphic design, illustration, photography and interactive authoring. See his works on Behance or Tumblr.