Maps That Reflect How Locals Understand Their Cities : An Interview with Archie of Archie's Press

Updated: Oct 17, 2018

We spoke with Archie, of Archie's Press, to find out more about his history, inspiration, and his work.

Archie designs letterpress printed maps that depict cities and states that locals of those places can clearly recognize and identify. His no-frills aesthetic is part of what makes these maps so clear and easy to read. Rather than placing an importance on geography, which most maps do, Archie's prints illustrate the neighborhoods that locals are familiar with. This more personal portrayal of cities and states is what draws people to Archie's maps.

Where are you from, and what city/state do you work out of now? 

I'm originally from Providence, Rhode Island, spent six years in Portland, OR and now I live in New York City. 

What do you design? 

I make maps of cities that reflect a local's understanding of the place, using lots of circles and no color. I use circles because they're simple, and show scale super-simply. I work with designers from different cities to make sure the map really looks like it came from a person who lived there. 

Lately I've been working on different subjects besides cities like the Solar System, Anatomy and more abstract concepts. Everything is letterpress printed and sold as a print. 

What has influenced your work the most? I learned everything I know about graphic design from messing around in a letterpress shop. Pretty much all the rules and constraints regarding typography and layout are based on letterpress technology. That gave me a really strong respect for organization and simplicity, which is necessary if you're going to start using letterpress. It's actually something that I've been struggling with my whole life. I