From endless blue skies to the historic Rosson House, the cover art for the recently released Downtown Directory was inspired by the distinct colors, textures and architecture that make up Downtown Phoenix.
Illustrator and printmaker Jake Early said he focused on elements that add character and give the city center a unique sense of place.
Like the local businesses within, the directory cover highlights the special places and things that define the downtown experience. Details like the yellow-budded branches of the native palo verde tree; the patterns of cast concrete blocks; or the bell tower at St. Mary’s Basilica.
“It is important to me in my work to focus on what makes a place unique, and Downtown Phoenix is different from so many large cities,” he said.
His illustrative style is simple but unmistakable. Each one incorporates bold colors and celebrates the particular traits of a city, state or region.
A California native, Early moved to Arizona in 2007 where he has participated in the local, public art initiative, IN FLUX, and continues to illustrate and print serigraphs.
And while Downtown Phoenix may change a bit each year, Early’s illustration reminds us of the minute details that may be easily overlooked but are built into our environment — and often into our history.
The 2015-2016 Downtown Phoenix Directory is fresh off the press with information on area restaurants, venues and other businesses. It’s available in person at the Downtown Phoenix Ambassador Information Center or online here.