Spotlight on: Prettymaps

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On occasion, I stumble across a designer or artist or design group, and I see prettiness, but I’m not sure exactly what is going on. It’s not completely apparent to me whether or not I’m looking at physical artwork, concept designs, digital something-somethings, or a total hallucination that I wasn’t aware I had accidentally slipped into.

What with so much digital and design experimentation and collaborations, the lines between good old fashioned artists and more modern creative geniuses has been blurred somewhat. Or completely exploded. One extreme or the other.

Aaron Cope - Prettymaps

So when I saw this gorgeous map on Pinterest, my eyes bugged out of my head, then I clicked over to check out the goodness, but I got a little confused. My brain craves simpleness, and at first I saw cool map prints to buy. Then I realized these map prints were a part of something so much bigger.

I was led to an interactive site called prettymaps, where you can zero in on a geographical area and be rewarded with prettiness. AND GROVER! (You’ll see when you click over.)

Naturally, I was intrigued, so I figured out, with my own brain, that prettymaps is an experimental map site from Stamen Design. This is what they do, directly from their website:

Stamen is a world-leading provider of visualization and analytics design and strategic data communication for private and public sector clients across various industries.

Then I had to go lie down for an hour because it’s too, too much information to try to comprehend. in all seriousness, these are the most interesting businesses, where you aren’t quite sure what they do, but you know it’s creative, innovative, and smart.

Here’s what I got from the map site when I entered my city into the search box:

prettymaps

Not as vibrant and gorgeous as the prints, but definitely Grover makes up for that.

Here is the Dallas/Forth Worth print:

prettymaps - dallas

Ooh, look at Paris:

prettymaps Paris

Aaron Straup Cope on 20×200.com

Stamen Design – poke around the site and soak it all in. You’ll be inspired.

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