With Christmas nearly upon us, it's time to think last minute gifts. One of my go-to options is map art, because it makes such a thoughtful present. It can commemorate a favorite vacation, honor an old hometown, or celebrate a new one: how versatile! So I scoured the web to round up my favorites. They showcase lots of different cities, and some can even be customized to your very own zip code.
I love the abstract geometry of this Paris map by Jazzberry Blue. I like too that is has a payoff for the viewer: unless you were familiar with the city, you might not recognize it as Paris at all. I think this artist is great; I featured another piece by him a few weeks back. His work feels modern and warm, and it's also very well priced.
Here's another example of some essentialist map styling. No street names, just neighborhoods and landmarks delineated by color. And what pretty colors they are, too: I love the gray mixed with pastels. It's so serene.
From modern to old school, this map of Los Angeles has a distinctly antiquey vibe. But because it is black and white as opposed to sepia, it also has a certain industrial chic. I like, too, how detailed this one is: the white streets feel so lacy and delicate on that dark ground.
This artist makes topographical style maps of coastlines. The colors are calming, and I like that the style feels a little abstract and casual, too. What a great way to remember a favorite beach vacation.
I'm a fan of these unusual maps by Archie Archambault. To create them, he speaks with locals to get a sense of how they define different neighborhoods. He also explores the city himself by foot and vehicle, so he can understand how one travels from place to place. The result is a map that "communicate[s] the idea of a city on paper”, as opposed to a literal reproduction of geography. It's also a gift that's sure to spark conversation from locals and visitors alike.
I think this map of Portland is totally charming. It not only captures all the major city landmarks, but also the vibe of the city. And how perfect are those trees: can't have Portland without conifers!
This artist creates embroidered maps of major cities too, but I like these neighborhood maps best. You provide her with your location, and she creates a beautifully wrought piece, just for you. They'd look absolutely lovely framed, or even turned into a throw pillow.
This British company can print maps of any zip code in any color and size. So you could create a large framed piece, or cover an entire wall for an even greater effect.
And now for one that everyone can relate to: a constellation map of the North or South sky. At $95 for a 36" square limited edition print, these are a great value, and cooly scientific to boot.
None of these to your liking? How about giving the gift of a map making class? This one is available on Skillshare, an online platform, so your recipient can take it anywhere in the world. Teacher and blogger Anne Ditmeyer helps students "learn to communicate places beautifully." And that's for anyplace they want, too. A totally personal, fully experiential map: what a great gift to give this holiday season.