Typographic maps II

Time for a follow-up on a my short post about typographic maps nearly a year and a half ago. Maps made up of type are, as the kids say, the bee’s knees. As typography- and map-based designs are rather popular in general, more of these typography maps crop up every so often. Here’s another short list of some more maps I have encountered since writing last year.

[Update: it’s gone now] typographymap.com has said “We’re launching soon” for two harvests now. I still don’t know what it is, but it’s kind of cool.

Part of the

My earlier post mentioned Mark Andrew Webber and his linocut maps, but since then he’s worked on a large and amazing map of Paris, which you’ve probably seen by now. More like awesomecut.

Linocut map of Paris by Mark Andrew Webber

One of my favorite maps from the poster session at this years NACIS conference was Mouths Wide Open by Mike Boruta of Ohio University, mapping Athens, Ohio with things overheard around town as well as his own thoughts. With his permission, here is a larger section of the map. Mike, it must be noted, was the winner of the NACIS student poster competition for a different map, The Million Dollar Highway.

Part of

Hand-lettering is not typography of course, but we can be liberal here. Layla Curtis has several drawings of maps that consist, essentially, of labels. I think they are traced. On her site, look for them under Work->Drawings.

Map by Layla Curtis

Portsmouth Vernacular by Jodie Silsby is a fabulous map of Portsmouth (UK) with the streets written as local slang phrases. Maps + typography + language? Yes, please!

Part of

Here’s a series of maps at Very Small Array showing the US with each state filled in by the most common location mentioned in craigslist “missed connections” posts.

Finally, this is as much as I am willing to show of an unfinished project right now, but here’s a tiny preview of a map I have slowly been working on for a while. For now you’ll just have to take my word that everything besides white space in the image below is made up of type. [Update: it’s more than done now]

Boston typography map



  1. On the topic of typographic maps, this “literary map” of San Francisco is quite interesting: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/07/17/RVB618NQ0U.DTL

    2 November 2009 @ 6:05pm

  2. It is indeed! Thanks for the link!

    Andy Woodruff
    2 November 2009 @ 10:52pm

  3. Nice listing of typographic maps! I’ve made a couple of typographic maps as well:

    1) World map with city names, the size and color of the city name depend on the population:

    2) World map with Googled descriptions (with a “Cityname is * for its” search) for each city:

    3 November 2009 @ 5:58am

  4. Wonderful maps, Janne! I’m enjoying them a lot. In the distant view they make me think of a pick-up sticks game. One where the sticks happened to fall into the shape of the world, that is.

    Andy Woodruff
    3 November 2009 @ 2:25pm

  5. Thanks for the update to your previous post, it’s a great collection of maps.

    6 November 2009 @ 4:12am

  6. hey, i love word-type as image. i was going to comment about london kerning by nb studio but saw you had done it in type maps 1 post. these are great and so wanted to share my appreciation of your post and type as image.

    you might have already seen this little gem from the sadly split duo of kerr and noble.


    thanks again

    8 November 2009 @ 10:17am

  7. oh… i forgot this


    sorry not trying to spam, just wanted to share link


    8 November 2009 @ 10:31am

  8. Chris, thanks for the links! I had seen that Mississippi River map on your blog (I’m a loyal RSS subscriber), but not the Thames map. Looks nice! I’m also enjoying the rest of that Word as Image collection you’ve got.

    Andy Woodruff
    8 November 2009 @ 7:30pm