Playing with Paper

Since the beginning, we've championed maps on walls as an alternative design statement, believing them to be worthy of the same level of display as a coveted work of art. But recently we were challenged to reinterpret maps once more, forcing us to adapt them to a completely new medium.

Posterzine Future Mapping Company

The Posterzine is a hybrid creation: it is both a poster and a magazine due to the way it folds. When People of Print approached us to work on a Future Mapping Company version, we jumped at the chance to have a play. Normally, we design our maps to look great on walls, but here we had to push ourselves creatively to come up with a way to convey the same amount of impact, but on a smaller scale and with fewer inks.

We chose our Illustrated Star Map as the subject because of all the intricacy in the data.

The first thing we did was turn the traditional landscape format on its head to fit into the portrait orientation of the Posterzine. This resulted in stacking the hemispheres one on top of the other to provoke the viewer.


Posterzine Future Mapping Company

Next, we had to find a way to reduce the number of special inks in the image from 7 down to 3. Here is where the beauty of lithographic printing comes in: we could actually produce several shades of the same ink by mixing different Pantones together. This process is all done by hand and eye, which means you can be really precise with the tones you want. We chose a Metallic Aquamarine as the base and Yellow and Deep Pink as the stronger accents to sit on top. The illustrations are actually areas of the plate which didn't receive any colour - what you see is the paper it's printed on (GFSmith Naturalis, for those asking).

You can see the reimagined map in A1 size when folded out, and as an A4 monograph when folded up. On the reverse, you can read our interview with Editor Kate Hollowood on our creative process, what we love about the cartographic craft and why maps matter.

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