While I draw expertise about maps from a range of people, it is myself, Marcus who designs, selects, prints, makes and then frames each one. Rarely do I find time to write and I took this opportunity to answer some of the frequent questions, posed to me on social media and by my customers. With most maps being on screens these days we know that there are few opportunities to print paper maps these days but we think that our maps are visuals that demand wall hanging space. The beauty of mapped data in its full glory.
My favourite map
This is a tricky question but I am always asked it, so here goes. From our range, my current favourite is the World Geology Map, it is such a striking print. Working at first sight as a bold, colourful piece of graphic art, but on closer inspection you are drawn into an incredible mass of data that is simply awe inspiring, particularly if you are into geology.
Labour of love
It has been said before but I’m going to say it again, map making is without doubt a labour of love. Good maps take time and one of my few frustrations with our small creative business is that we don’t get to make more! You can loose hours working on map data and in the summer with the cricket on the radio I really don’t mind at all. It definitely takes a certain type of creative to make maps, you are not going to get a quick design fix in an hour or two. I am lucky it suits my personality. After the big moving of business and home last year from London to Somerset and the development of our new website I am looking forward to making a new map this year.
I love to travel but with the environmental impact I am becoming more aware not to not take too many flights. That said; my brother lives in Mexico and is building a house over there so I will have to do a long haul pretty soon I think! I was looking at rail routes around Europe recently and the thought of travelling through Scandinavia by train with the family was quite enticing during the winter months. Copenhagen to Stockholm, Oslo and Bergen are all well connected and supposed to be really quite spectacular. If I had 3 months then a camper van through New Zealand would be good too.
Travel magic moments
Like many things in life, with travel it’s the little magic moments that stay with you. I remember island hopping in Greece with a good friend of mine post A Levels. We travelled on a shoe string and one evening bought a tomato, pepper, cheese and a loaf of bread and sat down on a river bank near a lovely little Greek Town to watch the water go by and the sun setting as we ate. All was very quiet but slowly we noticed more people started to come and sit down near by. Thinking nothing of it we chatted on but soon we had to stop as the space around had reached standing room only and the riverbank had become completely filled. Just as the sun was setting and we were starting to think that our status on this earth had reached biblical proportions a flotilla of boats came down river bringing a rumbling of noise and excitement. Completely unbeknown to us a riverboat based carnival was just about to begin and we had front row seats! Magic moment.
Plans for 2020
From a business point of view we’ve kicked off the new year by looking at our packaging. We’ve just moved to recyclable packing tape and have been trying to source paper end caps for the tubes for our maps. It’s not really possible in the UK yet with tube suppliers but having spoken to them it is only a matter of time before it happens. Hopefully we can push to be one of the first! The problem of course is that every solution we find to improve our eco credentials is more expensive so it will be small step by step reductions to keep our margins in check rather than a sweeping change. A challenge, we are looking forward to taking on.