The Art of the City
What happens when one’s passion for city grids, atlases and street maps are let loose? Modern Map Art: An art shop that takes your favorite cities, mountains, and places and turns them into beautiful works of art.
Map artist, Jennifer Beck says she was inspired after returning from her honeymoon on a trip around the world. Modern Map Art is her way of taking what she had learned about the culture and colours and turning that into something special.
Each grid is created using OpenStreetMaps to create the map grid, and then styling is used to colour in the streets, land, and water. On any Modern Map Art grid, downtown is the center, but that depends on how the map grid/shoreline looks. The map is then placed on a poster in Photoshop, where the city name is added.
“I started using city grids and imagery put together with colors that represented that city to create posters and art that would look good in anyone’s home or office,” says Jennifer. “We started with cities we were familiar with here in the US and we’re going to expand to cities all over the world. Our designs are elegant and modern, with a touch of nostalgia for anyone that has a connection to the city.”
Jennifer was generous enough to send me over my own 24×36 red Toronto print and even though it looks gorgeous in her online shop, the in-person experience is a whole other story.
The red is deep, rich and smooth to the touch, almost like a thin, flat layer of velvet. The posters are made from a thick, museum quality matte paper, and Ultrachrome ink. The ink is rated to last over 100 years, and 200 years if properly framed and maintained. Modern Map Art doesn’t stop at the paper however, they also offer phone cases made from a protective plastic and pillows made from polyester.
Map art enthusiasts are free to order their own custom print of any city and can collaborate with Jennifer to produce a map in any colour or style to fit their needs. Country and Ski Map prints as well as Skyline Art Prints are also available.