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Modern Vintage Maps: Bold designs straight from the archives!

I've always had a thing for maps. Especially the old ones. Not because they're terribly accurate, but because of the artistry and imagination that went into them.

The very old ones feature plenty of sea monsters and even the odd unicorn. But I also love looking at old maps of my city, Washington, DC. As a planned capital city, it's fun to see how things have changed over the years.

It's also a reminder that progress is not always linear. Remember when we had a robust network of streetcars? Yeah, me neither. But they existed back before the roads were expanded and the automobile became king.

It's also interesting for another reason. I live in Truxton Circle, a neighborhood named after a nonexistent circle. And a neighborhood most Washingtonians have never heard of. But look at the old maps and you can find the circle that used to exist at the intersection of North Capitol Street and Florida Avenue.

This interest in maps led me to start covering my walls in them. Except I didn't want my walls to be covered in black and white — or rather, black and yellowing-white. So I took the old cartography and gave it a major update with bold color and striking lines.

I use high resolution images of source maps and clean them up where possible, fixing tears or erasing dirt or smudges. I then bring in a fun palette of colors to breath new life into the old maps.

On my new website, you can play with the color palette. I print these maps on real cotton linen canvas which I stretch over a solid wood frame, just like an actual piece of artwork for a gallery or studio. The result is a unique piece of art that is sure to start a conversation in whatever room it occupies.

Take a look at Modern Vintage Maps, play with the colors, and order a customized piece of history!




1 comment

  • Beautiful use of vintage/olde time design. Appreciate the inspiration.

    David White

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