How We Design Our City Map Prints

City Map Print. Los Angeles city map print. Silver Lake LA art print

Before our city map prints are ready to be shipped out to you, there's a ton of work that goes into designing and creating them - and I would love to walk you through the entire process on this page. 

As the designer and creative director at Pieces on Paper, it's my responsibility to make sure that our art prints look good and fit together perfectly. There's a whole lot of thought and effort behind our designs, and in this post I would love to take you with me behind the scenes so you can see how one of our minimalist city map prints comes to life. 

City and Neighborhood Collections

We have two different collections of map prints: City Collection and Neighborhood Collection

When the idea first came to me to create minimalist city map prints, I had a clear vision of what I wanted them to look like. I knew that I wanted them to be very minimalist and simplistic (I grew up in Scandinavia and wanted to keep the Scandinavian minimalism in my designs), yet still detailed enough for locals to recognize their city and neighborhood. 

I started out by focusing on creating Los Angeles neighborhoods, and this became the beginning of the development of the special style I use for our Neighborhood Collection. 

It also influenced me greatly as I was designing our City Collection. It was very important to me that the two collections complimented each other, since I wanted everybody to be able to get a mix of City and Neighborhood art prints that would look beautiful and congruent together. 

Let me show you exactly what I mean by that. Here's our Brooklyn (which is a part of our City Collection) and our Williamsburg (which is a part of our Neighborhood Collection) next to each other: 

New York Wall Art

There are a few different things that I would like to point out regarding the two different designs - and the two different collections: 

  • Typography: The most important thing to me was that the typography of all of our designs match. That means that the font is the same, the weight is the same, and the typography is placed exactly in the same location of each designs so that they are even when placed next to each other. 
  • Colors: The colors used in all of our designs are the exact same. That way, our prints also look great next to each other. 
  • Line weight: Now, this is where it gets a bit nerdy, but the lines we use for the streets are always the same in the two collections - and between the collections. 
    • City Collection has only one type of line. This marks all the most important roads in the city (highways and major roads) and also those that make the design interesting to look at (I use my creative freedom to decide which streets make it to the final design in our City Collection. I look for what brings the design together and makes it interesting to look at). 
    • Neighborhood Collection: Has three types of lines: A thick one for highways and major roads, a medium one for streets and a thin one for paths and small roads. The medium line has the same thickness as the line in the City Collection, which furthermore ties the two collections together. The Neighborhood Collection features every street in the neighborhood.