Lena Corwin’s Maps

September 19, 2012 |  Category:   art + design friends

What is it about maps that are just so fascinating? I’ve been long obsessed with how the intricate network of streets create these complex patterns, totally unique to each city, and creating maps have often been a recurring theme to some of my work projects. I think that’s why I’m so fascinated by Claudine’s obsessive map-like maze drawings because of this long standing fascination with urban typography.
And then this book.

Lena is an artist and designer who I’ve known about and long admired for a really long time, but had only met earlier this year. We have quite a few mutual friends in common so I’d like to think that it was only a matter of time before we would meet. And when we did have dinner way back in the Spring, she was gracious enough to give me a copy of her book, Maps, a book she self published last year. Maps is a collection of beautifully hand drawn illustrated maps of 40 cities around the world, 20 here in the US and 20 abroad. She started making these illustrations back in 2004 for a magazine and they are wonderfully charming and peppered with landmarks and points of interest. It’s the perfect book to share with the girls because of their love of maps, no doubt fostered through nightly bedtime routines of looking at maps and atlases with Mark since they were babies. It’s also fun to look through different cities and talk about places we hope to visit in the future. I love Lena’s aesthetic sensibilities in everything she creates and this book, with her artistic interpretations of that urban typography that I love so much, is no exception.


Lena’s book is now available in store at Anthropologie.

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  • Kelly September 19, 2012 at 6:31 am

    I think it is the repressed-engineer in me that loves maps – the lines, the fonts, the image, the colour, everything! I have too many hanging in my flat, it looks like a geography classroom! Beautiful book…thanks for sharing

  • Desiree September 19, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Love Lena’s maps. I am in love with maps as well in general. There is just always something new to discover each time you sit down with a map. It’s a way to travel the world without having to leave your home.

  • Jocy September 19, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I am obsessed with maps. I wonder: Is there a map of Portland, OR in this book? I’ve been looking for one to hang up in our flat.

  • Christy Milford (@SweetSavoring) September 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I have a map obsession too- my father just gave me a USA atlas that belonged to his father, originally published in 1960.

    And what a great bedtime ritual! I’ve gotten my nephew interested in the atlas a few times when on a car trip; he likes finding all the towns he’s lived in :)

  • Julie September 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Love the Kansas City shot! (I live in KC)

  • jen September 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I bought this book at anthro awhile ago and have since cut out some of the maps and framed them in and around my condo. They’re so fun and whimsical :)

  • Alice September 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    As much as I hate destroying books, some of these prints would be gorgeous in simple Ikea white frames with matting and grouped. So sad that book’s not on the Anthro website. I do so much of my shopping online as to avoid the crowds …

  • Jenna September 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    @Jocy there is indeed a map of Portland!

  • Jocy September 23, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Woohoo! A PDX map – more the reason to love this book.

  • Trudy Florence September 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

    These are actually amazing. I always read your blog and I’m sorry that it’s taken someone else’s art for me to say hi. I will have to keep an eye out when I’m in the states later in the year. I love your little tales with your beautiful photos.

  • Bianca April 4, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Hi! I am so in love with this book but can’t seem to find it anywhere–does anyone know if she’s still selling these somewhere?

    • Jenna April 10, 2013 at 9:43 am

      Hi bianca! Maybe try emailing Lena directly via her blog?