Designer Uses Maps to Simplify Complex Ideas

“The best way to get un-lost is draw a map,” says New York-based designer and inventor, Archie Archambault. A master of maps (if there ever was one), Archambault is known for his minimalist maps that simplify anything from the ins and outs of a computer to astrology.

It all started when, while living in Portland, he drew a circular map of the city which helped him understand better his whereabouts. It was then that the Archie’s Press brand was born.

“I make letterpress ‘maps from the mind’ of cities, planets, organs, and many other subjects,” he told the Ohh Deer blog. “They’re all super-simple distillations of the complex ideas.” Now, he travels all over the world meeting people and exploring cities. Each map is assembled after asking residents a lot of questions and referencing current and past maps.

“When I started taking this design practice seriously, I went in a dozen different directions,” he recalled. “Most of it was type and image with quippy or impactful messages. I made things that were funny, clever, crude, and everything in-between, but the maps were by far the biggest hit and I really enjoyed making them. Then my brain became like this map-thinking machine and I stopped thinking about other things.”

Take a look at some of his maps:

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Moon in negative.

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