The Project

Every designer seems to go through that phase where they want to unplug from their digital tools and get their hands dirty. Every designer except me, that is. Oh sure, I’ve had tons of fun with various map illustration and mixed-media art projects, but I do love me some cold, clinical Photoshop. What would I do without it?

No, seriously—what would I do without it? 16 years into my pro design career, could I make interesting images without the digital tool I use the most? To find out, I took on a fun project I called “March Mapness” that 1) indulged my trivial superpower of hand-drawn maps, 2) burnished my atrophying illustration skills, and 3) required daily time commitments of 2+ hours to do it well.

So, I asked my friends and family for help. They know I’m a hopeless map nerd, so I asked them to prompt me with enough requests for me to create one map per day, for all 31 days in March 2018. I made hand-illustrated map doodles for each person, enhanced the maps with phone apps like PS Express, then posted those images daily to Instagram under the #march_mapness hashtag.

It was a great exercise in limitation, restriction, and boundaries—what I can I create within these parameters? Like all the daily Instagram image challenges, some results were better than others, but the good ones are really good. See the whole collection here.


Want more maps? Get our free eBook!

Find out how to put our 8 crucial event map design principles into action! This guide covers what you need to know about basic map design: how to use event maps to improve your attendees’ experience, plus our favorite tools and best practices anyone can use to create, customize or commission beautiful and informative event maps. Download our free eBook below:

eBook: Map Design Essentials – Rules and Tools for Event Professionals

If you’re planning or producing an event and need a custom map, this event map design guide is for you. Enter your email address to sign up for our mailing list and we’ll send you the download link. Happy mapping!