My favourite thing about the internet is how it facilitates communities coming together around any number of specialist and obscure interests, so that whatever floats your boat you can easily find and connect with like-minded obsessives.
The mapping community (my new favourite community) was a flutter with excitement a couple of weeks back when superb San Francisco studio Stamen released the second part of their city tracking project, particularly with regards to the eye-meltingly gorgeous watercolour style.
There’s a wealth of informative documentation of the work over on Stamen’s blog, from detailed techy stuff (if you’re a member of the coding community) to fascinating insights into how the aesthetics came together.
In one post, Geraldine Sarmiento explains the painstaking process of developing the colour palette, which she started by hand.
She says: “I went through many rounds of painting and testing, experimenting with other types of brushes as I went along, as well as painting on smooth to rough varieties of paper. For the final product, a variety of brushes and papers were used depending on the desired result. For example, the rougher papers added that extra texture needed for ground areas. It was fun to mix it all up to convey a variety of terrain.
“The process of going back and forth from painting to the computer became a continuous cycle. Midway through as I became more and more familiar with the outcome of how the actual texture would appear on the screen when tiled, my painting process became more specific to achieve the desired texture, color, darkness, stroke, range of value that I wanted for each feature on the map.”
The results are staggering with the skill and patience of the Stamen team shining through in the final designs. And just when we thought it couldn’t get much better, over on the Newspaper Club blog we learn that Stamen have produced an absolutely beautiful newspaper for the Where 2.0 conference featuring their handiwork in all its glory. Lovely, lovely work.
- Best of the Web: a few of our favourite things we've spotted on the internet this week
- Tom Phillips' magnum opus turned a Victorian novel into a work of art spanning 50 years
- Matisse-inspired posters for Serbian Youth Day from designer Monika Lang
- Raphael Schoen's cheerfully chaotic posters for a Swiss youth club
- Illustrators including Sam Taylor and Charlotte Mei's tributes to NWA's Straight Outta Compton
- The slides and sleep pods of LA's Silicon Beach startup scene captured by Lauren Greenfield
- A mind full of filthy ideas and creative brilliance: we visit Malika Favre
- The bizarre, twilight world of Berlin-based photographer Maxime Ballesteros
- Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam and Colophon create typeface that works with the Earth's tilt
- The Anonymous Sex Journal is back, and this issue is all about wanking
- The homeless Dirty Kids of America and their "rainbow party" explored in new film
- 12-year-old accidentally punches a hole $1.5 million painting