lena corwin illustrated map book + giveaway

I’m thrilled to end this week with a peek at a fantastic new book from one of my favorite designers, Lena Corwin. I’ve admired Lena since we met back when I first started Design*Sponge and have so enjoyed watching her work flourish and grow since then. Today Lena is introducing a fantastic new book called Maps, a collection of hand-drawn maps she’s done over the past seven years. Lena started drawing these illustrated city maps for an interiors magazine after her brother-in-law Noah (a magazine designer) suggested she tackle the topic. Maps looks at 40 of Lena’s favorites from her collection, including, but not limited to, 20 great American cities. Lena’s maps mix whimsy and function perfectly and always make me want to immediately hop on a plane and check out the spots she’s suggested. My favorite part of her new book is a set of ten interviews with local shop owners that accompany a selection of maps. While D*S strives to focus on design that everyone can easily access online, my heart has always been most strongly tied to regional design, so this book really makes me smile. I love the way Lena can capture the spirit of a city in one illustration — it’s a wonderful way to celebrate the differences and unique options each area has to offer.

Lena’s book goes on sale today at a special price of $29 (today through April 3rd, 2011). You can pick up a copy on Lena’s site and view more images from the book. Lena has also offered to give away two copies of Maps to D*S readers. So if you’d like to win a copy, please leave a comment in the comment section below with a link to one of your favorite maps. Whether you have a favorite map on eBay you’ve been scouting, one you look at online all the time, a hand-drawn version on your blog or a photo of one around your home, this giveaway is all about celebrating maps. So please share your favorite, and next week Lena will pick her two favorites to win the free book copies. (Comments will be accepted through Monday, April 3rd, 2011)

In honor of local maps, Lena also created a special map for Design*Sponge celebrating her favorite spots in her neighborhood of Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Her choices are listed below and depicted above. Thanks so much to Lena for sharing this with us today, and congrats on the fantastic new book. Stay tuned for a little sneak peek of Lena’s home on Monday, too!

Lena Corwin’s Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Map Key: (for map above)

1. Bittersweet (cafe)
2. Feliz (shop)
3. Chez Oscar (restaurant)
4. Dino (restaurant)
5. Roman’s (restaurant)
6. Brooklyn Flea (seasonal location)
7. Choice (cafe & restaurant)
8. Saffron (shop)
9. Brooklyn Academy of Music (opera and movie theater)
10. Stuart & Wright (shop)
11. Bespoke Bikes (shop)
12. Habana Outpost (seasonal restaurant)
13. Greenlight Bookstore (shop)
14. Provisions (market)
15. Olea (restaurant)
16. General Greene Ice Cream Stand (seasonal)

*Note: It was hard to narrow down my favorite choices since there are many more great businesses in the neighborhood!

Until Monday, I wish you all a wonderful weekend. And I hope to see some of you at Brooklyn Day at Terrain on Saturday! xo, grace

Below is a summary of this week’s highlights:

  1. Adrienne says:

    I love maps!! I keep all of my maps from my travels and display them in my photo albums and scrapbooks :) My favorite map is this world map that I just made last week. I covered two canvases in burlap and drew the continents on 3 different fabrics. I outlined each continent in tiny gold nails. It’s hanging over my couch in my living room!


  2. Caroline C says:

    I had posted some of my favorite maps on my blog back in February! This book looks fantastic… I’ve bookmarked it already!

  3. Minna says:

    Though it’s definitely bad to perpetuate stereotypes, these stereotype maps are rather funny


  4. I have to jump on the ORK bandwagon. I have their 18 x 24 BK poster, but now I’m kind of wishing I got the bigger one!


  5. this map book is fantastic! here is a link to one of my favorite artists who does map sunprints. http://hascott.wordpress.com/

  6. Lauren says:

    Artist Tim Hawkinson made a self portrait topographic body map by laying in an ink-filled bathtub and taking photographs as he drained the tub. He translated the photographs into a drawing and I can’t for the life of me find an image of it online :(

    I also like the idea of using mapping technology to make art like GPS drawings http://www.gpsdrawing.com/gallery.html
    (i’m not sold on these particular images, but I think the idea has a lot of potential)

  7. kristen b says:

    I’m a fan of the city maps from These Are Things: http://thesearethings.myshopify.com/collections/city-neighborhood-maps

    I also find beauty in subway maps, like the Tube in London or the Japanese Rail map for Tokyo

  8. meg says:

    I love when maps can serve a secondary purpose such as these map plates. http://www.seletti.it/table/plate.html
    You can eat in other cities without leaving your home.

  9. Ayumi says:

    love love love maps. and i love love love your maps. I used to go to my school library and ask for old maps that they just throw out.

    have you seen this one though?

  10. Avril says:

    wow 462 posts and counting….this was a great idea! May I suggest more give-aways where people leave their inspirations?!?!

  11. maddie says:

    i think these reorganized city maps (villes rangées) by armelle caron are super interesting. it’s cool to see the rhythm of the city blocks arranged in a linear way.


  12. Liz says:

    I’ve always loved old pull-down school maps like this: http://www.etsy.com/listing/69686936/vintage-crams-pull-down-map-south?ref=sr_gallery_5&ga_search_query=maps&ga_search_type=vintage&ga_facet=vintage

    (in fact, I just bought one to hang in my living room!)

  13. Catarina says:

    I love her work and her simple drawings!

  14. Sarah says:

    Sorry i don’t have a picture or link. But my favourite maps have to be my grandads maps which have all the pubs marked with P’s with a little review of each one.

  15. Tina C. says:

    there’s a map on the wall at the Maryland Historical Society of Baltimore circa 1870. It has my house on it!!

  16. alison says:

    i’m an urban planner and lover of maps, and i am excited about the chance to wear my city:


  17. Meg says:

    I got into maps after discovering http://www.maptote.com … and then it opened up a whole new world!

    I’m a writer without much of a talent for design. I love design, I appreciate design, but boy am I terrible at it. Thanks so much, D*S, for giving the rest of us Clueless Admirers a great place to find inspiration. Loved the preview of Lena’s book!

  18. Laura says:

    What a great idea for a book! Live in Portland, OR and frequent Seattle, WA as well. Both made the book and looking forward to reading it.
    I am coveting a world map for my son’s room. Love the vintage look and it reminds me of my elementary school days. Best of luck to you for continued success!


  19. yingaling says:

    laffayette ave. in the fort greene page is misspelled!

    anyway, drinks map is my recent fave:

  20. Marcie says:

    This is a fantastic book I would love to own. My favorite “map” of late is actually a depiction of Lake Superior found at Crafterall’s Etsy shop: http://tinyurl.com/4y2u5h7

  21. Lucia says:

    I adore these style maps. Some function lots of cuteness. They look beautiful!

  22. Jen says:

    Love love love Lena’s book and all things maps – especially textiles! I love finding vintage map-scarves, aprons etc on Etsy like this little beauty, a pretty little map of Frankfurt! I would treasure Lena’s book… I also love her Fort Greene Map, I live just under the chair she placed on Clinton Avenue:

    Frankfurt map/scarf: http://www.etsy.com/listing/71205214/mid-century-frankfurt-tourist-hankie?ref=sr_gallery_32&ga_search_query=map&ga_search_type=vintage&ga_facet=vintage

  23. Jeanne Hlebo says:

    I received this linen towel map of where I grew up as a wedding gift (30 years ago this May23rd!). My husband made the frame to preserve it’s beauty!

    Here it is!

  24. Galadriel says:

    I love the illustrations in this book! Just beautiful. I’m always crushing out on papercut maps and right now this is my favorite:

  25. Rhea says:

    i’m confused about monday, april 3… today is the 4th! i hope the contest is still open!
    anyways, here be my entry:
    from the book principles of uncertainty. glorious.

  26. Abbey says:

    So inspired by map quilts like these: http://ianhundleystudio.com/quilts.php

  27. Christine says:

    I find subway maps so intimidating. This one of Seoul makes me queasy. ;)


    I have to admit I ordered two copies of MAPS already. I could do with more!

  28. mihwa says:

    the cu chi tunnel map in vietnam was one of the coolest maps i’ve seen. the colors & details of the map showed the intricacy of these underground tunnels.


  29. J Koes says:

    thanks for the giveaway. i’ve been obsessed with maps for as long as i can remember myself! here’s a great resource of all kinds of unconventional maps: http://bigthink.com/blogs/strange-maps

    my personal favourite is http://pics.livejournal.com/mi3ch/pic/004yk19e

    hope i win!

  30. Fuchsia says:

    This is lovely, looking through everyone’s favourite maps!

    Here’s one I drew about where my time disappears to:

  31. Julie says:

    Aww man! I can’t believe I missed such an amazing giveaway! Although I am having fun checking out all of these links. I adore maps.

    I recently ran across these beautiful maps: http://marisaseguin.com/vancouver.html

  32. Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good success. If you know of any please share. Thank you!

  33. Holly Hollon says:

    I love Massimo Vignelli’s subway map! It looks so clean and simplistic and easy to read,but visually compelling.

    The color selection is great too!


  34. Hey there would you mind letting mme knw which hosting company you’re using?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say thhis blog loads a lot
    quicker then most. Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at a fair price?

    Thanks, I appreciate it!

  35. Karine says:

    Wonderful article! This is the kind of information that are meant to be shared around the
    net. Disgrace on Google for not positioning this put up higher!

    Come on over and talk over with my site . Thank you =)

  36. Home says:

    It’s great that you are getting thoughts from this article as well as from our discussion made at this place.


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.