For the Love of Maps, a geography-focused art shop run by Chris and Nina Brown, focuses on map-themed, word art prints, both as individual states and America as a whole. Their designs can be found as prints, stationery, bumper sticks, and baby onesies, with hopes of an expansion of products soon.
Based just north of Detroit in Rochester, Michigan, this husband-wife duo creates prints in their free time, often after putting their two young daughters to bed. They hope that in the near future, they will be able to turn the business into a full-time job.
Although considering themselves creative, neither Chris nor his wife have a background in graphic design.
“If you had told me ten years ago that I’m going to be making a bunch of money creating any form of art, I would’ve told you you’re crazy.”
With that in mind, how did For the Love of Maps start?
“We were looking for something to decorate our kitchen with. My wife is Italian, so the very first print we ever did was an outline of the map of Italy, made up of all Italian foods.”
After posting a picture of the art on social media, a friend suggested starting up an Etsy shop. Chris and his wife considered, acted on the suggestion, and the rest is history!
When starting a new project, the duo sits down and decides first on a topic to expand on. This often ranges from history (of a state, athletic team, etc.), breweries within a state, city skylines, and states “in a nutshell.” From there, they begin brainstorming and create a list of words. Depending on the topic, research is sometimes needed for a more in-depth understanding. The biggest, most popular places, themes, or words are placed first in big, prominent spots within the outline, and the rest is filled in from there.
Due to the fact that most of the art is based off of typography, Chris explains that often programming is minimal. When necessary however, they mainly use InkScape and Adobe Illustrator before sending their work to Smartpress – all online!
“What sets you guys apart is everything is so easy to do online. Being able to go in, pick my stocks, set all the different settings that I need for my print job, is so easy.”
Chris puts a strong emphasis on how important paper stocks are to the final product. One of the main reasons the couple was so attracted to Smartpress originally was because of our nearly-infinite amount of stock, specifically the Feltweave, “The texture makes it look very professional and we like it. We use it for everything.”
Chris believes that without the wonderful customer service that Smartpress provides, his projects would not run nearly as smoothly.
“Your customer support is amazing. You get back to us the same day if we have any questions or anything. The turn-around time is brilliant, and you guys do good work.”
For the Love of Maps can often be found at festivals and fairs throughout Michigan in the summer. It is here that they experiment with various different products, such as cards and shirts, in addition to their prints, all of which are printed through Smartpress.
Want to try your hand at poster printing? Smartpress has all the options and finishes to make your project a success. Choose your size, coating, mounting, and adhesive options to assure that your project can shine on whatever wall or post you put it on! As always, our customer service representatives are available to answer any questions you may have, and can be reached at 1-888-934-6909.