What is For the Love of Maps?
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.”
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.”