by Paula Scher

Maps

When you try to think of design celebrities (currently living), there aren’t too many to name. I think of “design celebrity” as someone who is acclaimed in the design world, who might also have recognition outside of design culture. Maira Kalman, Steven Heller, Todd Oldham and Paula Scher would be my picks. What do you think? I heard Paula Scher give a lecture once and it was the most inspiring talk I’ve seen. She was smart and tough and honest and the breadth of her work was immaculate. One of the topics she spoke about was doing self driven projects that you love like the map paintings she makes. These paintings are enormous, 7ft x 12ft enormous! Each is full of colorful insanely packed names of the countries, cities, boundaries, and areas making an explosion of gorgeous lettering filling the canvas. It’s easy to forget how many countries there are that you haven’t visited and how populated the world is, but somehow these maps remind me of our buzzing world. This new book from Princeton Architectural Press is a beautiful collection of these works. Through large, full bleed reproductions, not only of the paintings in their entirety, but tons of details, you can see the meticulous brush strokes of each of the letters. I’ve been in love with Paula’s maps since I first set eyes on them and inquired with galleries about purchasing prints even – too bad even the prints are way, way out of my price range. I was thrilled when recently 20×200 made some lower priced editions of “The World” available but I am even more happy to have this book so I can oogle the entire series of them. You can get a copy right here.

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