Publication date 11/1/2011
11 x 12 inches (27.9 x 30.5 cm), Hardcover
144 pages, 100 color illustrations
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In the early 1990s, celebrated graphic designer Paula Scher (Make It Bigger, 2002) began painting maps of the world as she sees it. The larger her canvases grew, the more expressionistic her geographical visions became. Displaying a powerful command of image and type, Scher brilliantly transformed the surface area of our world. Paintings as tall as twelve feet depict continents, countries, and cities swirling in torrents of information and undulating with colorful layers of hand-painted boundary lines, place-names, and provocative cultural commentary. Collected here for the first time, Paula Scher MAPS presents thirty-nine of Scher's obsessively detailed, highly personal creations. Noted author Simon Winchester (The Map That Changed the World) introduces the book.
Paula Scher, a principal of the international design consultancy Pentagram, has been at the forefront of American graphic design for three decades. Her work is represented in museums all over the world and she holds two honorary doctorates in graphic design.
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Travel + Leisure:
"The colorful, annotated paintings collected in Paula Scher MAPS offer a world informed by the graphic designer's poignant and incisive commentary."
Designers & Books / Notable Books of 2011:
"As art, its gorgeous; as a process, its a lesson in obsession; and as a narrative, its storytelling at its best."
— Alissa Walker
"A lavish, formidable large-format volume collecting 39 swirling, colorful cartographic points of view; a beeline addition to my favorite books on maps. Paula Scher MAPS is a beautiful antidote to the sterile objectivity of location-aware apps and devices, reminiscent of Ward Shelleys analog data visualization and the poetic subjectivity of You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination, but presaging both and shining with Schers own distinct, quirky, visionary voice."
"Paula Scher MAPS is light years from the traditional study of cartography.... She calls them 'paintings of distortions,' although author Simon Winchester, in his introduction, is perhaps more poetic when he writes that her maps are 'an entirely new reality, one that manages to be useless and essential all at once.' 'Use them,' writes Winchester, 'glory in their madness.' And so you turn the page to see just what Scher has done and find yourself blown away by this thoroughly creative way of seeing the world."
"Coolest gift ever? Noted graphic designer Paula Scher presents 39 of her amazing painted map creations-- and trust us, they're not like anything you've ever seen in an atlas. "
"Scher's book of colorful, multilayered paintings present familiar geography in vibrant, thoughtful new ways. Besides being visually stunning, on closer look each map is crammed with geographical information... Scher takes the reader on a virtual world tour with a twist and her "paintings of distortions" compel us to take a look at the idea of truth within our own reality in the process."
Vanity Fair blog:
"MAPS is everything that a typical map is not: gorgeously illustrated and clever in a way that is oh-so unexpected."
"Scher knows exactly what she's doing, and each stage of development has become more sophisticated than the last. Her new book is a testament to that."
— Steven Heller
"The sizes of the maps alone are impressive (some are as tall as 12 feet) but it's the obsessiveness over the details that's really stunning. Scher's maps are made up entirely of words and packed with an insane amount of information; continents and oceans swirl with flight paths, neighborhoods, and time zones. Who knew that flight paths could be so cool and beautiful?"
Fine Books & Collections:
"The big bright maps of Paula Scher seen from afar become delightfully provocative when looked at up close, and this new book affords that enjoyable opportunity again and again. Thirty-nine of her creations are showcased here. Manhattan at Night, a painting, is gorgeous to look at, while All the News That Fits, a work on paper, is a chilling look at the media between 2001-2003. As a bonus, the book's cover folds out into a 3' by 2' frameable reproduction of one of her paintings."
"Paula Scher, a partner at Pentagram and one of the most influential graphic designers of her generation, has a new book, MAPS, that conveys the rich, complex feelings she has for the process of map making itself. .....For anyone into maps and map making, this book is worth exploring."
Manhattans User Guide:
"The big news in the world of maps has to be the publication of a book of Maps by Paula Scher, a partner at Pentagram. Whether she's charting New York or China or Israel, her work isn't about cartographical accuracybut it's illuminating all the same. Words, in a sense, get you from here to there."
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