Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Flying down to Rio

Much of our work at Maps Illustrated is travel industry related and recently we helped with the re-launch of the website of a Argentina based travel company. Our maps can be found dotted around their website and other publicity. To find out more about the company and maybe book yourself a wonderful South Americian adventure read on....
PlanSouthAmerica is a British-owned and operated travel company with offices in London and Buenos Aires specialising in private, tailor-made holidays, honeymoons, sporting trips and group tours to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Antarctica. PlanSouthAmerica was actually re-launched in 2012 having evolved from PlanBA, which was founded by Harry Hastings in 2007. We’re dedicated to the original, the inimitable, the private and boutique, the offbeat, the authentic and the best-kept secrets. We focus on the countries we know like the back of our hands and we have the knowledge and contacts to open doors and make things happen. These days, booking a holiday is relatively straightforward, but creativity and attention to detail make the difference between an acceptable holiday experience and an unforgettable one. Our small team of British expatriates and Argentines are based at our Buenos Aires office and we believe this gives us the edge. We have close relationships with local hotel owners and know the hotels inside out, even down to the views they offer. We know your tour guides, waiters, chefs and the distances between your destinations better than an elephant with a sat nav. The PlanSA team enjoy daily contact with the people and places we represent – the key, we believe, to making our trips so special and to guaranteeing dependable service.
Just in case you need any more encouragement; here are a few more reasons to book a South American trip with us. When you book with PlanSouthAmerica, the member of staff who plans your trip is responsible for planning every detail and ensuring smooth running throughout, meaning you have the same point of contact from start to finish – no middle-men, no hassle. We offer round-the-clock concierge service for all clients.  If it is doable, it will be done. On top of that, our clients have exclusive access to some of the finest properties in South America, private art collections, tickets to sold-out performances and tastings at private wineries as well as airport assistance to avoid long queues. The most common complaint from visitors to South America is that they realise they tried to do too much. With such a vast continent to explore, it is important to know which regions complement one another and how best to mix-and-match them. We know how to strike a balance whilst ensuring you still enjoy a rich and varied experience, without spending too much time on the road. Itinerates are tailored to each individual client and we will do our upmost to accommodate any changes, should they arise. We do not advertise so all our business comes through word of mouth and past satisfied clients. Please feel free to visit to read some of our testimonials and to find out more about us.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Chewton Glen Treehouses opening

Chewton Glen is a 5 star luxury hotel and spa, resting in the peaceful location of the historic New Forest National Park. It is within walking distance of the South coast and the seaside, making it the perfect destination for those who wish to sample a more refined and varied taste of the New Forest. Over the past year, the hotel has built six luxury treehouses divided into twelve tree top suites. Recently, a party was held for locals, staff, builders and past and potential guests to thank all involved and to showcase the treehouses. I was delighted when I was asked to produce a map of the event and an image for the front of the invite to the party. I drew inspiration from the Taittinger champagne balloon ride the guests were treated to, which meant they could view the treehouses from above. Further information on the treehouses can be found at

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Short Walks from Bogota

Keep an eye out for Tom Feiling’s new book, ‘Short Walks from Bogota’, published by Penguin. Tom is a writer, journalist and documentary film-maker, who has travelled through Columbia to write the book. His aim was to paint a modern picture of Columbia and grant his readership access to one of the world’s least understood countries. Amongst others, he talks to the nomadic tribe, who, in times gone by, believed they were the only people on earth.
‘Short Walks from Bogota’ is an eye-opening piece of travel writing. Like many others, I never knew much about Columbia before and I confess, I didn’t think I was especially interested either. But when Penguin commissioned me to produce an illustrated map for the book, I thought I better do my research. A great read and another map to add to my hand drawn maps portfolio. Result.
Here is a link to Tom Feiling’s website, where you can find out more about the book and about him generally:

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A bit greasy

"My favourite skin care product maker, Vaseline®  through agency TMW (London) commissioned Maps Illustrated to draw maps of seven UK city shopping areas in order to show that during a trip to the city centre or Mall, people walk further than they might realise.  The maps will be used at a series of events to recruit entrants for Cancer Research UK's Race For Life events (Vaseline is a corporate partner in the campaign).  Race for Life holds women only races all over the UK to fundraise for Cancer Research, so far raising over £457 million.  In order to encourage those who might feel daunted by the challenge of a 1k,5k or 10k run,  these maps demonstrate that wandering up and down the high street really clocks up the miles.  Hey, it's almost like real training.  The maps (including London, Manchester and Glasgow) can be seen on the Vaseline website and Facebook page.  Hard copies will also be distributed at special recruiting events and some are being used as banner ads to encourage even more to take part."

Take a Taco Tour

Street food is having a moment, especially in LA.  TV channel Food Network TV commissioned Maps Illustrated to draw a couple of maps showing the locations of the top snack trucks.   LA's proximity to Mexico means that it boasts some of the best Taco trucks in the States.  But other nationalities are also on the scene.  One map tells you how to locate the "Korean taco barbecue movement".  Folks, you heard it here first.  My maps are a mix of hand drawing and photoshopped images,  intentionally bright and bold to reflect the painted images on the taco trucks themselves.   

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Mapping Her Maj

Love the Queen but can't make it to London for the Jubilee celebrations? Prefer to toast Her Royal Highness in the comfort of you own home? Enhance your television viewing by following both her carriage procession and the River Pageant on Maps Illustrated handy fold out map on the cover of the 'Souvenir Special' Total TV guide.   

The procession starts at the Palace of Westminster and finishes at Buckingham Palace, a route which allowed me to draw some of London's finest historical buildings.  Sailing eastwards along the Thames from Battersea to Tower Bridge, the River Pageant will be an amazing flotilla of 1000 different boats, from a coracle to Gloriana, the Royal Barge (usually seen on the Norfolk Broad).                           With a readership of over half a million, my maps will be sharing  many coffee tables with the remote controls and a drop of something to toast the Queen on her 60 year reign. 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Map Man in Secret Book Romp or How I Became Tangentially Involved in the Levinson Inquiry

Dial M for Murdoch by Tom Watson and Martin Hickman is published today by Penguin. The book examines the connections between Rupert Murdoch's News International and senior politicians and the Met. My contribution is a map (see above) showing the locations of the Cotswold Sets' homes. The books contents are considered so controversial that even the typesetters (and the illustrator, hem hem) had to sign confidentiality agreements. It also holds the Penguin Books record for the shortest period of time between delivery of the final manuscript and publication. So there you go, even a mild mannered map drawer from Kent has been touched by the ripples of the ongoing Leveson Inquiry. I'm proud to say that in years hence I'll be a footnote.