We are Axis Maps, a small cartography company based in Wiltshire that specialises in designing and building custom interactive maps for a wide variety of clients.

The typographic maps began as a fun side project and have now expanded to a full line of city maps and limited edition high-quality, hand printed letterpress maps. The maps accurately depict streets, highways, parks, bodies of water, and more using nothing but text bearing the names of those features. Only by meticulously weaving together thousands upon thousands of words does a full picture of the city emerge. Every single piece of type was carefully placed, a process that took hundreds of hours to complete for each map.

There was nothing automated about making these maps. Everything was laid out manually in Adobe Illustrator, from entering names over an OpenStreetMap image, to nudging text along curved paths to depict flowing water, to selectively erasing text to create a woven street pattern. Each city intentionally differs in style, but the end result is similar: from a distance it can appear as an accurate reference map, and as you get closer you notice the thousands of words it comprises.

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