It’s difficult to find hi-res images of Paula Scher’s design work on the internet. Not so recently, “Paula Scher: The Maps” was on exhibit at New York’s Maya Stendhal Gallery — inevitably, high-res images of her maps series leaked onto the internet, and whether Paula likes or not, her work will continue to leak and slosh around the net.
Paula, a self-taught designer renowned for her typography skills, began painting her colorful and stylized maps back in the early ’90s. The maps depict regions, cities, and continents from all corners of the globe and
feature a mighty use of typography. Paula continued to work on these maps during her following years and the maps became bigger (Paula published a book titled “Make it Bigger”) and more complex.
Paula Scher on her maps:
I began painting these things sort of in a silly way. And I think at one point I realized they would be amazing big. And I wondered if I could even do it. If I could actually paint these things on such a grand scale, what would happen?
The way the maps work is that they’re total abstractions, and yet they have all this meaning attached to them.
Below are eight more images from the maps series — however there are many, many more maps from Paula — the titles under the images are not necessarily the official titles of the maps. Click images to enlarge. Beautiful work.
China | in detail
Tsunami | in detail