Когато най-известните личности те упътват по света | When the famous people are guiding your way

Getting to know new cities can be challenging. You feel the strange unknown pavement under your feet, the noise of the streets, the voices of people, which you don’t really know, and behind every corner, there are new and new adventures. In every travelling the person is trying to steal a memory for himself, which he can always look back to, to keep it somewhere, in the space, on the flash drive, in Instagram or just in his memory. What about the places we already know? There is no rush, unknown, the streets are tight, shrinks our everyday lives, makes us our universal lighter version of ourselves and we keep going, day by day. We don’t look for tourism on the pavements, which we stumble over, in the faces, who look at us equally distant and incomprehensible and especially – don’t get excited being travellers in place, it’s already known.

Not everyone looks at the places, where they live, as a cage with clear parameters, which surrounds their everyday life. The Dutch designer Yolanda Huntelaar and Louis Stiller join Erik Nieuwenhuis[1], who suggests making a different perspective of cities. He creates a map, which can change the way people look at places, which are quite the opposite of tourist maps.

The first person, decided to break the well-known perspective, is a Russian designer[2], who got inspired to create a very unusual point of view of Sankt Peterburg. Instead of writing the names of streets, benches and coffee shops, he cuts all the elements and makes a map of only the fair borders, the contours, which at the end make a very clear vision of every building in the city. His decision is brave, more than ambitious because he manages to make a very unusual map – from quotes and names.


Image – Society 6

On the map, there are quotes of the most famous Russian writers, thinkers, geniuses, artists and persons in general, who have contributed to the history and culture of one of the largest countries in the world. Published[3] in the magazine Russia!, the map gives a whole new appearance of Sankt Peterburg.

This type of mapping is an interesting process of getting to know and understand cities. The creators of „Maps of quotes“ are people, who believe that every street can tell its own story, behind every corner you can see something unusual or unknown. Yolanda Huntelaar[4], designer of this map of Amsterdam, shares that every long, small or complicated quote is interwoven and placed so narrowly like „that part of Amsterdam feels crowded and cramped in real life too.“ Even when the publishers didn’t feel exactly impressed by their concept, they didn’t give up and make this attractive map possible.


Image – Nieuw Amsterdam

The idea of the Dutch is not that simple[5], or at least doesn’t look like that at first. Yet collection all this history, of people of art, science and all other fields, which have contributed to the development of Amsterdam, which must be placed in only a few millimetres, so close one to another, is inspiring. The result is a spectacular map with over 200 quotes of 150 sources. Every one of them tells the story of specific place, moment, part of the life of the people. who lived there. Famous people like Van Gogh and Anne Frank have been diligently placed and make the city completely different and strangely unknown – Amsterdam, covered with quotes.

Those ambitious projects make people think outside the box of the known space, where we live. Even when our beliefs and the familiar everyday life can only cover what is before us. For those people, creators of „Maps of quotes, its hard to tell, that cities are just streets, rivers, coffee shops and beautiful buildings. The cities are the people, who walked there, make great thoughts possible, changed history, inspired and helped to creat a better future, where we live now.

Now if we look the map of our capital, in my case Sofia, it is easy to see how it would look like, covered with words, which changed the city. For sure such task is very ambitious, takes time and will, also knowledge of life, outside the books and people. To bound so many worlds in one map, which you know by the last piece of pavement on it, is something, which deserves your attention so you can look at your old city with a brand new pair of eyes.


[1] Leesbaar Amsterdam // Fonts In Use, 29.10.2015. Available from: https://fontsinuse.com/uses/10562/leesbaar-amsterdam

[2] St. Petersburg Literary Map// Society 6, 2017. Available from: https://society6.com/product/st-petersburg-literary-map_print#s6-79232p4a1v45

[3] Williams, Shan. 10 Beautiful Literary Maps // For Reading Addicts, 23.01.2016. Available from: http://forreadingaddicts.co.uk/literature/10-beautiful-literary-maps/8144

[4] Leesbaar Amsterdam // Fonts In Use, 29.10.2015. Available from: https://fontsinuse.com/uses/10562/leesbaar-amsterdam

[5] World’s Smart Cities – Amsterdam // National Geographic, 11.06.2017. Available from: http://www.natgeotv.com/za/worlds-smart-cities-amsterdam/about


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